Sunday, December 30, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Late Christmas!  We've had a wonderfully lazy and indulgent holiday season.....sleeping late.....nibbling on prime rib and bacon and blue macaroni and cheese and rum cake and peanut butter truffles......sipping champagne.....watching movies....sitting in the hot tub....and just hanging out.  Perfection.
Christmas at the home of Sew Fabulous
The kitties also had a wonderful Christmas and Daisy (who is doing amazing well!) fully dedicated herself to guarding all of the new toys and kitty treats.....
Daisy the Sew Fabulous Mascot
While Emma was dedicated to shredding every last piece of tissue paper that dared to cross her path....
Emma the Sew Fabulous Mascot
And I attempted to learn how to use my new Christmas present from Col. Sew Fab.  Watch out Katniss 'cause here I come!
Jenny's Christmas present
And of course I "surprised" John with our yearly matching Christmas pajama pants!  This year I had my heart set on using a pink fabric from the Alpine Wonderland collection but I was kind enough to make Col. Sew Fab's pants using a blue fabric from the same collection.  Even though I think he'd look fabulous in pink!  But I still don't think I'll be able to get a picture of him in the actual pants so this will have to do.....
Alpine Wonderland by Sheri McCulley for Riley Blake
And now I'm kind of looking forward to getting back to some post-holiday "normalcy"......even though I'll miss eating truffles with wild abandon at all hours of the day because for some reason chocolate seems to become an inappropriate breakfast food after December 31!


P.S.  I used the Sew Easy Pajama Pants pattern for my pants and the Sleep Well pattern for Col. Sew Fab's pants.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Most Patient Man In The World

Shhhh.....don't tell him I said this but Col. Sew Fab just might be the most patient man in the world.  Here's why I say that.....

Last weekend we did a bunch of work on the dollhouse bakery.  We actually took an old dollhouse room box that I never finished and decided to remodel it into the dream bakery.  So we spent the weekend refinishing wood dollhouse floors and sanding off a very bad and very old stucco job and priming and painting the walls.  Three times.  Yes we painted the walls of a dollhouse three times.
miniature room box before remodel
Dollhouse Before
I originally wanted them to be green.  Then I wasn't sure I liked the green with the wood floors.  So we painted them buttery yellow.  Then, I definitely didn't like that color and decided that my heart was set on green.  So we repainted the walls the exact same shade of green that we used the first time.  And then I was happy.  And let's face it.....even if I weren't happy with the third repainting, re-priming and re-sanding I'm smart enough to just keep my mouth shut!
Lime green miniature bakery
Dollhouse After
But I truly love the color and I really love how it looks with the white furniture.

Next up.....PINK clapboard siding!  Yay!  And I have to finish the one, simple sewn Christmas gift that I'm making this year.  If you've been following the blog since last December I bet you can guess what it is!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Just A Man and A Dollhouse

woods floors in dollhouse cupcake shop
Just a picture of a man.....

Refinishing wood floors.....

In a dollhouse bakery Patisserie.....


Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Living Room Quilt is DONE!

Meadowsweet Sandi Henderson Quilt
I never thought I'd say these words but the Living Room Quilt is finally DONE!!! It's a very simple quilt....just a bunch of squares and strips and simple rows.....
Cutting fabric squares and strips
But due to my inability to disrupt happy pets sleeping on my quilt in progress it took me over a year to finish the thing.  Can you blame me?  Could you disrupt this snuggly, warm, fuzzy love fest???!!!
cats with Michael Miller fabric
I couldn't have finished it without my loyal assistants.  Bailey helped me pin it.....
cat and michael miller quilt
And Daisy helped me do the ties......
cat and sandi henderson Meadowsweet quilt
And Sammy guarded it while it was FULL of pins.....
dog and michael miller quilt
And now we all have a nice, warm, fluffy, new quilt to snuggle with this winter....
orange, green and brown quilt
Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Need A Pintervention

While I spent the last six days on Staycation I realized something.....I am a Pinaholic. 

