Thursday, December 9, 2010

Top 5 Sewing Room Wish List

Silly me, how could I create all of these holiday wish lists and then completely forget the very category that I love the most – Sewing? Here is my Top 5 Sewing Room Wish List.

1. Linen Dress Form - $300 USD –
2. Gingher Pinking Shears - $22 USD –
3. Amy Butler 9pc Thread Collections - $34.98 USD –
4. Heather Bailey Gift Certificates –
5. The Practical Guide to Patchwork - $21.56 CDN –

Happy Holidays!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Top 5 Wish List- Fitness

Here is my Top 5 Fitness Wish List

1. Awareness Wrap - $118 CDN –
2. Pinnacle Jacket - $298 CDN –
3. Dance Sweat pant - $74 CDN –
4. MatWare Mat Sleeve - $75 USD –
5. Scuba Hoody - $98 CDN –

I hope I've inspired you with a few gift ideas for that Hostess, Fashionista or Active Fitness girl in your life.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Handmade Holidays

Wracking my brain to figure out a lovely and affordable handmade holiday gift for the ladies on my list, I wanted to make something easy, but still very pretty. Scarves came to mind. Who doesn’t need a scarf? So pretty, so practical…one can never have too many.

While perusing one of my favourite sites, Anna Maria Horner, I naturally gravitated toward her online store and I saw this:

photo courtesy of Anna Maria

Perfect! Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s a combination of voile and velveteen from her Innocent Crush fabric collection. I wanted to make scarves, but I really had no inspiration or ideas on how to make it fun or interesting. Several colour variations of this Figure 8 Velveteen Scarf Project Pack has already been ordered and is on it’s way. Some for the ladies, and of course 1 for me.

Christmas is just over 3 weeks away (gasp!) and there are so many things to do. One day…one day… I will be organized enough to manage the season with ease.

As of next week, I am officially a free agent and my weeknights are no longer tied up with appointments and fitness classes. So, the baking, the sewing, the holiday festivities can commence!

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The holidays are here and there is so much to be done. I am not one to sit around rhyming off a list of “all of the things I want” for the holidays. I am more interested in what others want, really. And while I know that the holidays are not about the presents and dollars spent, I do like know that I managed to get that one wow gift that a loved one has been keen on for some time and to see their reaction once they open it.

While we are on the topic of wish lists, I wanted to share my personal wish lists in a series of blog posts… My top 5 “wishes” for 3 of the things I love the most: the home, fitness and of course, fashion. Here is my first list; Top 5 for The Home.

1. Inside Out Bowls - $8.00 USD(each)- Anthropologie
2. L’Epice Jars - $4.00 USD (each)- Anthropologie
3. Trousseau Apron - $38.00 USD - Anthropologie
4. Joel Dewberry Sewn Spaces - $18.80 CDN-
5. Sewing Kit - $30.00 USD – Fossil

Happy shopping!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Animal Crackers

I plan to make a quilt for my littlest nephew for Christmas. So this is what I am thinking…

I am not keen on making it too fussy or decorative, he is a little boy after all. I just want to make something fun! I thought that 2 or 3 fabric choices would suffice. Just a simple design with a polka dot or striped backing. I’ve had my eye on the Zoology fabric since last year, and I am thrilled that I am still able to get my hands on some from Tonic Living.  With the blue and chocolate polka dot fabric, I think it’s just so cute and perfect for a little guy! I am sure it will live to see countless naps, cuddly time and animal cracker crumbs.

As this will be the simplest of quilts that I make in the next couple of months, it should be a good warm up for the more complex designs that I plan to tackle. I will share the results with you soon.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

sew pretty!

While perusing the Fabric Worm website, I came across some new fabric bundles that I may just have to give in to and purchase. I love, love, love these:

The Monaluna Organic Monaco 1/2 yard bundle in teal is made up of 8 fabrics.  It is just so sweet and quirky, just like my teen-aged niece.  This has her name written all over it.  I have been promising her a quilt, and I think I have finally found the right fabric.

