Saturday, July 07, 2007

A book giveaway for you!

As I continue my birthday week celebration, I have a present for you. I have a copy of Low-Sew Boutique: 25+ Quick & Clever Projects Using Ready-Mades by Cheryl Weiderspahn that I would like to give away to one of you!


Trust me, after seeing this book you'll view kitchen textiles in a whole new way. The book is "perfect for the novice sewer looking to create innovative low-sew projects as well as the experienced sewer looking for a few sewing short cuts."

This is the book I've been bragging on for the past month or so. With this book you'll discover how to transform ready-made potholders, placemats, rugs, and more into great accessories. This book's projects are much more than the typical placemat purses that you've seen instructions for on the Internet and Cheryl's projects are much more clever and creative than my simple drawstring placemat purse.

Come out, come out where ever you are! Leave a comment if you're interested and next Saturday, July 14, I'll draw a random name and you could be the owner of this signed by the author copy of Low-Sew Boutique.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Flashback Friday

Thought I forgot about my Flashback Friday post didn't you? I'll admit, I'm a bit late today, but I have a good reason.

You see, I've decided that a birthday day just isn't quite enough, and I feel a bit greedy asking for a birthday month (although I got the idea of one of my friends who obviously doesn't feel the least bit greedy about it), so I decided a birthday week would be nice.

So, in keeping with my birthday week theme I went to lunch and antiquing (is that a word?) with two of my sisters. It would have been a bit difficult for our other sister to join us as she lives out of state.

We drove about forty miles to a quaint touristy town located along the Mississippi River. The main street is lined with boutiques, antique stores, and restaurants. We ate at a restaurant that used to be an old railroad freight house - out on the deck where we could enjoy the beautiful sunny summer day.

Oh did we laugh! They, of course, got to tease me about my failing memory and how old I'm getting, while I got to tease them about the older sibling higher IQ study! No surprise, they disputed the study. I think I denied my failing memory but I can't recall for sure...

After our leisurely lunch we strolled down the street deciding as we went which stores to visit. We only had a few hours to bum around and the time went so quickly. We visited only a handful of the dozens of stores, so when we go back we'll allow ourselves much more time.

I was secretly hoping to come across a stash of vintage patterns, forgotten and dusty, in a corner of an antique store. Alas, I didn't come across any vintage patterns but I did purchase a tin filled with buttons.
There isn't anything special about the buttons, and in fact most of them are plain old plastic buttons. I purchased the tin because I was purchasing a memory.

When I was about six years old I went to an estate sale with either my grandmother or my mother where I was allowed to purchase a tin filled with buttons. I was fascinated with the buttons. The color of the buttons, the size of the buttons, and the sound the buttons made when shaken inside of the tin. I spent hours and hours sorting through my treasured button collection, sometimes sorting them by color and other times by size.

Most of the buttons were used in the creation of button necklaces that were lost as I grew older and the tin probably ended up being donated to a Goodwill store.

But with the purchase of this tin full of buttons my happy memory of my first button tin remains alive in my sewing room. Pin It

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Another vintage and retro pattern site

I was going to share with you this new (to me) vintage and retro pattern site I stumbled upon - Out of the Ashes Collectibles - but looks like A Dress A Day mentioned it today already.

Although I am surprised that Erin (at A Dress a Day) hasn't snapped this 1950's beauty up yet! Look at the pockets!
I browsed the site quickly this morning and when I saw two Vogue designer patterns I'd been searching for on eBay listed I hit the order button quickly. If that 50s dress would have been there this morning it too would have made its way into my shopping cart.

My order was placed early this morning and I already received a personalized, friendly e-mail confirmation along with notification that my order had shipped! Talk about service! I'll be sure to post photos when the patterns arrive.

Just in case you didn't read A Dress a Day yet (highly unlikely as most everyone who sews, or likes fashion, or likes dresses, reads that entertaining blog) I'll link to the sewing pattern site here - Out of the Ashes Collectibles.

My other sewing related project was to clean up the sewing room. Not only did I clean it up but I did a bit of rearranging. Nothing too drastic, but enough to make it feel like I have more room in there. I own a Koala sewing cabinet - which is a very nice piece of furniture, but I never ever put my machine away, so the cabinet takes up a lot of valuable floor space. I asked DH to remove the back portion of the cabinet - the part the folds down when the sewing machine is put away - so that I could push the table up against a wall. I now have the machine facing the north window which has an incredible view of the woodsy park behind us.

You'll notice my sewing buddy, Sophia, in the middle of the room. I keep a bed in there for her as she likes to curl up in the room while I sew. She may look sweet and angelic but don't let her fool you. She loves to grab my patterns and rip them to shreds as I try and retrieve them from her.

I'm liking the new layout and the view from the machine. The problem is the room looks so neat that I hate to pull anything out to sew because I'll mess it up again! Pin It

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Birthday to the U.S.A. (and to me)


Many years ago, just after 1 a.m. on the Fourth of July, I was born. Apparently I decided to enter this world with a bang (appropriate for a July 4th baby) as my mother and father barely made it to the hospital before I made my appearance. Their names and my birth statistics were published in the city paper. Not because of the birth, but because I was baby number three born on that Fourth of July. I had my fifteen minutes of fame long before I could appreciate it!

Today is a low-key afternoon BBQ with friends followed by the city's fireworks display. I'm thankful I live in a country where my freedom is protected and where I have the opportunity to celebrate that freedom. Those of you in the USA, how will you be celebrating? Pin It

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

New fabric panels for the kitchen windows

During the month of June I searched most of the stores in my area looking for the "perfect" panels for my kitchen window. When I realized I wasn't going to be able to purchase what I wanted, I wasn't too discouraged because I know how to sew!