Here's what happened......Staycation started out innocently enough.  I did some sewing and watched some tv and did a lot of work on the dollhouse.  I painted and sanded and cut and glued teeny tiny little pieces until I was blissfully bleary eyed.  And I even mentally redecorated the dollhouse for the third time.  But I won't even go into detail about that yet because I'll probably mentally redecorate ten more times before the dollhouse is done!
Doll House supplies
And then I ordered tons of supplies for the new dollhouse bakery patisserie because of Col Sew Fab's offer that I couldn't refuse.  I even finished the giant living room quilt after sloooowwwly working on it for 1.5 years!  Yay!  More on the quilt tomorrow.  

Anyway.....I also spent some time browsing Pinterest to find more ideas for the bakery....and then things spiraled out of control.  I saw one pretty little picture of one pretty little French Provincial dollhouse shop and I fell head over heels in love.  I became obsessed with this darn dollhouse and spent TWO DAYS searching Pinterest and etsy and google images and blogs and online shops for all of the perfect little items for MY very own little French Provincial dollhouse shop/winery because I REALLY need a third dollhouse project!  I've drawn floor plans and picked colors and I have a huge etsy wish list full of all of the perfect furniture for the shop (I even found mini wine barrels!) and of course I have a Pinterest board dedicated to this (Miniatures - French Provincial Ideas).  

I've even named the little shop/winery!  I'm going to call it le Petit Lapin (the little rabbit).  I had originally planned on calling it The Black Rooster because I found some really cute French black rooster dollhouse accessories but then I realized that when you translated that into French it becomes le Coq Noir......and well......that just doesn't sound good if you know what I mean.  I almost spit out the wine I was drinking when that came up on Google Translate.  And if you don't know what I mean just think about it for a will come to you....

Where was I?  Oh yeah.....I need a Pintervention.  I CAN'T STOP planning new projects that are inspired by Pinterest.  I never seem to finish these projects.....but I'm great at planning them.  Maybe I should use this skill obsession for good and become a "Craft Project Consultant."  Wouldn't that be an awesome career?  I could meet with clients and help them plan their craft and sewing projects and pick their colors and find all of the supplies and build Pinterest boards for them while sipping some wine and then set them free to do all of the work.  I'd be great at it!
Cheers to my new career!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Staycation vs Mancation

Well.....just a few more hours and then I'm officially on Staycation!  I haven't done one in soooo long and I can't wait.  It'll be 6 days of sleeping late, sitting around in my pajamas, sewing, crafting, baking, eating (the calories you eat on Staycation don't count!), watching tv, sipping wine and champagne and soaking in the hot tub.  Absolutely heavenly.

And while I'm on Staycation Col. Sew Fab is on a Mancation in Chile.  He'll have a week full of mountain biking, white water rafting and volcano climbing.  So he'll be enjoying his version of heaven too!

But you won't believe what happened before he left!  I had been talking babbling about how I want to make a dollhouse size bakery while he was packing for his trip and he said "let's build your dream dollhouse bakery together over Christmas break.  Just buy all the supplies while I'm gone."  Seriously!  I'm not kidding!  Yes - I realize that he's a keeper!!!  And I also realize that I already have a million craft and sewing projects going on.....more projects than I could finish in a decade.....but that was an offer I CAN'T REFUSE.  Soooo.....add online shopping to the list of things I'll be doing while on Staycation!  Yippee!


P.S.  Take a peek at my Pinterest board called "Cupcake Shop Ideas" if you want to see what I'm planning for my dreamy, pink, heavenly little cupcake shop!

P.P.S.S.  If you're not on Pinterest just send me an e-mail or leave your e-mail in a comment and I'll send you an invitation to join.  They keep the spammers out by making it "invitation only."

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fun Mail

Don't you just LOVE getting fun stuff in the mail.  These little goodies arrived in my mailbox today and I can't wait to play with them during my Staycation next week.....
Dollhouse cupcake and glitter house kits
Oh yes....on the left is a teeny, tiny kit for making itty, bitty cupcakes out of modeling clay.  I think they're going to be about the size of chocolate chips!  And the kit on the right....well....that's a kit to make itty, bitty glitter houses WITH LIGHTS inside that will go on the top of my dollhouse mantle.  My own house doesn't have light up glitter houses.....but my dollhouse will have them!

And these are some of the goodies that I bought at Michaels earlier this week......
dollhouse christmas tree ornaments
I'll cut up the bead garland and use the individual balls as ornaments for the dollhouse Christmas tree.  And I'll attach little threads to the stickers and those will also become ornaments.

