Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Year In Review

Several fellow bloggers are particpating in a Year In Review celebration. I thought I'd join them by sharing some of my favorite photographs from my past year's blog posts. This has been by far one of my most creative years yet. I have been inspired by some of my favorite artists to try new techiques and to venture out of my comfort zone. I may have even found a new passion or two along the way. And hopefully, some of my creations have brought joy to those who've taken them for their own.
I look forward to all that the new year has to offer. I hope to continue to stretch myself artistically and to live a creative life everyday. Thank you for peeking in on my adventures and leaving a comment from time to time. May God bless you in the coming year!
Photo mosaic created HERE as found on this BLOG and this ONE. Check them out!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

merry randomness

  • happy belated Christmas wishes to you all! we had such a wonderful Christmas and i'm soaking up this time off to rest and relax with my family. we are having very unusual weather here though today-70 plus degrees, thunderstorms and tornado warnings. eek!

  • i've gotten several emails asking how the girls liked their quilts. i think they were a hit!

  • although it was alot more work than just buying presents, making them is worth it in the end when you get reactions like that and this one from my niece, Emily. she loved her bag!
  • in addition to the unusual weather we're having today, it's also unusual that my husband is home on a Saturday. we'd hoped to go to a movie today, but may just stay home instead. started the morning out with belgian waffles.
  • mom bought me a waffle iron for christmas. i'd bought a pancake and waffle mix at williams sonoma this summer and never purchased a waffle iron. what a treat. they were delicious and this one turned out like a snowflake (it was the last of the batter)!

  • whatever you're doing today, I hope it's .....

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Do the Spit & Roll

I had another great day sewing with my mom. The projects we make are only half the fun. Sometimes we get so wound up we make ourselves laugh. Today it was Dad who was laughing at us-he said we were like Martha Stewart and her daughter Alexis on Whatever, Martha! He just wasn't sure who was who. We've also developed a new technical term-the Spit & Roll. You know when the pattern calls for pressing the seam? I haven't quite mastered it yet so I always ask Mom to do it for me. I started calling it the Spit & Roll because she dampens her fingers and rolls the seam between her fingers before pressing. I told her it reminded me of the Bend & Snap in the movie Legally Blonde! Anyway, I've just had the best time and what a gift she's given me to pass on her wealth of sewing knowledge and build such great memories together. Such a gift!

*WARNING: if Emily is reading this STOP READING NOW and DO NOT SCROLL DOWN!*

Here's what we made today. This is the Amy Butler bag I made my niece for Christmas. Isn't it cute?!? I can't wait to make one for myself to carry this summer.

Oh, and I'm just about to wrap up the quilts-literally. But before I do I had to show you the adorable matching pillowcases I made for the girls to store their quilts. This is Rachel's which is my favorite because of that green fabric and the wide cuff. I used the cutoffs from the jelly rolls so I wasn't sure if I'd have enough. I was able to squeeze out just enough for a narrow cuff on Morgan's. I can't wait for the girls to open their packages on Wednesday morning!

If you haven't already guessed, I had a Starbucks about 5:30 this evening so I'm am pretty wound up. I plan to stay up as long as it takes to finish wrapping and get this place cleaned up a bit. This is going to keep me smiling all through the night. Isn't she a beauty? I love the marbling and she looks as good as I'd envisioned in my vintage silver container. SIGH

Okay. Gotta update my lists and keep movin'. Just in case you didn't know...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

All Thumbs

All thumbs. That is exactly how I've felt this week. With only 7 days until Christmas, I've been pushing myself to complete the projects on my list and make the final preparations for the big day. But most things I've had to do at least twice and more often than not have given up in frustration. I've been less than inspired in the wrapping department this year, too. Such a bummer since that is what I usually enjoy most. I know I totally overthink things. Like whether or not these little guys should be framed by wire or not. By the time I made a decision it was too late-I'd already glued the buttons on and they wouldn't allow me to add wire without having to dismantle the whole thing. UGH!

This is a project I made from Teresa McFayden's Comfort & Joy eZine.

There have been some rare moments of inspired success. Again, courtesy of Teresa McFayden and her Comfort & Joy eZine. She inspired me to create this little bag/ornament for my Secret Santa recipient. A little tricky with vintage wallpaper so it's not perfect, but hopefully she'll appreciate the sentiment!

How's your list coming? Are you getting everything completed? Are you stressed out or have you managed to avoid all the pre-holiday madness? If you have, let me know your secret!