I knew that I'd be able to find the exact color I wanted at a fabric store and whip a couple of panels up in no time. Well, the search for the "perfect" fabric didn't go so well either.

The biggest problem is that I've been trying to work with a wall color that I hate, but DH loves. The kitchen was repainted just over a month ago, from a deep red to this ugly beigey pink color. I thought I had chosen a light taupe but once it was on the walls in my kitchen it looks like a peach color. The color itself isn't bad, it just reminds me of what the color the kitchen walls were when we moved in and then I remember how dirty and run down this house was when we moved in. I certainly don't need those memories coming back every time I walk into the kitchen.

I've been bringing home fabric swatches and more fabric swatches and even more fabric swatches trying to find something that would work with the wall color. I almost gave up, but a blue semi-sheer polyester home dec fabric at Joann's caught my eye. Using a set of placemats as inspiration, I combined it with a deep, almost black, brown fabric printed with polka dots.

I was able to sew them in two hours this evening after dinner, with most of the time spent at the ironing board pressing the hems before stitching them in place with my sewing machine.


I used the heavier polka dot fabric to create the top rod pocket. There is another window, above the kitchen sink, that I'll make a valance using only the polka dot fabric to tie all the windows together.
Now the search is on for new decorative accessories! Pin It

Monday, July 02, 2007

Giveaways and other fun blog items

After a busy (non-sewing) weekend I finally had a chance to catch up on my blog reading. I like to follow the links and blogrolls at other blogs to see what I can discover. Some of my new favorite blogs aren't even sewing blogs, like JameeForever . (Ever wonder want happens to those rebate/surveys/sign up cards you fill out? Well, check out her Happy, Happy Monday post to find out.) I learned about the giveaway at Pink & Blues Girl Blog by reading her blog.

Giveaways
Better hurry on this one - you only have until midnight PST tonight. Design Mom has a random giveaway going on - you could win $150 credit at Childish Clothing. Get on over to Design Mom and leave your comment!

A Vera Bradley / The Body Shop giveaway contest is happening over at the Pink & Blues Girl Blog. You do need to link to both their blog and Sheena's The Body Shop Consultant to be entered into the contest. The deadline is Monday, July 9 at 8 p.m. EST.

U-Handblog has a bag giveaway going on. Stop by before July 10 and leave a comment about the type of bag you're currently working on (or planning to work on) for your chance to be included in the random drawing. U-Handblog also has an ongoing Amy Butler Sewing Patterns Monthly contest where you could win an Amy Butler pattern of your choice! The next closing date is July 25 so you have plenty of time for this one.

Isabelle, at Kitty Couture, is busy preparing for her wedding, is offering a surprise package to one of her readers. She is a very talented and kind-hearted blogger and now might be the time for you to begin reading her blog (and see photos of her beautiful gown.) Isabelle is allowing you two weeks to post a comment on her blog.

Tutorials
I also came across a couple of cool tutorials, like how to make a halter dress from a big tee over at Wardrobe Refashion.

This Lotus Bag tutorial, at Craft Apple has been posted since March, but I just now got around to looking at it. I need the inspiration if I'm going to participate in Bag month at Sew, Mama, Sew!.

Love the embroidered ribbon label tutorial that Jemima Bean posted on her blog, Taking Back the Quality of My Life. Only problem is that I don't own an embroidery machine - yet! (I do have a birthday coming up...I wonder if it's too late to hint for one of those.)

Miscellaneous
This post warmed my heart. It's about 380 blankets that will be distributed to orphans in China. Read the post and newspaper story at Skip to My Lou.

I have to share this one with you! Modern June posted a brief rant about an unkind comment that was made about her young daughter's weight. Honestly, when will we be judged by our accomplishments, talents and personalities and not our weight?

After reading that post you might need a giggle break. If so, be sure to check out this cartoon at Monkey Giggles.

Back at the homefront
So what did I do this weekend since I didn't spend my time sewing? Well, more home improvement projects, what else? When we were refreshing the mulch in the landscaping we disturbed this baby toad (or frog? I can't tell for sure.) He was so still as I slowly inched my way towards him with my camera. This was as close as I could get before he jumped.

I showed him to Sophia but she didn't care. She was busy enjoying the shade and the warm summer breeze.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

What? It's July already?

Whoa! I was just reading Carolyn's post, The Midway of 2007, and it just hit me how fast this year is going by. I should take some time to tally:
  • everything I've sewn,
  • the UFOs (unfinished objects) that I've completed,
  • how much fabric as been used,
  • how much fabric has been purchased.
I will probably be:
  • surprised at how much I've sewn
  • disappointed at how few UFOs I've completed
  • pleased with how much fabric I've used
  • amazed at how much fabric I've purchased.
See? I already know the outcome so maybe I won't take the time to do that task.

I'll admit that I'm actually glad that June is over because that means that parade season is slowing down. Last week was the last parade on my weekend schedule for at least three weeks. I'm happy about the break in the parades and will put my clowning aside for a few weeks.

My dad on the other hand (wearing the green vest in the photo) misses the interaction with the kids so much that he'll find some place to go where he can do his clowning. We have new neighbors on both sides of us, each with young children, so maybe I'll see if he wants to do some clown magic and/or balloon animals for the neighbor kids when he comes over for the annual Fourth of July get-together. That could be a fun way to get to know the neighbors huh?

One last thing about July. Remember the skirt month that Sew, Mama, Sew! had going on during the month of May? Well, July is Bag month at Sew, Mama, Sew!

I probably won't be participating in this one. I freely admit that I have millions of bag ideas dancing around in my head - all of them incredibly cute and sewn entirely by me in my spare time. The reality is that I barely have time to sew the clothing I want let alone the accessories. So I probably won't be joining the bag month except to peek at the Flickr photos. Maybe I'll see your bags posted there! Pin It

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