Saturday, November 26, 2011

I've Been Commissioned....

   Okay, so, well it sounds impressive in the title, but my "patrons" are actually my sister and our long-time housekeeper.  (Our housekeeper has been with our family for over thirty five years now.  She tidied and cleaned the house I grew up in once a week, and now that we've moved back to my hometown, she comes to our house weekly, and she is a Godsend!)
   So I'm actually getting paid to create all the things I've so enjoyed making over these past few months: mug rugs, tissue cozies/small cell phone cases, and notepad covers.
   I know this is not "big time" by any means, but I'm so excited to get paid to sew/quilt/be creative!
   Here's what I've been working on over the long holiday weekend:

mug rug
mug rug
(Oops- I cut off the head off the scooter rider!) 

   But I desperately need your advice, dear followers and visiting readers.  If I'm going to do this, then I'd like to have a "name" that I can put on a small tag or label.  There's no bloody way I'm going to advertise myself as Postpartum Quilter (we'll keep that for the blogosphere).
   Do any of you have any suggestions??
   I was kind of thinking that I might want to come up with a name that includes "crane" or "warbler" in it (both are kinds of birds I love).  And since I'm fond of making these:

I use this origami crane photo as my Flickr icon (photo ID) and apparently I've acquired a "reputation" amongst a small circle of my swap/bloggy friends (mostly in the UK) for my "trademark" origami cranes that I include in every swap or outgoing quilty parcel or giveaway item that I send.  I thought I might try to use that in some way.
   Please help me brainstorm-- anything and everything is welcome!  I appreciate your thoughts, ideas and feedback!  Bring it on!!
   Thanks to all of you who offer input :0)
Hope you're having a great weekend!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up

   Oh how I wish I had the ability to be more prolific, like so many of the other quilting bloggers I read and follow... 
   But alas, my pace is slow and steady (like the tortoise). 
[image stolen from Aneela Hoey's Little Apples]
   Perhaps an image of Eeyore would be more appropriate here?

But I'm grateful that Ive been getting in some time each day at my machine :0)
   My creations, this week, are variations on some of the same stuff you've seen recently... 
1)  mini notebook cover for a dear friend in my therapy group who is "graduating".
Look familiar?  Yet another one!
inside view, with 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" mini moleskine
 journal (set of 2 from Target) ,
 complete with a mini pen in the pocket on the left.
2)  Another mini notebook cover for a male friend who is also "graduating" from my group.  This friend carried a rather tattered miniature marble composition book (c. 3 1/2" x 4 1/2") in his back pocket, stuffed with a bunch of loose papers, held together by a rubber band.  I thought he could use a cover to hold the whole thing together.
outside view: front cover on Right;
back cover on Left side
inside view of above notebook cover
3)  Potential Teacher's gift, using Aneela Hoey's Sherbet Pips.
front cover
Inside view with mini-(moleskine) journal,
 pocket and mini pen
4) A little notebook cover for my Hubster to record his gas mileage, etc.  He plays guitar (I think he has 6 different ones) and the piano.
inside view

5)  Thanksgiving Hostess gift: wine glass charms (to identify who's glass is whose). 
   What do you think of this idea?  Yes or No?
I got this idea from Better Homes & Gardens
(parent company of AllPeopleQuilt)
link here

   Supplies used (displayed below):
      - set of three mini-frame charms for $2.99 (in the beads section at Joann's)--
         they are frequently on sale for 30% off, or I may have used one of my  
         40% off coupons
      - set of six silver hoop earrings from Wal-Mart for $5

Do you have this problem:
I want to end this post with more text, but it won't let me scroll down or move down by hitting "return" several times....
So now I'm stuck with writing this closing as part of the caption for the photo above!
Just wanted to wish all my American friends a happy Thanksgiving--
and thanks to all my thoughtful  friends abroad who sent Thanksgiving wishes my way :0)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Week In Review

   Progress continues at a snail's pace, but for now, that's the best I can do.
I made two different styles of eyeglass cases as "thank you" gifts.  The first case is larger in size, and more suitable for sunglasses, while the latter is smaller and more appropriate for reading glasses.
   The first is the Cute Sunglasses Case tutorial from Terri at Sew Fantastic.
My neighbor LOVES dogs, and has a golden retriever,
so I thought she would appreciate these fabrics.
    The second eyeglass case tutorial is from Amy at Made During Quiet Time.
    I've also been bit by the Hexie bug, and so have started some of these with leftovers from my Little Apples charm pack.
    I like that I can bring the Hexies with me in the car and do them on-the-go, wherever I am.  Not sure what I'm going to make with them yet, I'll just keep making them and then figure it out.
   Hope you're all enjoying lots of quilting time!  I've been enjoying reading everyone's blogs and seeing what you're working on!
   Have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Scrappy Love