I'll leave you with the only decent holiday vignette I've managed to create so far this year. I just look at it and sigh. But alas, there is more to Christmas than packages and bows, right? I love the lyrics to this beautiful modern carol written by David Foster. (My favorite version was recorded by Michael Buble.) It's time to start thinking on these things instead of all this other nonsense-at least that's what I'm trying to do-thumbs and all!

Well heaven surely knows
that packages and bows
can never heal a hurting human soul
No more lives torn apart
that wars would never start
and time would heal all hearts
and everyone would have a friend
and right would always win
and love would never end
this is my grown-up Christmas list

Monday, December 15, 2008


Oh, thank goodness for a snow day - rather an ice day! I'll regret the day off when summer comes I'm sure, but for today I'm grateful for a chance to catch up. Among other things on the list for today: wrapping up all the gifts,

giving these guys a little character,
finishing up these for gifts, a roast for Jeff, and putting up our tree. Yes, our tree is still not up. But hopefully by this evening we'll be basking in the glow of twinkling lights.

A shout out to Mom who is snuggled in at home today working on finishing up her own handmade Christmas. She is FOREVER my biggest cheerleader. With her help and a little good time management this week, I believe I'll be able to complete all the handmade gifts I set out to make. Love you, MOM!

Hope you'll take time to enjoy all the season holds this week. I'm looking forward to the taking-it-all-in-and-enjoying-it phase very soon. CHEERS!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas Extravaganza

Just in case anyone is wondering, I'm still here. I've been nursing a horrible sinus infection for the past week or so and like others this time of year, I've just been plain busy. This weekend my sister and I traveled to attend the annual Christmas Extravaganza at my mom-in-law's church. It was a jam-packed couple of days and a real treat for me and Missy to take a little road trip together. I had a whole list of things I wanted to accomplish while we were in town, but it was such a whirlwind of activity that I didn't cross anything off my list! But we did have a wonderful time in the company of some sweet ladies who run circles around us. I've never seen gals with so much energy. They have decorating a space and taking it apart down to a science! And what a party they throw-beautiful atmosphere, fun activities, festive music and delicious homemade food. What a time we had!

One of the highlights of the weekend was helping to make 240+ cinnamon rolls. I'm talking the made from scratch full of cinnamon goodness kind, too. Missy and I accompanied Linda to her dear friend Pat's house on Friday night and spent the evening greasing pans, rolling out the dough and filling it with butter, cinnamon & sugar and nuts. As you can see we had a blast! And Pat was kind enough to send us home with a copy of her recipe-we can't wait to try it next time we're all at the Lake.

As part of the event on Saturday, I displayed some of my artwork. This was the first time I have done this and it was good to get some feedback from the public and to network. My sister and mom-in-law are so supportive of me and my craftiness and I really appreciated them this weekend. They gave me alot of good advice and lots to think about as the new year approaches.
I did a little make 'n take at my booth which I also had never done before. It was alot of fun and I think the gals who were brave enough to try really enjoyed it. Anyway, here are a couple shots of my booth-the lighting was not the best so my photos are a little blurry.
I had alot of fun working on my display and my sweet husband gave me an early Christmas gift to display some of my items. She'll have a semi-permanent home in my studio so I'm trying to come up with a name for her. Any suggestions?

Although I didn't manage to get half the stuff made I'd wanted to take, I did manage to make a couple of new things in between blowing my nose last week. Once more inspired by Carolyn Peeler (she does such simple yet rich in detail pieces), I made this "danglie". I love the gothic window shape and picking a jumping off point and going for it. Anyone recognize the kiddos in the "vintage" photo?

If you guessed me, my cousin Jennifer and my brother Mike you'd be right! We look pretty happy-guess we got all that we wanted that morning for Christmas!

Drawn to that gothic window shape again and our beloved Grandma Alice's photo, I made this one inspired by Carolyn and the Red Lead girls. I kept thinking of the song, "Baby It's Cold Outside" while I was working on it-I love that fur cape! I was pleased with the way it turned out since the night I made it I had been struggling with a canvas I'd planned to donate for the silent auction. I've discovered a deadline seems to stifle my creativity, but the sinus infection didn't help either! Anyway, out of my frustration came this.

Well, I hope you've had a wonderful weekend. It's time to regroup around here and prepare for the week. I love this time of year, but the weeks leading up to Christmas become a bit of an extravaganza themselves at times. There is always so much that needs to be done or we want to do and never enough time and energy. But, oh what fun it is to try!
Have a great week!