This Cocoa Custom Cocktail 1/2 yard bundle is a mix of 12 various designer fabrics (Alexander Henry, Michael Miller, Monaluna, etc...), and I absolutely love it for myself.  I adore the warm pinks and cheery yellows against the deep cocoas. 

Every bit of this bundle screams me.  Such a lovely mix! I definitely have to plot out a design that best shows each fabric in all of it's beauty. No room for mistakes or improvising here.

I am so excited, I am not sure which to dive into first.

Monday, September 6, 2010

cooler temperatures = motivation

I find it hard to believe that August is over and we are just over 2 weeks away from Autumn.  I feel like the past month as flown by in an instant.  While July I feel I have missed entirely.

I find myself sitting here indoors on Labour Day, marveling at just how cool the temperatures are and how quickly things have changed. After having such a hot and humid June/July/August, this sudden damp and chilly weather has caught me off guard.  The one good thing is that I am far more motivated and ready to get sewing (something that I have found difficult to settle into these last 4-5 months or so.)  After all, who wants to sit indoors during the sun-shiny weather when you can spend it walking by the boardwalk, taking in as much daylight as possible, or pushing yourself through an outdoor fitness boot camp ?(yes, willingly making yourself sweaty on a 30 degree celcius day--but so much fun).

My urge to "make something" a few weeks back was more a vague idea or feeling, but not a very strong one. Now, it's an itch that I must scratch.  I have somewhat of an aversion to the cold and dampness. The cooler temperatures have me thinking about quilts and pots of spicy tea--both in large quantities.  Two things that I like very much.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Feeling Crafty

2 cans of Rustoleum + 1 red metal tool box = an interesting adventure.

This little tool box is in for a make-over... a bit of personality, with the help of some vanilla and pink hues. I intend to use this as an organizer for my sewing supplies and tools. I love the durability of metal over plastic, I am just not all too keen on the colour red.

Hey, if this actually turns out looking half decent, I may just have to do another one.
Stay tuned for the results!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A remedy for a creative block?

I do this all the time. I feel stumped--stuck, unable to come up with an idea. For days I will doodle and sketch in a vain attempt to produce my next project.

Silly me, I have a nice little library of sewing books to inspire me! When I cannot come up with something on my own, there is always the trusty bookshelf to get me all warmed up.  A simple apron here, a book bag there and I am all revved up and ready to sew!  In browsing, I came across some newer titles that I'm very excited to get my hands on.

Of course, there's Amy Butler's Style Stitches: 12 Easy Ways to 26 Wonderful Bags.  On principal alone, I must add this to my library, having collected all of her other books...  But then there's The Bag Making Bible: The Complete Guide to Sewing and Customizing Your Own Unique Bags.  A companion guide perhaps?  Oh, and then there's Joel Dewberry's Sewn Spaces: Fresh and Modern Projects For Your Life and Home.

There are actually a great many titles that I want to check out. I will share them with you in the coming months, and review them as I acquire each book. It's been a very long time and I think my library (as well as my creative soul) needs a bit of refreshing. Part of me wants to just put them on the old birthday wish list, but I am not sure if I can wait that long.

This is good... I am starting to feel like my old self.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

a cry for help!

So, after a busy week and even busier weekend of cooking, planning, decorating and throwing a surprise birthday party, this chicky is wiped out!

In spite of how tired I am, I have had this itch to make something. I finally had my sewing machine fixed about 3 months ago and managed to purchase a new one during that time. So being so well equipped, why haven't I actually produced a single item yet? Sorry, I haven't any exciting or acceptable excuses other than the fact that I have simply been too tired, too busy, too something...  To be honest, I have been feeling out of sorts and rather uninspired in the last little while, a rut that I desperately wish to come out of. I need some inspiration.

While venturing to the basement to locate some scissors, I heard a little whisper.  It was my pretty little pile of Sandi Henderson Meadowsweet fabrics, begging to be used.  I've had 4 piles of these fat quarters since early Spring. I had purchased it with the intention of making a sweet quilt or picnic blanket for the summer. I was so excited when I opened up my package, but somehow managed to set it down and not return to it.  I actually have several fat quarter bundles of designer fabrics that I had intended to whip up into something special. There is the Heather Bailey Nicey Jane collection, the Amy Butler Love collection.... fabrics just waiting to be used.  The more I look at them, the more my fingers start to itch.

