Monday, November 29, 2010

Food & Fabric Sales

So, in totally unrelated topics...

Here is what I baked for the Thanksgiving festivities at our wonderful neighbors across the alley! We have the most amazing neighbors across the way. Each Thanksgiving they host a brunch for lots of the folks in our neighborhood. They serve eggs benedict and hash browns and the rest of bring all sorts of other goodies. This year I chose to bake up some Peppery Cheddar Challah Bread. For the more intimate Thanksgiving dinner, I bake up some sort of dessert to share and this year's selection was a Chocolate Walnut Tart with homemade whipped cream - so yummy and I was so happy to have leftovers of this one to last through the weekend! My hips - probably not so happy!

Now, on to fabric! Spoonflower has been offering all sorts of specials lately, just in time for the holidays! Hopefully, you patronized them as part of Small Business Saturday but even if you haven't, small businesses should be patronized every day! Their latest offering is a sale on fat quarters, buy one, get one free! It's advertised as a buy one, get one free tea towel, but as the tea towel designs are sized to fit on a fat quarter, FQs also qualify. This is your chance to get all sorts of fabrics you've had your eye on! The sale runs through Friday so head over to Spoonflower and support small business!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


My husband and I got to spend a couple of really quick days in New Orleans while he was attending a professional conference and I was lucky enough to go along for the ride! We were both excited as we had never been to the Crescent City and were really excited to have a brief respite from the cold and snow of the North Shore if only for a short while. We got to take in some of the sights, sounds, and tastes and met some really wonderful and friendly people. We also got to stay in an amazing hotel with probably the most friendly and helpful staff I've ever come across. If you're ever in New Orleans, I highly recommend the Marriott Renaissance Arts Hotel!

So on this Thanksgiving Day, I am grateful for this fun little excursion. I'm also thankful for the beautiful snow (though it's wickedly cold), good food and wonderful friends, neighbors, and family especially my husband! I'm also incredibly thankful for a couple of old friends and virtual strangers who have been incredibly kind and supportive in this struggle to conceive a child which is not anything I've addressed here before but has been very consuming in my life for quite a long time. It's been invaluable to find a few wonderfully caring and completely understanding of the frustrations and difficulties that accompany this journey as there are many who just don't understand and don't care to.

Now, I think it's time for one more sliver of chocolate walnut tart and some cocoa on this really cold but cozy Thanksgiving night!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Naughty or Nice?!

I realize it's not quite Thanksgiving yet so we shouldn't be bringing up Christmas just yet but if you are like me and make lots of Christmas presents and such, you have to start really early! Even if you don't make gifts, you still have to plan ahead if you need to order gifts or supplies.

You also have to plan ahead for Spoonflower contests as they need time to print and ship in time for Christmas decorating! The current contest just opened for voting yesterday and it's Holiday Stocking time! They're are some really unique, interesting and imaginative designs - over 60 of them actually. Go and check them out and if you're inclined to vote for mine, which you can see above, go ahead! My design is an amusing little play on the naughty and nice list - you could choose a side for whichever suits you and your loved ones on any given day!

You should also really check out Spoonflower in the next few days as they are having their first ever free shipping event - just in time for Christmas! Beginning on Monday, November 22 at 8 am EST and ending on Tuesday, November 23 at 8 am EST you can get your domestic or international order shipped for free!!!! This only applies to standard shipping, not rush shipping but they're reporting that their current turnaround time is about 7 days so you should really take advantage of this great deal while you can!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Winner, winner chicken dinner!

So this weekend's dinners did not include chicken but rather homemade pizza and a really unhealthy dinner  from my younger days of visits to Grandma and Grandpa's house during lent. Fried potatoes and macaroni and cheese - not good for you but every once in a while I get the craving as do my brother and sister. My mom and her brothers and sister can't stand it and will never eat it again in their lifetimes!

The pic above was dessert this weekend - pumpkin chocolate tiramisu! So yummy! I wish I had a better picture but as we're plunged into darkness at about 4 in the afternoon now, getting good lighting is a lot more challenging.

This weekend was also the end of the contest to win some of my fabric from Spoonflower! I have to say thank you once again to the wonderful Sew4Home for their lovely feature. I continue to be astounded at the numbers of you who were kind enough to click over to my blog and especially to those of you who were so kind to leave comments. It's been so heart warming to see everything that you're all thankful for this year! So without further ado, the winner:

It was so fun to find that the winner is another very talented Spoonflower designer, Vo! I'll be in touch to get you started in claiming your prize!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Special delivery in waiting

Just look at the pretty stack of java jackets just waiting to go to their new home! Once payment arrives, they'll be on their way! I just love playing with fabrics and embellishments and trying all sorts of color combos when I'm stitching them up.

To get them ready for shipping I grabbed some of those cute red buttons I discovered at the antique store, punched some circles out of discarded cardboard coffee cuffs and secured them together with red and white bakers twine and wrapped 'em up. The final tough was sliding my business card in the back.