And the greens on the right are from the dollhouse Christmas tree kit that I bought on etsy a few days ago.

Now, if I could just get my super huge, super secret project done I'll actually get to play with these very soon!


P.S.  I bought the cupcake kit and the glitter house kits from True2Scale and the Christmas tree kit is from HartsDesireMinis.  Both are shops on etsy.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Random Acts Of Kindness

Tis the season for random acts of kindness!  I did a very small favor for my neighbor and this is how she thanked me......
Random Act Of Kindness
It's a giant box full of organic fruits and vegetables.  I'll be feasting on heirloom cherry tomatoes, avocados, peppers, cilantro, portobello mushrooms, carrots, chard, butter lettuce, green onions, sunburst squash (I had to look that one up because I had NO IDEA what they were!), apples, pears and grapefruit.  And yes, the herbs are nicely wrapped in tissue paper.  Absolutely heavenly!

And as for the rest of my's what's happening.....
thanksgiving at sew fabulous quilt shop
-Thanksgiving was wonderful.  The dogs all miss Col. Sew Fab's family as they showered them with bites of turkey and homemade bread and potatoes and basically anything that was on the table!  Can you say spoiled rotten???!!!

-I haven't touched a needle and thread in about two weeks.  Oh the horror!

-I have a naked Christmas tree that's been in my living room for a week now.  It looks so sad!  It's time to get her "dressed" and ready for the holidays......just as soon as I find the beginning of this tangled mess!
christmas at Sew fabulous quilt shop
-I've spent more time on the Christmas tree for my dollhouse than on my "real" tree!  I bought a tiny Christmas tree kit on etsy and I found some beads and scrapbook doo-dads at Michaels to use as ornaments and some Sculpey to make even more ornaments and I even ordered little lights for my witty bitty tree!  It's going to be sooooo cute!

-I'm working on a huge and secret project that I can't tell you about just yet!  Actually, there are a few secret projects I'm working on but one of them should be complete in about a week or two.  And it's a HUGE project and I wish I could tell you but we'll just have to wait a little while longer, o.k?

-And.....I'm planning a Staycation for next week!  I haven't "taken" one in soooo long and I'm overdue for a bit of "Jenny Time."  Col. Sew Fab will be on a Mancation doing guy things next week (he seemed genuinely surprised that I didn't want to go mountain biking in Chile) and I'll be hanging out "playing" with my dollhouse and my sewing projects and baking and eating and sipping wine in the middle of the day and sitting in my hot tub and watching "girly" t.v. shows and movies.

And now I better get back to the HUGE and secret project because Staycation can't start until I get it done.  Eeek!  I've got a lot of work to do!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Merry Little Christmas House

Christmas dollhouse
So, I had one of those light bulb going off above the head moments (after spending hours on Pinterest) and I realized it would be soooooo flippin' cute if I got my dollhouse built (or mostly built) and electrified in time for Christmas.  I could put little wreaths on all the windows and doors and get a few little bottle brush trees from Michaels for the "yard" and maybe get some fake snow and it would be the cutest little Christmas house EVER!

I actually whipped out the instruction booklet for electrifying the dollhouse yesterday and it kind of made me want to cry.  Thirty five pages of directions on how to wire a dollhouse!!!  Thirty five pages!!!  Mind.  Officially.  Boggled.  So, I handed the booklet to Col. Sew Fab and he browsed through it for a few minutes and said "I totally understand this."  Maybe he shouldn't have said that because guess who just "volunteered" himself as "Official Dollhouse Electrifier."  I'm sure that's exactly what he wants to be doing over his Thanksgiving holiday, right?  What man wouldn't want to spend his time wiring a dollhouse for electricity???

So, what do you think?  Do you have any bright ideas for holiday decor for the dollhouse?  Christmas cookies made from Fimo?  Presents wrapped in cute scrapbook paper?  What else can I do to make this the cutest little Christmas house EVER???



