Monday, May 30, 2011

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Monday, May 30, 2011
Last night I found out today was going to be "The Best Day of My Life!"  Kim, from Today's Creative Blog is featuring me, my blog and my bags!  It is such an honor to me because I really respect Kim and her abilities.  She is smart, savvy and has an incredible blog.  And She picked Me!!  Okay, so I might be a little more than thrilled. :)
And she featured my bags.  Which, although they aren't listed yet, all these bags are finished and ready to ship.  Just e-mail me or leave a comment.  They are $65 plus $5 shipping.
If you are here visiting from Today's Creative Blog, Welcome!!  I'm so happy to have you.  I hope you'll stay a while and have a look around.
So, that's the best of times part.  The worst of times happened on Saturday.  I got a text message from a friend letting me know that our sweet neighbor boy had passed away only an hour before.  It was stunning.  The day before he had been out playing on his bike with his sister.  It was unexpected and heart breaking.  Nate had special needs.  He could talk, but his words were limited.  He had a larger than life personality.  He loved to tease and play.  Because of his special needs, he was a teacher.  He taught all of us to look beyond the outside and see what was in someones heart.  His death has left a huge gaping hole in all our hearts.  And especially in that of his dear family who are the most amazing people you will ever meet.  They shared Nate with us in this life, and they are allowing all of us to share in his story now. 
As a mother, your greatest fear is losing one of your children.  Nate is the same age as my oldest.  And the fact that one day he was playing and the next he was gone, terrifies me to my core.  None of us know how much time we will have here on this Earth.  I am learning to not take any one of them for granted.
Nate didn't have much of an appetite for lunch or dinner on Friday.  In the evening his tummy was hard and distended.  Fearing a blockage, his parents took him to the Insta-care facility.  When they got there they were told it was serious and he was sent by ambulance to the regional children's hospital.  During the ambulance ride his condition became critical.  The pressure in his abdomen caused him to stop breathing a couple of times.  Emergency surgery was needed, but even if he survived the surgery his outlook was not good.  By noon on Saturday, he had passed away.
Even in his death, Nate is teaching us.  He is encouraging us to be better.  To strive to keep the commandments and to live worthy to meet him again in Heaven.  Thank you, Nate.  We love you and will deeply miss you.
Take advantage of today.  Make it the "Best Day of your Life" (even if you're not featured on Kim's blog. ;) )  Don't let "I love you" go unsaid, a sad child left un-hugged, a smile left undone.  Take care of today and treasure it.  Because you just don't know if you will get a tomorrow.
Happy Memorial Day!  To all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, Thank You!  To their families and loved ones- your sacrifice is not in vain, or forgotten.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Winner and a Mission

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The very first item of business to take care of today is the winner of the Birthday Bash!  First, I want to again thank all of you for participating.  It was seriously the best birthday gift I received! (well, except for the $ ;) )
There were 267 entries- Amazing!! -But unfortunately there can only be one winner.  And she is....
Swensgirl!!  Congratulations, and contact me with your information.

The next order of business is that I am going to take all your advice:

I am going to offer a selection of flowers in my shop.  It's amazing how a simple change alters the whole look of the bag!

The final item of business:
These are going to become our family picnic quilt.

This is the vintage prequilted fabric I scored from my MIL!

This upholstery fabric was Red Tagged at Joann's- which are 50% off this weekend.  Grand total? $3 per YARD!!

Simplicity patterns are  5 for $5.  This is what I will be making this summer.  Some of it with my daughter.
My advice for this weekend?  Go Shopping!  I scored so much fabric and stuff yesterday.  The sales are terrific.  All the fabric in the quilt shot, except for 2 cuts, were less than $5/yard.  Most of them were $2 and $3 per yard.  Joann's has their red tag fabric 50% off.  I got one cut of cotton for $.50/ yard.  A steal!
Now, I need to get sewing.  And playing with my family.
Have a wonderful weekend, honoring those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.
Thank you!!!! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

May Point of View Reveal- Pillows!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Each month I am completely surprised by how varied everyone's take on the theme is.  This month is no exception.  But I also have to say that even though they are all completely different- I LOVE them all!
Looking for more deets on your favorite pillow?  Follow the links here:
1. Amy, well- except for this one- you're already here, just scroll down.
2. Michelle at A Little Tipsy
3. Jonie from Just Between Friends
4. Gwen from Gwenny Penny

I'm loving this pillow.
And, I'm all prepared to teach you how to make one for yourself.
First: Supplies (for a 12" pillow)- background fabric: 1/2 yard (white in my case); ribbon: 1- 9 yard spool per color (I used 2 colors of 1/4" Offray ribbon), sewing implements, pillow form.