   I received not one, but TWO lovely parcels in the mail from the very talented and generous Linda of Sew Nicely in Dublin, Ireland.  I was Linda's assigned partner for the Scrappy Swap 2011 hosted by Kat of Diary of a Flutter Kat (A Mumma's Time to Create).   The swap involved making a small scrappy item, the equivalent (roughly) of a fat quarters worth of scraps from your stash and a small local item.
   Linda went above and beyond!
   Unfortunately, I did not have the forethought to photograph each tissue-wrapped item as I opened it, so this is a reconstruction.  In Parcel #1 (for me), I received this:
   The Cadbury chocolates have been almost completely devoured by my husband and the kids (mostly the latter), but I've secretly hidden one of the Dairy Milk bars in my scrap stash drawer to save and savor for a time when I am really having a craving.
   I had admired Linda's "sneak peak" photo on Flickr of what she was working on, but never guessed I would be the lucky recipient!  The tote is made of a wonderful variety of Japanese import fabrics, which I adore.  Linda figured me right out!   I like how she combined the bright row of charming novelty prints with the sashiko-style Japanese indigo fabrics. And the brightly colored handles pull the whole scheme together.    
      I have been using the tote every day since I received it and and I feel very special carrying around my own personalized homemade scrappy bag.  It is just perfect for me-- thank you so much, Linda! 
   And here is the selection of scraps that Linda included (above and beyond just a fat quarter's worth):
    They are just lovely, and my daughter has her eye on quite a few of them, too, so I will have to share.  [She wants me to make a scrappy journal cover with them, and I will happily oblige].

   A second surprise awaited me when I collected yesterday's mail: another parcel from Linda!  This one was for my kids.
     For my daughter, she included a wonderful crafty book called I Made It Myself.  It comes with a mini sewing kit, 3 buttons, 3 felt squares and some embroidery thread.  It contains projects that are perfect for a nine-year old girl.

hard to read in the photo, but sections include:
tools & techniques, bags & purses, stuff to wear,
 badges & brooches, jewelry and hair stuff
And for my son, a book based on the Disney movie Cars
(which he loves) complete with a toy
car of Lightning McQueen.

The comic book is a big hit among both my kids.
And look at this wonderful bag of chocolate-coated animal cookies!!
I  LOOOOOOOVE Cadbury!!  Wish we had it here in the US.
Hopefully the kids will let me taste one of them.
   Linda, I can't thank you enough for your thoughtfulness and generosity!!  My kids and I are just thrilled beyond words.  We will certainly enjoy all of our goodies from "Mommy's friend in Ireland".  [We showed them where Dublin, Ireland is on the map].
   You made my day, my week, my weekend!  I feel very lucky to have you as my partner.  
   This was a wonderful, fun swap with lots of amazing participants, and Kat was a super Swap Mama!  I look forward to swapping again (after the craziness of the holidays).
   Readers, I hope you are all enjoying the fall and fitting in lots of quilting/sewing/crafting time :0)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

October in Review

   Well, I managed to make a mosaic and import the images, but not the descriptions.  I'm learning... slowly...
1) iPod/camera/smartphone case, outside
2) inside view of #1
3) journal cover for Scrappy Swap partner
4) inside view of #3 with fussy-cut pockets
5) scrappy journal cover with Little Apples
6) cube organizer for my sewing essentials (pattern by Terry Atkinson)
7) blue pieced block for Mod Conn Quilters group
8) green pieced block for Mod Conn Quilters group
9) D9P block for Bee Blessed
10) another D9P block for Bee Blessed
11) mini journal cover (a thank you gift for a friend)
12) another mini journal cover (also a thank you gift for a friend)

   I'm keeping things slow and steady, and for now, I'm satisfied with that.  For November, I'm planning on making lots of homemade holiday gifts for teachers, friends and family.

   What are you working on these days?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Winter Wonderland in October

  Many of you have commented nostalgically on how beautiful Fall in New England is.  On Saturday, we were hit by an unprecedented Nor'easter (a storm that forms in the tropics, bringing warm air that clashes with the colder air up North).
   We typically get frost and maybe a few flurries in October, but not a huge storm like the one we experienced over the weekend.
   I am posting these photos today (Nov.1st) because we had no cable, internet or telephone (land line) until last night.  We were were lucky and only lost power for five hours on Saturday, but there are still thousands in the state (and in our town) that are without electricity.  School was cancelled yesterday due to the large numbers of fallen limbs and trees blocking the roads, and downed powerlines.  Sadly, many towns also "cancelled" (postponed) Halloween for safety reasons.
   I give you some photos of an atypical--but pretty in its own way--Fall in New England...
The snowfall started Saturday.  We were at my nephew's Zombie-themed birthday party in northwestern CT at the time.
A Zombie Sammy playing outside in the snow without his coat, boots or mittens (all of which we brought).  It's no wonder that he is now sick with a cough and a cold!  Poor boy.  (Bad Mommy!)
My sister's yard as the snow was coming down.

    You can see from the photos that it was a heavy, wet snow and all of the tree limbs are sagging.
    Below is the uprooted root system of a HUGE tree in our backyard that split three ways. (In no way does the photo do justice to the size of this tree).  For scale, if I were to stand next to it, those root systems would be taller than me.  One section of the tree fell directly onto wires and across the road that runs behind our house.  Luckily, we have 2 acres in our back yard, and the other 2 sections fell parallel to the house at the far end of our property.
   Here is my daughter next to one of the three split sections of the huge tree that fell.  Multiple crews (town, police, electric company) have been out on the road since Sunday with chainsaws to clear it, direct traffic and maintain safety.

   On the bright side, it sure was a pretty storm, and thankfully we and all are friends and loved ones are safe. :0)   The kids had fun playing in the first snowfall of the season, and I got out in the fresh air and shoveled (I actually love getting out there when the snow is still fresh-- its so pretty.  It gives me some much-needed exercise, and shoveling the walkway makes me feel like I accomplished something.)
   I have been spending some treasured time at my sewing machine and will do a quilty post soon!
   Hope you enjoyed the photos of our freak Fall snowstorm!