Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quilted Table Runner

Howdy Ladies!

Hey, thanks a bunch for the happy bloggy birthday wishes, y'all know how to make a girl feel all warm & special! It's been a fun ride, this blogging stuff. I'm  looking forward to seeing where we'll all go in the future.

Today I just have a quick little share. This was the very last thing I finished up before I packed up my house and moved. Can you believe it's been a month already?? Where does the time go? Ironically, this was also the very first quilting project I ever touched. I started it a looong time ago. Whoa, looking up the link, I see that actually I blogged about this exactly a year ago, today! Talk about coincidence!! Life is weird.

Three simple blocks.

Backing fabric, bright, very cheery and... orange!

Speaking of coincidence, take a gander at that ribbon! I found this by complete accident in the clearance basket at my local quilting store, A Quilters Friend. It matches so perfectly, it must have been meant to be!

I'm really pleased with how this came out, I'm even happy with the binding. And I did it the right way too! Attached by machine to the front and stitched by hand to the backside. As much as I wanted to learn to do binding entirely by machine, until my sewing skills improve (so that I can sew in a straight line, hello.) I think I better just do it the way I was taught. Hmph.

Anywho... I love the way this looks on my dining room table, it's in there right now. I'd show you, but there are still boxes in there, and there are no pictures on the walls yet. Geesh, some aspects of getting settled in are so slow going. 

I'm excited about tomorrow, it's finally warm & dry enough to start riding my Vespa to work again!! Woohoo, 65 miles per gallon!! This $4.00 per gallon junk is a pain in the wallet! Sean & I went for a little scoot around town tonight to get our spidey senses back, I'm so ready for riding season, bring it on!!

Hope you're all having a great week!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Not Your Average Cuppa & Blog-o-versary

Hi Girls!

OoOoOh, lookie what I found at the local Barnes & Noble!
Did you guys know that Barnes sold these? Is this new? I don't shop there, I'm more of a Borders girl. I'm bummed that they're going out of business... boo.

It's the little things that make me happy. These mugs are huge and hold a lot of tea (or ice cream!) That makes me very happy. I'd intended to treat myself to one of these little beauties, but I couldn't decide, so I solved the problem by getting both. Yeehaw!

I'm not one who's too big on designer labels, but I really do love Cath Kidston's stuff. I find myself attracted to the bright, bold, happy colors that she uses. Everything is pretty and sweet, without seeming forced or saccharine. Yup, yup. I dig it!

There's a new catalog available too, did you know? And did you know that they'll mail you one... for free?
True story. Click here for deets.

(I really want one of these, so cute!)

♥♥...and in other news...♥♥

Today's my blog-o-versary! Two years ago today I hit "publish" on my first post. Oh-da-lolly, a lot has changed around here since those first days, but some things haven't changed a bit! I'm still in love with all things tea, and I'm still a Tea Consultant (apart from my full time job in the construction industry), although for another company these days, sadly, Let's Do Tea closed it's doors in December 2009. Happily, I'm now a consultant for Tealightful Treasures! I don't think I've mentioned it here on my blog before, but I totally should because the company is tea-rrific and offers such wonderful variety of tea and treats to go along with your tea. I'll have to blog about that soon. It's good stuff!

It's been so nice getting to know so many of you, and building real friendships. Creative bloggers, be they artists, embroiderers, crafters, quilters, knitters, are the most amazing, generous and encouraging people on the planet. And speaking of the planet, we are everywhere! It thrills me to no end when I get comments from people so far away! Australia (hi Suzi!) Israel (hi Keren!) Great Britain (hi Gill!) it's neat that our big wide world is made a little smaller when you get to share what you love with like minded peeps from around the world!

 Do you think blogging can be a hobby? How bout blog hopping? I think so, it's one of my favorite things to do online. Gotta be careful, one hour can easily turn into 2, or 3 or 10...hehehe... I love poking my head into blogs, there are so many insanely talented folks out there. Constant inspiration is always at your fingertips, only a click away. Love it.

Tomorrow is Friday (can I get a woohoo??) and I'm excited because my niece, Ana, is coming home from college for spring break. She'll only be here for a week, so we gotta make the moments count.
Have a great weekend, lovelies!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy First Day of Spring!

Happy first day of spring, folks!! We're getting off to a wet start here in northern California this year, the old saying I learned in elementary school is definitely holding true so far... March blows in like a lion, and out like a lamb. It's been unbelievably windy and rainy here the past few days, but I don't mind so much. It's nice & cozy here in the new house.

So, here's a wee pretty I whipped up for a pal a little while ago. It was simple & fun and only took about an hour, probably less if I'd been focused. I think I was watching a movie when I made this... Little crafties that can be made during a movie are the best, wouldn't you agree?

Her pictures are prettier than mine, I think. Pop over here to take a peek.

I used a Heather Baily pattern I picked up at  The Top Stitch, in Spokane when we were on vacation last summer.
(Ew, sorry for the terrible cell phone snap. I wanted to include a picture of the patten but I still can't find my camera cord...ah, the joys of moving!)

