Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What the What????

How in the world have I not blogged since February!!  Life becomes insanely crazy I guess.  I'm going to commit to blogging the first of every month and we will see if I follow thru.  Since I'm starting a new job the first of September as a librarian at a middle school, I will see how much time I have for blogging. But for now, I will spend a little time updating my thoughts.

First off, I've released a new pattern called The Nirvana Bag.  It is currently available in my Etsy shop and I'm also offering leather handles to pair with the bag.  This is a super easy pattern made from 2.5" fabric strips, paired with batting.  It's a great use for a jelly roll and leftover batting pieces.


Since I get the summer's off from my job...I have spent the month of July catching up from working full time.  I was so excited to spend some time canning and canned 50 jars of dill pickles.  I also canned 20 jars of pickled beets.  At first I thought I'd over done it...but, my children and husband can't stay out of them and eat them every chance they get...so I'm thrilled I did so many.


Our daughter is going to college in 3 weeks and I'm kind of freaking out on the inside, because not only am I going to miss her terribly (because she's going clear to Florida from Oregon) but, we have so much to do to get her packed.  To spend as much family time as we possibly can before she leaves, we went on a little family vacation last week.  We stayed one night in Lincoln City, one night in Roseburg and visited the Wildlife Safari, then to Crater Lake, and the rest of the week in Sisters...horseback riding and swimming.  It was a glorious week and so hard to get back to reality when we got home.





This week has been a whirlwind as I prepare to be a vendor at Quilt, Knit, Stitch in Portland.  10 Days to go until the show and I'm trying to finish last minute projects for display and new patterns.  I think it will be so much fun!  I love meeting new quilty people and see what new products are on the market.  My booth is stocked with patterns, bag handles, and sewing notions...including some of the softest Minky fabric around.  The dates for the show are the 13th, 14th, and 15th at the Oregon Convention Center.  Stop by my booth...I would love to see you.

I'm off and running as I finish up prep for the show and make my MIL's best recipe ever for potato salad for National Night out tonight.



Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Steal Like an Artist"

The title on this book in the library caught my eye and I picked the book up, at once.  I had to read more...it stated 10 things nobody told you about being creative (and here they are):

1. Steal like an artist.
2.  Don't wait until you know who you are to get started.
3.  Write the book you want to read.
4.  Use your hands.
5.  Side projects and hobbies are important.
6.  The secret: do good work and share it with people.
7.  Geography is no longer our master.
8.  Be Nice.  (The world is a small town).
9.  Be Boring (It's the only way to get work done).
10.  Creativity is subtraction.

All ten of the above statements are profound by themselves, but reading the chapter really helps to understand them.  My favorite is #9...because when you've been working on a project for 30 hrs and you haven't showered in days...that can be boring, and not so exciting.

This little gem of a book is by Austin Kleon, it's touched me and I've related to it on a deep level.  He also has a fabulous blog with lots of great life tidbits that we can all relate and learn from.

Be inspired, dear friends, no matter what you do creatively.  It's a process...don't give up!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I'm a Blogger Failure!

I cannot believe I haven't blogged since DECEMBER 8th! And I cannot believe it's already the middle of February!  I'm still alive, just in case you were wondering.

It's 60 degrees in Salem, Oregon and that makes for a beautiful day...
even though I'm home with a sick child.

So much has happened since Dec. 8th when I posted a photo of our fake Christmas tree.  Apparently, it was fake because Santa surprised us with tickets to Disneyland and he didn't want us to have to worry about our real tree while we were gone.  We went to Disneyland for a whole week and on Christmas day we were on the beach!  It was sunny and warm and oh, so nice.

I have recently discovered the most 'awsomeness' magazine called 'Uppercase'  
It's published in Canada, it's fresh, and modern, and atypical.   
The cover even came with a little square of REAL fabric glued to it.  How cool is that?

Uppercase is all about artists and the going on's of all things art related, from quilts to tattoos.  
And it's cool because they feature artists from all over, not just Canada.

You can find the magazine here!  I ordered mine right off their website and it arrived very quickly.

I really do hope to post more often so that you know I'm still alive...so be sure and check back often, or sign up to get my updates by email.

I've been working on new patterns and new bags to sell - so I shall post them soon.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Tree 2014

Never in a million years would I have thought we would display a fake tree instead of a freshly cut Oregon tree.  It's not that I was ever against the idea, it's just tradition.

But this year is different...we went simple and easy...we won't have to water or clean up needles that have dried and fallen to the floor, then picked up and drug around by our kitty.

I'm even slightly embarrassed to say, this very tree has been up year round in our living room, displayed, without light and decorations, as a spindly pine tree to add a bit of rustic to our house.  I plucked it from it's original spot and placed it in front of the window and put as many lights on it as I possibly could and some sparkly balls too.