Cut out the front of the pillow.  I added 1" seam allowance so a 13" X 13" square for my 12" pillow.

The lines are hard to see in this picture.  Using a water soluble marking pen, I drew a line up 1/2" from the edge for seam allowance, then the next line is 3" from there.  Keep going along the pillow marking a line every 3 inches- you should end with another 1/2" space at the other end.

Now to sew down the ribbon.  We are going to sew the ribbon in a zig zag, keeping each color between the two lines that are 3" apart.   I extend the tail of the ribbon off the edge, angling it toward the first line.  Sew it down keeping the stitches approximately in the middle of the ribbon.  The nice thing about this pillow though is that variations are what make it interesting!
1. When you are getting close to the marked line put the needle down and lift the presser foot up.
2. (I'm showing this off the sewing machine to make these steps easier to see.)  Fold the ribbon under at a right angle.
3.  Fold another right angle (over) making a point on top of the ribbon lines.  Use a pin to hold it down as you sew up to the point.   Pivot the pillow and sew down the return ribbon.  Repeat, back and forth along the length of the pillow.
I tried doing this two ways, making the folds as I sewed, and doing the folds, pinning in place the entire length, and then sewing.  Neither one is super easy.  It will take time either way.  But, I found doing it as I sewed was a little simpler and I didn't get stabbed with a million pins that way. :)
Alternate colors until your pillow is done.
For the back I did something a little different. (sorry there are no process pictures, I was winging it)
Instead of the regular envelope closure, I divided the size of the front (13") by two, then added 1" for the overlap and 2" for the hem- for a total of 9 1/2" X 13"  and cut two of them.  Then, I folded over one 13" side 1" and pressed, then folded it over 1" again- press.  Repeat with the other panel.  Stitch down both sides of the 1" hem with an edge stitch.   Then I marked 4 points equal distance apart (about 2 1/2" I think) on one of the hemmed edges and put a small buttonhole at each of those points.  Then, overlap the two pieces and use your soluble marking pen to put marks on the hemmed side of the second panel.  Stitch a length of ribbon centered on each of those marks (I started with 18" lengths, after I tied the bows I trimmed them down a bit).  Sew the back panels to the front panel- in the following order.  Front panel, ribbon side facing up.  Buttonhole panel, right side down (buttonholes in center), ribbon tie panel, ribbon side down, with the ribbons lined up with the buttonholes.  Sew around all four sides.  DONE!!! (well, clip corners and turn right side out first. :) )
You could use either the front or the back of this pillow.  Both are cute! :)  *I did singe the ends of the ribbons so they wouldn't fray.
So, do you have a pillow you are dying to share?  It doesn't have to be a tutorial- just anything that goes with the theme!  Head over to Gwenny Penny and link it up.  Let your Point of View be Heard!!!
Linked up to Friday Flair at Whipperberry.
Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!Photobucket sew many ways

Thursday, May 26, 2011

In the Bag, themeday Thursday

Thursday, May 26, 2011
If I had known I would not have a chance to blog again until today, I would have thought twice about putting up my disaster photos on Monday. :)  Oh well, now you know my deep, dark secret.  I am not a great housekeeper.  Oh wait, you probably already figured that out long ago.  haha.  Anyway, with the birthday bash and the craziness that May turned into, this is only the second theme-day Thursday I've done for the month.  But I do want to say how much I appreciated all the feedback and enthusiasm with the last post.  So, I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to solicit opinions again in this post.  Consider yourselves my focus group. :)  This bag got a lot of praise in the last post.  As well it should.  The background is a light tan and the design is classic and timeless.
In keeping with the classic look, I went with a black flower.  To keep it simple and refined.
Close up of the Flower
But, I'm wondering if I should change it out?  A red flower, or perhaps a pink one, might jazz it up and take it from beautiful to stunning?  If you were to purchase this tote, would you like your choice of flower color, or just what I put on it?  (the flowers already come on pins so they can be removed.)
Thanks in advance for all your advice.  I am really getting excited about launching my shop.  I just need to get some pictures done and the listing process will commence.  I will keep you posted.
What's that?  You want to know what the inside of this tote looks like?  Okay!
And just a couple more bits of business.  Don't forget to enter the Giveaway here.  And get your pillow posts dusted off and ready for the big POV reveal and link party Tomorrow!
See you then!
linked up to Friday Flair Party at Whipperberry.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Birthday Hangover