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - Quilt Fort Cat

I can't believe I'm about to say this but this quilt might actually be in the DONE column by this time next week. 
Sandi Henderson Meadowsweet Quilt
I'm sewing the binding to the front today and things were going great until someone thought the quilt would make a great Kitty Fort.....
Bailey the Sew Fabulous Cat in his quilt fort
I'm sure he'll eventually get bored.....or hungry......or too hot in there.....or feel the need to create havoc and mayhem and abandon his post and then I'll be able to get back to work

I was hoping to get the binding sewn on last night but someone was throwing a going away party for one of my neighbors and I had to abandon my sewing machine for the evening.  At the party I had a very interesting conversation with a new neighbor who I'd never met before.....

Neighbor:  I see you out running every morning.

Me:  I hope I'm motivating you to get out and run too!

Neighbor:  I don't think you understand......I SEE you out there running every morning.....then I sit back down on my sofa with my cup of coffee.

Seriously.  Made.  My.  Night.

Happy Sewing,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bailey The Sour Puss

Cat on quilt made with Meadowsweet by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller Fabrics
Over the weekend I FINALLY finished all the ties on my giant living room quilt that I have been working on FOREVER.  Yay - Go me!  And I have guestimated that there are about 1600 ties in that quilt.  1600!!!  I don't know about you but that seems like a lot of ties to me.  And the moment after I finished doing the ties the quilt was promptly claimed by Bailey the Sour Puss.  He looks all pretty and soft and fluffy but that little guy has some serious cattitude!

And thank you so much to everyone for your opinions on the binding color.  I decided to go with the chocolate brown fabric.  I would like to say it was a purely artistic decision because I like the idea that the brown would "frame" the quilt and make it really pop.  But there's also the fact that the pets all love this pouffy, squishy quilt and dark brown will obviously hide stains much better than light green or soft buttery orange.  So practicality won out over looks this time!

And now I need to go distract Bailey with kitty treats so I can steal the quilt back and attach the binding.  It's a dangerous mission but somebodies gotta do it!

Happy Sewing,

Friday, November 9, 2012

30 Days Of Gratitude in November

So, I've seen a lot of people are doing some sort of 30 Days Of Gratitude in November thing and writing down something they're grateful for every day this month.  Sounds nice, doesn't it?!  I only started on Wednesday, November 7 but better late than never, right?!  And I'm listing three things per day instead of one to make up for the missed days.  Kind of like interest on a missed payment.  I started doing my gratitude posts on Facebook but here's a "Weekly Gratitude Roundup" for all of my bloggy friends.

 Wednesday, November 7.....
-An 18.5 year old cat who's still spunky enough to play with a tennis ball.
-Dogs who think ice cubes are the greatest treat ever.
-Clean sheet day. there anything better?!

Cassi cat

Thursday, November 8......
-Heated seats in my car.
-Adorable and affordable Christmas ornaments from Target (those were all $2 or $3).
-The fact that I GET to go grocery shopping.  Not that I HAVE to do it.  I'm lucky that I GET to do it because so many people can't.

Christmas ornaments from Target

Friday, November 9.......
-Getting to wear pajamas to work because I have a home based business
-My new schedule.  I seriously love that thing!  It has completely changed my life for the better!!!
-The seriously fun part of Illustrator class starts today.  We begin making patterns!!!  Polka dots, stripes and I come!

I should probably start trying to dig a little deeper and be grateful for more meaningful things.....but some days it's nice to just remember and be grateful for the little things in life!

So.....what are you grateful for today?


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - Vote For Binding!

Quilt made from orange, brown and green Michael Miller quilting fabric
Just a few more squares to be tied and then it's binding time!  But I'm not quite sure which color to use for the binding - orange, brown or green.  And I flipped over that top left corner of the quilt so you can see the backing with the possible binding options.  Soooo.......what do you think? 

And as for the rest of my Works In Progress.......I hate to say it but I haven't sewn anything in weeks.  But that should all start to change now that I'm on my new schedule that has sewing time built into it!

So, here are my current stats.....

Finished Projects: NONE!
Active WIPs:  4  - That number is unchanged from last week!
-Living Room Quilt:  Just a few more ties to do!
-Hooterville:  Top is pieced.  Owls just need French knot eyes.  Then it's off to the quilter!

-Dollhouse:  No Progress.  Just sitting there all alone and unfinished.
-Zelda's Fancy Witch Hat :  Moving to the Back Burner Projects since I didn't work on it before Halloween

Next In Line:  Vintage Valentine!  I sooooo want to start on this one ASAP.