I made this into a pin, but I think it would also be really pretty as a hair clip, in fact, I think I'm going to make a few more of these as hair clips for my nieces, for Easter. Note to self; buy more wool felt, the synthetic stuff isn't as nice.

Hope you're all having a great start to spring! Have you made, or are you making any spring things? Do tell in the comments, I've love to hop on over and have a look!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Kitchen/Crafting Island

Hi Guys!
Don'cha love it when a plan comes together exactly the way you wanted it to? I sure do! Here's a little something that worked out so perfectly that I'm just tickled pink. Also a quick peek at my new crafty/play room at the new house we've just moved into.

I just unpacked my crafty boxes this weekend. I told my friend that doing so was a little like letting out a breath that I didn't know I'd been holding. As soon as I cut the tape and peeked inside those boxes, it was "ahhh my stuff!" I've missed doing little crafty things the last month or so, I don't think I realized how often I stitch/craft/sew until it was all packed up and I couldn't get at my "drug", hehehe...

See that big wooden box down there? That was the kitchen island in my other, tiny house. I got it at Cost Plus World Market when we bought that little house 6 years ago. My mom and I put it together ourselves. I've used it every single day to cut veggies, knead bread, make scones, sandwiches, waffles, cocktails, pizza, etc. Infinity. It was definitely the hub of my kitchen. It's held up wonderfully for being used daily for six years, and only bears one small stain on the top, a drop of mustard. The ghost of my last sandwich on moving day...

I had hoped I'd be able to use it in my crafty space at the new house, but I wasn't sure it would fit. Happily it does, perfectly!
And still gives plenty of room to move around on all sides.
And holds SO much stuff!

Like all my crafty/stitchy books!
All in one convenient spot!

And best of all...
It's EXACTLY the size of my large cutting mat!! Not a millimeter to spare on either side! Now I can cut fabric and paper on my mat without having to clear off the dining room table. I'm positively chuffed!

I love it! I feel a little like I hit the lotto on this. My faithful kitchen island, is rechristened my faithful crafty island, and will continue to serve me well for many, many years!

I still have a lot to do in my playroom, but as we get more settled I'll share more pictures of the space, if you guys like that kind of thing. I do, I love seeing where other people practice their magic! I can't hardly believe I get a whole room to use for crafting and goofing off, at my other place I had to do all of that squashed into a corner of my guest bedroom. It was quite the cramped, little mess. I'll show you a picture of that sometime too if you'd like, a before & after kind of thing. So excited! Can't wait to be settled enough to actually play in my new playroom!

Hope you all are doing well and surviving Daylight Savings time. I couldn't figure out why I felt so zonked when I got up this morning until I realized that it was not 6am, but 5am! Oy vey!

Have a great day chickadees!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Settling In

Helloooooooo there everyone!

Well, the hard work is over and we've moved into our new house! Oofa. That was a chore! We've been in our new place one full week now, and it's starting to feel a little like home. I can't say that we're all settled, I'd be lying if I did. There are still boxes in most of the rooms in some state of unpack-ted-ness (is that a word?) and some rooms haven't been touched yet (hello, craft room). But I'm getting there, slowly but surely.

Today is the first day in weeks that I didn't have to jump out of bed & get busy or be at work, so I'm having a nice leisurely morning and taking the opportunity to have a chat with you guys. So, how ya been, friends?? Anything exciting going on? I noticed that the March Stitch-a-long over at Feeling Stitchy was starting today, looks cute too! Who doesn't love a stitchin octopod? Did anyone do the Feb stitch-a-long? I was a bit busy and didn't get a chance, but I saw so many terrific versions over on Flickr. I love that you can take 100 stitchers, give them one pattern and come out with 100 different results! Fantastic!

I only got to do the tiniest bit of stitching in the whole month of February, and I know I'm way too late to be posting anything about Valentines Day, but... this was something I stitched up for my sweetheart, a little love note. I almost forgot to take any pictures of it, but when I was packing up, I came across it and managed a few snaps (that's why the bare mattress in the background, the guest bed was my packing station!)

I like you. Do you like me too?
Check yes or no.

He checked yes, so I stitched it up before he could change his mind!

This was fun to make, start to finish I whipped this up in just a couple of hours. I stitched the "binder paper" on plain white cotton, with my sewing machine, then stitched the words on, by hand. I used a slate grey embroidery floss, so that it looked a bit more like pencil. I finished the piece by stitching the whole thing to a piece of white felt, then used pinking shears around the edges to help prevent fraying. I even made a little envelope to put my love note in (seen in the first picture), the envelope was tied with a tiny red ribbon.

Just a little something for my sweetie ♥

Well, I guess I better wrap up for now, there's still plenty to get done around here. It's all grey and rainy and cold here today and I'd really like nothing more than to stay on the sofa, watch old movies and do some stitching. Mmmm... that sounds good.

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday!

p.s. I would be remiss if I didn't thank a special someone here in blogland who popped over unexpectedly on moving day and helped me move, I mean really, that's a true friend!! Because we all know, that moving is the pitty pits! Thank you JILL!! You are the best!