My family was a bit bewildered to see such a fake appearance of a tree, but I might have other much more better surprises up my sleeve - so I don't really think they will be worrying about the tree when Santa comes.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

New Backpacks

In a past post, I let you know about my new Etsy shop over at Apt5bags - I may just have that perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one.  I currently have three of the cutest backpacks you have ever seen posted in my shop.  I have posted sizes and details of the bags in my shop.

If you are needing a gift for that special someone, this might just be the ticket - the backpacks are appropriate for all ages, young and mature.  Each bag is made with utmost care, and attention to detail.  There is a big zippered pocket on the front and pockets inside.  Strap is adjustable and a beaded zipper pull is included.

Here's hoping you have a fantastic Friday tomorrow....and I will leave you with a thought for the day.

We can't control what others say or do, we can only control ourselves...
I choose to respond with a smile and kind word.





Saturday, October 4, 2014

Changes

As I sit here trying to write, my mind is flooded with thoughts and I'm not even really sure where to begin.  I enjoy blogging and love to read other great blogs.  I admire the bloggers who can share intimate thoughts and ideas, yet protect their own privacy.  Sometimes I struggle with where that line is.  I wish it could be the place where a person could be completely honest, but because of so many reasons...you just really can't do that.  Unless, of course, you are okay with the whole world knowing you very personally.  It seems human nature to want to share our life with others, I mean, look at Facebook and Instagram - people bare all to the world, yet in a world where that can leave you vulnerable, I dare to share too much.  I have pretty much stopped using Facebook, mainly because it seems so invasive.  And when people call it Stalkerville, that scares me, but it's true...when we want to know about someone else's life, what do we do?  go to Facebook to find out the scoop.  I admit, I'm guilty of that too, but I avoid it now.  I say all this to say, I have had personal changes in my life lately and would love to share, but for 'online' security I will not share on the computer, but if you see my in person, let's talk.

The changes have brought on a new 'schedule' for me, and that means less time to spend on sewing and pattern design, but I refuse to give it up completely.  So today I am taking some fun 'fabric' photos and dreaming of my next project.  Many of you know I'm a 'bag lover', and I must start making myself a new bag.  Since I started bag making eight years ago, I rarely, if ever, use a purse from the department store.  I always carry a bag I made.  Sometimes I think it would be fun to carry a fancy bag from some big name brand, but I can't bring myself to spend the money, even if it was cheap.  It's just a querk about me.

One of my favorite quilt patterns is the 'tumbling' block.  I love that it's 3-D.  I make a lot of these blocks and hope someday to make a large quilt, but for now, the panel in the photo will become a bag front.  It's made with Civil War prints, which I adore.


I finally have my pearle cotton threads organized.  I love using these plastic containers (from Joann Fabrics) to store stuff in and it works so well for the pearle cotton balls.  I also had my husband make flat wooden spools to wrap thread around and they fit perfectly into my container.


This is a random photo of a soup I discovered this week at LifeSource (a health food store in town).  At first, I was skeptical, but being the dill pickle lover that I am, I gave it a try.  It was amazing!!!!!  So, now I have the ingredients and hopefully can recreate it at home.


Last, but not least, my adorable kitty Margaret.  She's a persnickety little thing, but we love her.


Happy Saturday Sewing!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Etsy Shop...for bags only

I find that anytime my schedule 'changes', there's always a transitional period of time before I feel readjusted to the new schedule.  Sometimes the transitional time can be exciting, and other times it's just plain difficult.  The latter is always what I experience when it's either the end of the school year or the beginning.  The first week is always the challenge...and not only is it back to school week for us, we also decided to paint a portion of our house the very same week.  Ack!  What were we thinking.  So in the midst of adjusting to getting up early to catch the bus, taxiing kids to practice and games, etc...we are painting too!  Despite the crazy week, it does feel like a huge accomplishment to get some of our house painted.

In the midst of the busyness, I also have opened a new Etsy shop to sell my bags, designed and made by me.  I will still sell my patterns separately, but I needed a place to sell the bags because so many of you have asked for them.

My new shop is called:



You might find the story behind the name amusing...my husband has received a magazine in the mail for many years and the address the company has put on the magazine has always included Apt. 5 along with our street address.  We have contacted the magazine to have them delete the Apt. 5 part because we have never lived in Apt. 5 anywhere ever!  But, they have never changed it.  So it has kind of stuck as a name we use for various things, like new Etsy Shops. 
 You can visit my shop by clicking the link below.


I will be adding new bags on a regular basis AND this week I am offering free shipping!


One of my most favorite  bags to make is a backpack I designed.  For all the details visit my shop. I have three backpacks currently for sale.