Back Burner WIPs:  4
Ready To Go:  22 - That number is unchanged from last week!
Must Make:  10 - That number is unchanged from last week!
New Projects:  ZERO!  Does my Illustrator Class count as a new project?  Then maybe it's one new project
Forgotten/Abandoned Projects:  Didn't find any last week - Yay!

Looking forward to see which binding color you "vote" for!

Happy Sewing,

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Next Work In Progress?

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I wish I could say I got lots of sewing done this weekend but I didn't.  I don't really know what I accomplished this weekend......I didn't really do much.....I guess that means it was a good weekend, right?!  But I did have one little creative spark this weekend while I was playing in the fabric room.  How cute would this Avignon fabric be......
Avignon quilting fabric by Emily Taylor for Riley Blake Designs
Made into this City Market Tote?
City Market Tote by Kati Cupcake
Sigh.....I think I just added another project to my "Must Make" list.

And is anyone else totally confused by the time change?  I woke up an hour early today at 4:00 a.m. instead of 5:00 a.m. but I thought I had woken up an hour too late!  And the kitterses and pupperses who were licking my face and chewing on my hair and walking on top of me would not allow me to get that extra hour of sleep we're all promised with "Fall Back."  Hopefully I'll have better luck with this tomorrow!

Happy Sewing,

P.S.  The fabrics shown above are Avignon Green Main, Fly A Kite Green Dots and Avignon Green Damask.  All of the fabrics are by Riley Blake so the greens match perfectly.  The bag is the City Market Tote by Kati Cupcake.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Jenny's Top 10 Sewing and Quilting Tips

Sewing tips, quilting tips, sewing advice
I have been sewing since I was about five years old and in that time I've learned that I like to ignore a lot of "sewing laws" but there are just some rules that you shouldn't break.  These would be my top 10 bits of advice that I would give to any new or experienced quilting or sewing friends.....

#1 - Always, always, ALWAYS press your seams.  ALWAYS!  First I press my seams flat to "set" the threads into the fabric and then I press them open or to the side depending on what the pattern recommends.  If you don't press your seams your pieces won't line up correctly and your work will look messy and unprofessional.  And it's usually best to press your seams without steam.  Steam can distort the shape of the fabric.  And remember you are supposed to PRESS, not IRON.  Don't slide the iron up and down along your seam like you would if you were ironing a shirt.....that could distort the fabric.  Pick the iron up and MOVE IT to the next spot!

#2 - Measure twice, cut once.  I guess this one is pretty self explanatory.  We've all heard it a million times before and that's because it's great advice.  You don't want to mess up and waste all that pretty fabric that you just bought, right?  So cut it carefully!

#3 - Get good scissors and rotary cutters and don't use them for ANYTHING but cutting fabric and thread.  Hide them from your family, put a threatening note on them or put an alarm system on them.  Do whatever you have to do to protect them.  Good scissors are worth the investment but will be easily damaged if they're abused.   And please, please, PLEASE be very careful with your new sharp toys.  This is what happened to me when I was in a hurry cutting with a dull rotary blade (My Very Unfortunate Rotary Cutter Accident).....
rotary cutter accident while quilting
Add caption
#4 - Proper setup.  Put your sewing machine on a table.  Sit at a chair that's a comfortable height for that table.  Make sure you have good lighting.  Don't put the sewing machine on the floor and sit hunched over for hours on end because there's more room on the floor.  I could get away with that when I was younger but if I tried that now I'm pretty sure I'd be hobbling around for days whining about my sore neck and my bleary eyes!

#5 - If the directions say to baste something, DO IT.   I know it's boring but it's so important.  If your pieces are slipping around, nothing is going to line up properly and you'll hate the end result.  

#6 - Read through your pattern once before you start sewing.  Again, I know this is kind of boring but I find it really helpful to read through the pattern and visualize the steps in my head before I start sewing.  And if you mess it up in your head instead of on your fabric you don't have to get out the dreaded seam ripper!

#7 - We're not supposed to sew over pins.  They can break and pieces of needle will come flying at your eyes.  It can mess up the alignment and timing of your sewing machine needle.  It can cause a "wiggle" in your seam.  But I must confess I sew over my pins all the time.  But I do it verrryyyyyy sloooowwwlllly.  So, if you're going to sew over your pins please go SLOW.