Now, once you've got your morning coffee or tea in hand, head over to Sew4Home. They've put together a pillow project featuring my Family Forever fabrics.

You've still got time to get entered in the contest to win a yard of my fabric from Spoonflower. Just click on to my post from earlier this week and leave your comment answering the question in the post before noon Central time on Sunday, November 14. The prize will be awarded on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Look, it's me!!!! (& a giveaway!!!!)

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a person who likes to have attention drawn to me and am a bit too humble and self-deprecating for my own good. So today we're taking a break from our regularly scheduled program and shining a light on me!!!! If you check out Sew4Home today you'll see a great big profile on me!

I was lucky enough to meet the marvelous sisters who run Sew4Home when I was attending The Creative Connection Event back in September. We first started chatting during class on our first day and kept in touch throughout the event and once we got back to our respective homes. I absolutely adore their site and the fantastic, totally doable projects and how they inspire and empower others to create projects to dress up their homes.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Spoonflower is helping me out with a little giveaway! YAY!!!! If you'd like to have a chance at winning one-yard of one of my designs at Spoonflower, just leave a comment following this post in response to the following question in the spirit of Thanksgiving:

"What are you most thankful for this year?"

Just leave your comment no later than noon Central Time on Sunday, November 14. I'll draw one winner from all the entries and announce the winner on Monday, November 15. Once the winner is announced, I'll have the specifics of how to choose your fabric and place your order with Spoonflower. In the meantime, you can start browsing my fabrics at Spoonflower and deciding which you'll choose if you're the winner!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gorgeous George

Just because. One of the things that is sure to put a smile on my face and lift my spirits is a look at this man and who could blame me! My husband doesn't even mind as he developed a bit of a man crush when we were in George's presence.

Never in my life did I really think I would get to meet George and be mere inches away from him! So when news came that he was going to be in my neck of the woods, I just knew I had to be there. On a very chilly northland morning we staked out our spot which happened to be remarkably close to George's getaway vehicle. My hubby was in charge of getting his autograph as I would be busy snapping away to get his pic. These were my favorites from the day.

So when I need smile and a laugh, I can just take a look at these pics or pop in one of the Ocean's series of movies or my new favorite - George dancing in The Men Who Stare at Goats - love it!!!!! My hubby also makes me laugh and smile lots, too, when he does his silly, twisty dance!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Christmas in November! Ornament Tutorial

I know it's a bit early for Christmas (at least I'm not getting Christmas stuff out in July like the bog box stores!) but since I make Christmas ornaments as gifts each year, I have to get a jump on it! This year's ornaments were inspired by a couple of items, seen here:

Juice can lids and this fabulous find of red buttons that I picked up at one of our local antique stores for $2! Can you believe it?! I just had to have them even though I had no idea what I would do with them at the time.

To begin, I measured a circle to fit inside the juice can lid and cut it out of some heavy antique scrapbook paper. I aged the edge a bit with some brown ink.

Next came some vintage ledger pages. I cut some pieces to fit at the top and bottom of the circle and fancied them up with a scalloped scissors and a bit of green ink on the edges.

Lettering comes next. I first traced around the little red button that would serve as the "o" and then penciled in the remaining letters.

Then I filled in the letters with red using DecoArt Americana Berry Red.

Once the paint dried, I traced over my pencil lines around the outside of the letters with a fine paint marker and glued on a little red button.

After the glue dried, I poured a bit of DecoArt Triple Thick Gloss Glaze into the juice can lid and spread it around. I then placed the decorated scrapbook circle into the lid and poured more glaze in and distributed it evenly in the lid by slowly turning the lid at an angle so as not to create air bubbles. If air bubbles do appear, just use a toothpick to pop them.

Once the glaze is completely dry (I usually allow for about 24 hours just to be safe) add a ribbon hanger at the back. I cover the entire back with a circle of felt cut to size to make it nice and presentable on both sides.

Now it's time to start cranking out bunches of them for my friends and family! I'll be making a variety of them with Love, Hope, and Joy since those words all have "o"s in them!

Thanks again to DecoArt for giving me great supplies to play with!

Also, if you want a chance to win a yard of my Spoonflower fabrics, check out this post and answer the question following the post!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just a little weekend watercolor...

Just a little something that's been in my sketchbook for months that I finally got around to working on. Inspired by the days growing up on the prairies of the upper midwest. I'm hoping to turn this into a fabric design down the road. My husband wants me to sell it as a postcard!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Christmas Relaxation

An ULTA store just opened in our neck of the woods and we stopped in over the weekend. All the makeup and hair goodies are lovely, but I had the best time adding all sorts of items to my wish list from the wellness and spa items. Everything was soft and cushy and cuddly but this little number definitely tops the list! This massage wrap was just destined to come home with me - I really wish I had it right now as my neck is feeling a little wonky today after sleeping a bit wrong last night. It's so soft and has 2 massage speeds. Christmas may be too long to wait!