 I will also be offering a bag like the one below with the log cabin block on the front and back.  This is my MOST favorite bag ever!  It carries a ton of stuff and I even used it as a carry-on and it was perfect.  So be checking back for this one to debut.
Thanks for stopping by my blog!



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Swing Before and After

This first photo is the 'not so lovely' look at my swing 'before'.  A neighbor had given me this swing about two years ago and my husband had given me an ultimatum...he said if I didn't fix it up before the end of this summer he was trashing it.  Now, any reasonable person probably would have just forgot about it because it was looking kind of hopeless, but I'm always up for a good challenge.  So yesterday I figured since I only had five days left of summer before school official starts, I had better get a moving on the makeover.

I stripped all the old, yucky padding from the seats, and bought 6 cans of Ruby Red spray paint.  I washed the swing, let it dry, and then went to town spraying the entire thing red, including my sandals, and feet (which afterward made me look like I had a super bad sun burn), Oh, it was so funny!

I then had to come up with a tricky way to make supports for the back and seat, since ripping off the cushions eliminated the supports.

I went to Lowe's and after searching the aisles for strapping, I found BUNGY CORDS!!!!!! 
Oh, those things rock!

As you can see in the photo below I used the 24" flat, rubbery bungy cords and hooked them on one side and the other.  They worked absolutely perfect.  They are pretty tight and do not sag much at all.
The four blue cushions I found are outdoor chair pads and they were the perfect size.
I temporarily draped a vintage table cloth over the top for shade, but eventually will make a cover.

I'm absolutely over the moon in love with my 'new' outdoor swing.  
 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

QUILT, KNIT, STITCH!


QUILT, KNIT, STITCH! is over for this year and if you missed it, I will tell you all about it...

This event took place last weekend at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. There were about 200 quilting, knitting, and stitching vendors from all over the US, England, and Canada.  I went as a vendor and in order to go as a vendor I had to sign up and pay for my booth way last year.  If you are interested...go to Quilts.com to start the process.  It's definitely an event you have to plan for if you are wanting to go as a vendor.  I purchased a half booth which is 10' wide and 6' deep.  It was really quite small for all my quilts and bags, but due to the cost of the booth (which is enormously costly) I opted for the smaller option.  Set-up was last Tuesday and Wednesday and I opted to only set up on Wednesday which was ample time for me.  I drove from Salem to Portland which is about an hours drive, then I spent about 4 hours on set-up, then drove home.  The show opened Thursday and went until Saturday and was open each day from 10am - 6pm.  Anyone who has done a show like this will probably be able to relate...IT'S A LOT OF WORK.  From set up to take down, to greeting 1,000 people in the middle, it's tiring.  By Saturday evening, I fell into bed and didn't get out until sometime on Sunday after noon...I was so exhausted.  I think I was running on adrenaline and I definitely hit my wall.

This was the premier opening of this show and it sounds like it will run for at least 3 years.  I thought the show was well attended, but many vendors had mixed feelings about how it went.  Each day brought a good crowd in the morning, but by 2pm it was pretty quiet.  I chalk this up to it being the first show of it's kind and maybe when word gets around, the attendance will be up next year.  

I do have to make this very clear...there were some of the MOST top notch designers and shops at this show.  Here's a couple to name a few:

Jodie McDougall - beautiful glass buttons
and me, of course ;)

The verdict is still out if I will attend next year as a vendor.  The benefits to attending this year for me was to be seen by a few shops and distributors that I am trying to get in with so it was definitely a boost for my business.  As far as selling enough to pay for my booth....well, no.  But that's okay, sometimes you have to go to shows to get your name out there and to advertise.  








Thanks for reading my blog!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Pattern and Countdown

Debuting my newest quilt pattern "CABIN".

When I sat down to create this beautiful quilt, I had my husband in mind.  He has been asking me for a quilt for years.  Funny...it's kind of like the 'cobbler's children' who never get new shoes...many have received my quilts except for my dear husband.  So last November I set out to make him his very own quilt and I presented it to him at Christmas.  

Fast forward a few months...it became a pattern, and this very quilt now hangs in a quilt shop on display.  Needless to say, my husband still doesn't have a quilt.But...my plan is to make him another one very soon.  In the meantime, you can enjoy making this pattern for someone special in your life.  I particular like this pattern because it can be made for a male with solid colors.  Although, I would absolutely love to see it in fabrics with prints as well.  I'm getting excited...8 days until Quilt, Knit, Stitch in Portland, Oregon at the Convention Center.  This show will be similar to quilt market, but open to the public.  The show is the 14th, 15th, and 16th.  Open 10am-6pm.  Be sure and stop to say Hi at my booth.  I will be offering patterns, hexagon starter kits, ring pin cushions, and demos.