#8 - Make sure that your sewing machine is threaded properly, the bobbin is installed properly and that the tension is correct.  Most of the time when I want to swear at my machine for not behaving properly the "problem" is fixed if I just re-thread it or adjust the tension. User error is the most common cause of a malfunctioning sewing machine.

#9 - To Pre-Wash or Not To Pre-Wash:  I Pre-wash fabric that's going to be used in a project that will be washed frequently after it's made such as clothes or baby blankets.  Most quilting fabric is 100% cotton and we all know what happens to 100% cotton in the washing machine.  I  don't pre-wash fabric that's going to go in things that will not be washed on a regular basis (or ever) such as purses or applique quilts and most pieced quilts.  I find it easier to work with fabric that hasn't been pre-washed because it seems to get a little "flimsy" after washing.  And I NEVER pre-wash Charm Packs or Jelly Rolls or Layer Cakes.  Your perfectly cut pack of pre-cut strips or squares will no longer be the same size or shape if you wash them. 

#10 - Take Breaks!  This one seems so simple but it's so important.  I try to set an alarm to go off every 30 minutes and I get up and stretch and drink some water and just give my mind a little break.  I find that I make the most mistakes if I'm in the middle of a marathon sewing session and don't take any breaks.  And I also end up with a really stiff and sore neck if I don't move for hours on end!

So, there you have it.  It only took me three decades to learn all of this through lots of trial and error.  I'd love to hear if you have any tips to add to this list!

Happy Sewing,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Oink, Snort, Moo

Happy Day After Halloween (aka Candy Hangover Day)!  We celebrated Halloween by committing random acts of Dog Shaming at casa de la Sew Fab!

Emma was so happy to celebrate Halloween as a pig......
And Sammy was thrilled beyond words to be a holstein cow.......
And I am now trapped.....home a house full of chocolate because all of the trick or treaters seemed to skip our street and go to the street where someone had basically set up a haunted house in their front yard.  They even hired "zombies" to roam around their front yard scaring people. It was seriously cool!

Now, I just need to summon all of my strength and will power so I can ignore the candy bowl.  If "Eating Massive Amounts of Chocolate" isn't on the schedule I can't do it, right?!


Monday, October 29, 2012

A Tale Of Two Kitty Beds

As I'm sure you all know, today is National Cat Day!  What?  You had no idea???  Well, there's still time to rush out and get some fresh tuna and organic catnip for your kitties......assuming that you don't live in the Northeast in the path of Frankenstorm - Ugh!  If you're in the Northeast just stay home and you can make it up to them on another day!

Anyway, I decided to buy a really nice heated cat bed for my 18.5 year old, Cassi.  The ol' girl has been seeking out warm spots lately so I thought she could use a luxurious, snuggly, plush heated bed now that winter is almost here.  Aren't I a nice kitty Mommy?

Well.....the cat bed has been here for two weeks and here's how things have been going.....that's Cassi on the left in her ratty, old, sunken in bed.  And that's Bailey on the right in the brand new heated cat bed.  No matter what I do she refuses to get in the nice, new bed.   What's up with kitties these days?  You buy them something wonderful....something you know that they need.....and they just don't appreciate what you've done for them!  But at least someone is getting some use out of it.  And maybe Cassi will come around one day......

And to all of you in the Northeast....I'm sending lots of happy thoughts your way and keeping my fingers crossed that things won't be as bad as the weather forecasters are predicting.  Big hugs to all of you and just do lots of sewing to stay calm and pass the time!

Happy Sewing,

P.S.  Daisy is doing great!  There's no picture of her in this National Cat Day post just because she's soooo camera shy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Newly Scheduled Life

I did something wild and crazy this week and I actually attempted to follow a schedule.  Crazy, right?  And what's even crazier is that I let Col. Sew Fab make the schedule for me!  You know I've been on my whole "get more organized and be more efficient kick" and this seemed to be the logical next step.  So instead of randomly floating through my day trying to follow to-do lists written on 10 different scraps of paper I'm actually following a very detailed schedule. 
Don't be too impressed yet.....there were some snafus along the way.  It's hard to get used to following a new schedule.  Especially when it has you waking up at 5:00 frickin' a.m. in the morning so you can get your daily run in before you start work at 8:00.  And there was the little incident on Thursday afternoon where I freaked out because I was sooooo off-schedule and instead of trying to re-group and carry on I did what any sane person would do....I made a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough and ate it by the spoonful.   But's going great and I feel like I got twice as much done this week!  