Monday, May 23, 2011

 No, I didn't go out and party all night, but my house sure looks like it hosted more than its fair share of good times. :)

I told my husband that it didn't seem right that not having to do dishes on my birthday just meant I got to do them the next day.  (or in this case, a couple days later.)
We'll work on that for next year. ;)
So, today, it's cleaning things up, laundry and figuring out what clothes don't fit the kids anymore and what new things they will need if it ever stops raining and starts being summer around here.
Sounds like a Mom kind of day.  And I couldn't be happier about it.
Now, before I dive into the disaster that is my kitchen, I have just a couple pieces of blog business.

The first is: WOW!!!  Holy awesome birthday batman!  You guys made my whole year in just one day.  I am overwhelmed with the response to our birthday bash and giveaway.  If you are a new follower- Welcome and Thank You!  If you have been here forever- I Love You Too!  I've had tears in my eyes more than once being overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness.  You Guys Rock!!!

The second item of business is that this week is our Point of View reveal.  The theme for May is Pillows.  If you are new here, let me introduce you to what Point of View is, six bloggers all reveal their take on the theme.  We share a collage picture with links to each of the six blogs.  We also have a link party where anyone can come and link up their take on the theme- so get your "Pillow" projects ready and we'll party on Friday!  If you want the whole explanation, including a list of the other blogs involved, click here.   Hope to see you all there.
Well, I'm off to get the smell of Ketchup out of my kitchen.  Wish me luck!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Big Birthday Bash Giveaway Post!

Friday, May 20, 2011
Here it is, the day you've been waiting for all week.  You've seen all my gifts to myself, and it's time to see what's in it for you.  But first, a little recap: Monday I did my Shag Pillow, Tuesday was the Polkadot Happy Birthday Banner, Wednesday was the Pin Cushion and Yesterday I shared my mixed media canvas. Well my friends, I think it's been worth the wait, here is today's giveaway:
Seriously, a great package of all kinds of fun goodies so you can have a party and craft if YOU want to. ;)
Want a closer look?
 A $35 gift certificate to spend on Vintage Rose Wraps.  The two pictured here are mine.  These headbands are gorgeous and lovely and oh, so comfortable.  You will LOVE them.  And you get to choose your own colors and patterns, and trust me, you'll have a hard time choosing!
A 6X6 photo album, chipboard punctuation, glitter paper and ribbon.
A zipper pouch, birthday book and Arcadia charm pack.  What does the Arcadia line look like you ask?
This is a table runner I made using an Arcadia charm pack.  I used this tutorial on Moda Bake Shop for the pattern.  Of course you can make whatever you want with yours. :)

Do you want to win?  I thought you might.  Here are the rules:

MANDATORY ENTRY: You must be a follower of Ameroonie Designs via Google Friend Connect.  Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite kind of ice cream is.  Bunny Tracks is my favorite, it has chocolate peanut butter bunnies in chocolate ice cream with  fudge and caramel swirled in. Mmmm....

1.  Follow Gwen at Gwenny Penny via Google Friend Connect.  Leave me a comment here saying you are.  (and trust me you'll want to follow her, look at her giveaway:)
um, hello Awesome!!
2.  Follow me on Twitter or Like me on facebook (one entry only)- come back and leave me a comment telling me which one you did.
3.  Like Vintage Rose Wraps on Facebook - leave me a comment letting me know you did (and do me a HUGE favor and let them know I sent you, they are having a contest celebrating 4000 followers and I'd love to win.  Consider it your birthday gift to me. ;) ).
 You can have a total of 4 entries.

  This giveaway is open until Friday, May 27th at 11:59pm (EST). I will ship internationally, so everyone is welcome to enter. I will select one winner using a random number generator. Please, please, please leave your email address in your comment if your email is not linked to your Blogger profile! If I haven't heard from the winner by Wednesday, June 1st at 7:00am (EST), I will select another winner.
Good Luck!

And I hope you'll indulge me one last sentiment.  This week has been a blast.  The best part of the whole thing has been Gwen.  One of the best gifts I have been given this last year is the friendship, love and encouragement from so many AMAZING women through my blog.  And Gwen was my very first blog friend.  I appreciate her generosity in leaving comments every time, in being willing to put up with my whining and her excellent taste and amazing skills in creating beautiful projects.  It has been a joy knowing her and especially sharing this birthday week with her.  Can't wait until next year!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Embellished Canvas, It's my Party Day 4

Thursday, May 19, 2011
Today is the fourth and final day of our projects.  Tomorrow is all about your present! :)
For this project I wanted to do something that didn't involve sewing.  I know, you're shocked, right?  It's been a while.