Pattern may be purchased in my Etsy Shop
or by contacting me directly.


Thank you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

QUILT! KNIT! STITCH!....Portland, Oregon


I'm counting down the days...this is really going to be a fun show!

If you love anything to do with Quilting, Knitting, or Stitching...you'll want to come visit.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tablerunner Tutorial and Tassels Too!

Today I am guest posting over at the Timeless Treasures blog...they are a fabulous fabric company with just the nicest people to work with.  Hop over to the link above to read thru my tutorial.

I was given some beautiful pre-cut packages to work with, and I was inspired to create this fun, beachy tablerunner...it displays all the fabrics in the collection called Cabana by Daniela Stout.  

Happy Friday!



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday's Thoughts...

I've been a little MIA lately here on my blog...
School was out last Friday, and I have to admit, the first week is never easy...
On one hand we are so excited for summer break, but on the other hand, we have to adjust to a new schedule, which can be the challenge.  My girls do best when they are busy, and I do best when I can be working at home.  That sometimes creates a conflict of interest...
but, by the second week we always have it figured out.  

I was thinking about one year ago, almost to the date...I got the terrifying call that my dad had fallen 20 feet off a ladder.  My world came crashing to a halt.  In a blink of an eye my summer was determined.  I spent every day with him and my mom at the hospital.  It's truly a miracle that he is just about 100% back to normal...we are so blessed.

I have to share with you my Father's Day treat for my husband.  First I took him to a restaraunt called The Screen Door in Portland.  Their specialty is Chicken and Waffles, among other very delicious food.  Let me tell you...the food was amazing.  Don't let the little building fool you...the inside is charming and the service is wonderful.  Just get there early before they open or expect to have a bit of a wait.




Next, I mapped out outdoor staircases for us to work off that wonderful breakfast.  Here is a link to the staircases in Portland.  We did four of them (about 1,000 steps)....needless to say, by the fourth one my legs were jelly!  Oh, but it was fun.  

My favorite staircase was the one leading up Mt. Tabor.  At the top you could see across to OHSU, but it was a little hazy on Saturday so my photo is not the best.



 These stairs were up by OHSU Veterans Hospital.


 It was a super fun day and I would love to go back and do some more stairs.  There are about 24 staircases listed on the website (link above)...so maybe someday I'll climb them all.  

Until then, I will be working on a blog post for Timeless Treasures fabrics.  It will be an easy project perfect for 2.5" strips.  I will post a link in about a week.

Happy Sewing! and Happy Summer!


Friday, May 30, 2014

Snazzy Striped Tote PDF


I couldn't even tell ya how many of these little Snazzy Striped Totes I have made...let's say, quite a bunch of them.

They become addicting to make, and all I want to do is sew strips together all day to make these fun totes to give as gifts or to store my stuff in.

They are a great way to use a fabric 'jelly roll' or 2.5" fabric strips you have been collecting.

Cotton strapping is suggested for the handle and the chalkboard label on the front makes it super easy and fun to know what you've stored inside each one.

The pattern, which I am now offering as an Instant Downloadable pattern in my Etsy shop, includes three sizes. 

Click on link above to be directed to the pattern.




Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cut Loose Press Bag Pattern

This is a fun bag pattern that I designed last year right before Quilt Market called the Merry Berry Vinyl Tote.  I published it through Cut Loose Press, printed and distributed through Checker Distributors.  Which basically means, I submit the pattern, and they print and distribute...who, hoo! no printing and stuffing in to zippy bags for me. :)

It's really cool how Cut Loose Press prints the patterns.  All the patterns are printed on 8.5" x 11" cardstock and are 3 hole punched for a binder.  It's super easy to collect a lot of the patterns because they fit into a small space, and won't take up precious 'fabric' hoarding space ;)

Anyway,  Checker Distributors offers the patterns at wholesale, but through my shop you can buy one or as many as you want.

The bag is Simple Dimple to make, easy enough for a beginner.  The tote measures 15" tall, 12" wide at the base, and 5" deep.  I made the outside with laminated cotton, but it can be made with fabric of your choice. The inside has a pocket and I've added Annie's Soft and Stable to the inside.  Soft and Stable is a thin foam to give the bag shape and form.  I've only found this product at Quilt Shops and online.  I'm not aware that it is sold at chain fabric stores, but it could be.  I love the product in bags and find it very easy to sew with, although it can be thick for some sewing machines.  The tote closure is elastic with a button and I added ribbon to the handle for some added pizzaz.

In a nutshell, it's a simple to make, fun to carrry bag.  It makes for a wonderful bag to teach if you are looking for something to add to your class schedule.

Happy Thursday and happy stitching!