And all these other miraculous things are happening too......the top of my desk isn't covered in piles of paperwork.  And it's not because I shoved it all in a closet somewhere.  It's because the paperwork is actually done.  And for the first time in....well....forever...I can actually say that I'm caught up on Quickbooks because there is a time slot for it in my schedule.  So instead of doing Quickbooks my normal way (avoiding it until the pile of receipts has built up for a year and just looking at the pile is giving me an ulcer and the accountant is asking me for my records because tax deadlines are looming) I dealt with Quickbooks in a new way - I actually did it when it when it was supposed to get done.  Wild, huh?!

And I've even scheduled in time for the good work stuff like Illustrator class and SEWING TIME!  Yay!

And Emma is adjusting to the new schedule well.  She's willing to wake up at 5:30 a.m. but not a moment before.....
Gotta's time for lunch on the schedule.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Meghan Peasant Dress

Just in case you were wondering I still sew things on occasion.  It seems like forever and a day since I've had any sort of completed project or work in progress to show you because the last few weeks were....well....shall we say kind of chaotic and there wasn't much time for FUN!  But I managed to make this Meghan Peasant Dress (PDF Pattern) by Sis Boom in ONE AFTERNOON a few weekends ago and now I'm finally getting around to showing it off using a fabulous iPhone self portrait......
Meghan Peasant Dress by Sis Boom
This was my first time making a Sis Boom pattern and I've got to say I'm in love.  The directions are well written, there are tons of diagrams, there are tons of sleeve length and skirt length variations and there are no zippers or buttons in this dress.  And you know how I tremble in fear when a pattern calls for zippers or buttons! 
Meghan Peasant Dress by Sis Boom Michael Miller Fabric
But don't freak out like I did the first time you see that a Sis Boom PDF pattern has about 200 pages!  You only need to print off about 20 pages to get the right pieces for your size and sleeve length. 
Nautical Plaid Quilting Fabric
And don't you just love the fabric I used for my dress?!  It's Seaside Madras Patch from the Shore Thing Collection by Michael Miller.  I feel like it's very preppy and nautical and studious all at the same time which is why I've been calling this my "back to school dress."  Because even grown ups who aren't in school should still get new back to school clothes, right?!  But wait.....I'm taking an intensive Illustrator class so I kind of am in school, aren't I?  And speaking of Illustrator.....we got into a huge fight yesterday so I'm kind of scared to take my next class today.  Fingers crossed that Illustrator and I will be on speaking terms again today and that our love affair can continue!  Wish me luck!


Monday, October 22, 2012

All Hail The Illustrator Queen!

I am the Illustrator Queen!  I am one week into my class and I am constantly forcing asking Col. Sew Fab to ooh and aah over my art like a child showing off their macaroni and glitter craft project from school.  I was so flippin' excited when I was able to color in these shapes a few days into the class.....
And then I did a little happy dance when I was able to make this button.  I think I should make a Sew Fabulous superhero cape with this button on the back of it.....
And the day I was able to make this.....well.....I have nothing else to say except.....Holla!!!  Mind.  Officially.  Blown.
Maybe I should start taking commissions for Graphic Art work now - LOL!

I'll be making a ribbon in class today.  Fingers crossed that it will be worthy of going in my Ugly Macaroni & Glitter Art Gallery!

The Illustrator Queen

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Life Is A Country Western Song

Well hello there!  I've missed you all out there in blogland.  You won't believe what's been going on with me the last few weeks.....

First, my car broke.....

Then my iPhone broke......

Then I found out my cat has a large mass in her lungs (that was the last thing I mentioned before I "disappeared" for a while).  The specialist says it's a 50/50 chance it's lung cancer.  The only course of action is just to wait and watch and re-check her in a few months.  But I'll happily take that news and I'll happily take the 50/50 chance because at first it looked like there was a 100% chance it was bad news.  So 50/50 was like winning the lottery!