The quote is one my friend Amy left in the comments after the "Mom"-day post I did about smiling.  It has been sitting in my brain since then, just waiting for it's time to shine. {only I just realized that I had been remembering it wrong, but I like this version. ;) }
  I took a canvas and mod podged the scrapbook paper to it.  Then I used chipboard alphabet stickers to write out the quote.  Then, I went to town.
Typically I leave things pretty simple, but this time I wanted to make sure it REALLY made me happy.  And it does!!
I found this quote in one of my sticker books.  It fit perfectly with the theme of the art piece.
Buddy- you are my hero.  And you  make me happy. :)
And something else that makes me happy?  Gwen's mug rug.  How cute is this???
Don't forget to come back tomorrow for all the details on the big giveaways!
Happy Thursday!
Linked up to Friday Flair at WhipperBerry, BFF Link Party at The Answer is Chocolate, Get your craft on at Today's Creative Blog
Craft Goodies UndertheTableandDreaming504 Main

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's my Party, Day 3

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Day 3.  This week is flying by.  I guess it's true what they say about time flying when you're having fun.
And, Just in case you're tuning in late, you can see the other projects I've done to celebrate my birthday week-Day 1, Shag Pillow and Day 2, Polkadot Birthday Banner.

For today's project, Gwen and I actually did the same thing.  I have been wanting to make a pincushion for a LONG time.  I mean, it seemed kind of silly that someone who sews as much as I do, didn't have a pincushion.  I mentioned this to Gwen and she sent me a link to this pincushion.  I was sold!  The tutorial is easy to follow and I love that the pouch holds all my scraps.  That is probably my favorite part of the whole thing!

If you decide to make this for yourself, I have just a couple tips.  Add a little more weight to the pin cushion.  Mine tends to slide toward the edge of the table.  It's probably that my table is extremely slick, but a little more weight would help.  Also, if you want the pouch to have a bit more body, add some light interfacing to the outside pieces before assembling.  I didn't, but I think I would like it to stand just a little better.  {that being said, it does stand up just fine, so if you don't have interfacing, don't go out and buy it just for this, you'll be fine without it.}
I have loved my new pincushion.  It's bright and colorful and works wonderfully for me.
Are you ready to see Gwen's?
Holy Stinking Cute, Batman!!  I LOVE the rainbow top!  To get the details, head over to her blog.
I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone for all the birthday wishes.  I really appreciate all the love and support I get from my readers and friends who comment and take the time to visit.  I hope you'll come again tomorrow for the last project, and for sure come on Friday for your chance to win the GIVEAWAY!!!
Happy Wednesday!
Linked up to Whatever Goes Wednesday with Someday Craft, Show and Tell with BCD, Creative Collage Link up Party at the Cottage Chick, Friday Flair at WhipperBerry

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's my Party, Day 2

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Day 2.  There are so many projects and ideas floating around in my head.  I want to try so many techniques and products.  I also want to try making the things I already make, in a different way.  This next project is no exception.

The Polka Dot Happy Birthday Banner:

I love my birthday banners.  They are so bright and fun.  But while I have always used tone on tone fabrics, I wanted to try something different.  I wanted all the fabrics to have polka dots!  The idea had been rattling around in my head for a while, so I thought, this week, and my birthday was the best time to try it out.  What do you think?  I LOVE it!!  The fabrics are all quilter cottons made by manufacturers such as Henry Glass and Riley Blake.  I even managed to find a yellow polka dot.
The flags are finished front and back and have interfacing to give them body.  The letters are fused on with Heat 'n bond.  The colors are all primary colors. {even though some look pink in the pictures}
One day I am going to stage the banner in a photo shoot like this one:
Aren't the Whipper Chicks awesome?  You can see more details of this table here.
I'm in the process of gathering supplies and ideas, and I hope to have it pulled together soon.  Don't you think I should give myself an amazing table for my birthday?  I thought so too. :)
And when I finally grow up and get a big girl camera, I'm going to make a camera strap just like Gwen's.  If you're already a big girl, go over and see how she did it. :)

I'm really liking this party all week and giving myself presents thing.  I think everyone should try it!!  And don't you worry, there is something in this week for you, so stick around!
Linked up to Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife, Too Cute Tuesday at Funky Polkadot Giraffe and Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
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