Then I got in a fender bender when I borrowed Col. Sew Fab's truck to do errands because my car was in the shop.  And was 100% the other person's fault.  But more importantly no one was hurt.  But sadly my first thought after the big thud in the Hobby Lobby parking lot was "That was NOT my fault!"  Oh yeah.....if you're wondering, there's only a small dent in the bumper of the truck - no major damage.  Woo hoo! 

Then I ran 8 miles on Sunday, September 30.  That's the farthest I've even ran, thank you very much!  I had been training for my own little personal half marathon that I had scheduled for Saturday, October 20.  Have I ever mentioned that I'm a runner?  I fell in love with the sport about a year ago.  I used to love power walking and then I quit for several years and then I gained a few pounds....and then we went to Napa on vacation last year and I gained a few more pounds so I started walking again.  But one day I decided that walking was too slow and boring so I started running just to see what that was like and we (running and I) fell in love.  And all those pounds went bye-bye!
Anyway.....where was I?  Oh yeah.....I was well on my way to being ready for my "Run Bunny Run Half Marathon" when I came down with a cough, fever and body aches the day after my record breaking 8 mile run.  And that was around the point that Col. Sew Fab told me that my life had become a country western song - LOL!  But it gets better!  That was also the week that his family was coming to town to visit because his HUGE Colonel promotion party was the following weekend.  Talk about a bad time to get super sick! little phlegm filled self carried on as best as I could and still managed to make FOUR homemade desserts for the party (we had caterers doing the rest of the food) and clean the house and do the party decorations all while entertaining his family and running my own business.   Yeah....I rock if I do say so myself!

And this is what Emma, my assistant hostess looked like at the start of the huge party.....
And this is what Emma looked like the day after the party.....
I thought those photos did a better job than words ever could of conveying how we all felt the day after the party!

And do you remember how I was on that kick to become a more organized,  efficient and productive person a few weeks ago?  Well, now that I'm starting to feeling better after TWO FLIPPIN WEEKS of being sick I'm getting back to it!  I'm still going through all the old magazines and keeping the daily log (sooooo beneficial) and I've got some great books to read and I'm taking a couple of awesome online classes (A creative business class by Kelly Rae Roberts and Adobe Illustrator with Laura Coyle) and I'm ready to take on the world again....I think.....
And I've got to tell you the Adobe Illustrator story before I go.....

Col. Sew Fab and I were enjoying cocktail hour in the hot tub a few nights ago (a.k.a. "The Think Tank") when the following conversation happened....or it happened kind of, sort of, a little bit like this......

Me:  "I wish I knew how to do my own graphics for my website and blog and other future crafty projects that might involve surface pattern design."

Col. Sew Fab:  "You DO have Adobe Illustrator on your computer.  It's been there for years."

Me:  "What's that?"

Col. Sew Fab:  Facepalm.  "It's what graphic artists use to make their artwork.  And you have it.  It's exactly what you're looking for."

Me:  "Wow!"  

Felt kind of stupid.....but also felt like I had just won the lottery again!  (The cat story was the 1st "lottery win."  I've never actually won the real lottery).

Soooo.....I immediately started searching for some online classes and I'm now learning Adobe Illustrator.  And all I can say is....WOW!  It's such an amazing program!!!  All I can do right now is make squares and rectangles and circles and fill them in with different colors but I already feel like a creative genius!

So here's my big question.....what else don't I know about?  I didn't know about running or Adobe Illustrator a year ago.  I also didn't know about Bento boxes before Pinterest existed.  So what else don't I know about?  Are there any other books or blogs or classes or things out there I should know about?  Anything about business or organization or motivation or surface pattern design???  Tell me everything you know!!!


P.S.  The "Run Bunny Run Half Marathon" has been re-scheduled for the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  That gives me a month to finish training.  And it also gives me the opportunity to pre-burn off the calories I'm going to eat on Thanksgiving!

P.S. #2  Thank you SOOOO much to everyone for their kind words about Daisy in my last post.  And I'm sorry if I scared anyone with that post.  I just want to make it clear that screaming in the middle of the night IS NOT a sign of lung cancer in cats.  Lung cancer is EXTREMELY rare in cats so don't you worry your pretty little head with those thoughts!  But you should always get your kitty checked out by the vet if you're worried about anything that they're doing!