Let's see what develops.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Amy Butler Soul Blossoms

A little something to look forward to, old news to most of you.  Since early Spring, I have been relishing the release of Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms fabric line, due out this September.

Inspired by Amy's travels to India, this collection consists of rich colours, patterns and beautiful textures.  3 colour collections, Passion, Joy and Bliss make up this stunning collection, in quilting/fashion weight, home decor and laminated options.   Here's a sneak peak.

If only I could afford to buy them ALL... *sigh*  I am  actually quite excited!  Having missed out on a great deal of the Love supply (boo!), I intend to purchase my Soul Blossoms supply promptly here.  Oh, and guess what? There's matching thread.  I love it!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

So, what did I actually accomplish?

Still taking stock on the events of the past year.  In my last post, I made mention of the to-do list that I was determined to complete by this time last year.  Well, let's see how I did:

1. Make a sock monkey! (just because) --Not yet. Does putting the socks, buttons and thread to be used aside count?
2. Learn to knit. Yes!! I am by no means a pro, but I learned enough of the basics to produce a scarf, at the very least.  Perhaps the only item I can fully strike off this list.
3. Have a tea party (yes, with all the fancy petit fours and little sandwiches. Fancy hats are optional.) -- Sadly, no tea party yet.
4. Sew 4 dresses (one for each season)  - Didn't happen. I did help my niece with hers for school though. 
5. Make several fabric party garlands (which will look lovely at my tea party) -- Only made 1.
6. Make 4 quilts (some to keep, some to give away) -- Only made 2.  One for my little niece (seen here), and completed the other one that I had started last summer (seen here).  So, I get a grade of 50% there. 
7. Open an Etsy shop (finally) -- I registered my shop...but haven't gone beyond that.
8. Post a D.I.Y project every month for the next year.  -- Sorry, didn't make it past late December/early January.  

What a shame! So, what has this taught me? To not be so ambitious?  To stop putting up sticky notes in a hope that they will nudge me into actually doing something? (Only works in the office, sadly not at home).  No, I just think I have to make an effort to stop and do things that make me happy regardless of the peripheral demands that consume my attention. Balance is key! Those tactile pleasures of cutting fabric, applying glue to paper, the hum of a sewing machine... so very cathartic.  

Will I make a new to-do list? It does not seem likely at the moment, but we shall see. Rather than measure myself against what I have and have not accomplished, or clearing that last note off my mirror, I think it best to simply share my thoughts and projects with you all as they happen.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Oh my...

Too busy, procrastination...laziness... call it what you want. I was simply unable to keep up with the blogging in recent months.  My apologies. This new template is temporary, as my hope is to have a more unique design created that truly reflects my tastes.  This will have to do for now.

Thanks to all of you for checking in now and again. My poor sewing machine(s) have been neglected and are dying to whip something up.  I simply became caught up in the "...not enough time, too much to do, uninspired, it Friday yet?!" routine that we so easily allow life to suck us into. 

When I did have a moment of inspiration, I was sure enough to jot it down and file it somewhere for safe-keeping in the hopes of actually carrying out the task in a few days.  Of course, when I filed away the next idea, I could see the little sticky notes and scribbles piling up in my notebook, still undone.  Not cool!

I am just realizing now that it has been just about 1 year since I have started this blog--amazing!  I had made a to-do list shortly after starting this blog last year. Those of you that have been following may remember this list. Upon reflection, I see that I have fared rather poorly in execution and follow-through.

No matter. This is a new year (of sorts) and another chance to accomplish a great many things.

Stay tuned, more to come, and happy sewing...


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I'm still here....

I will be back soon, with a newly designed space and lots of projects, ideas and inspiration to share.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Now Read This: One Yard Wonders

One-Yard Wonders, by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins, contains 101 sewing projects that can be made with just ONE yard of fabric! This is the perfect book for a young or new sewer, wanting to experiment and build up confidence. No project is so advanced that she would get discouraged (or lost). At the same time, a seasoned sewer would find this to be an excellent resource for when you hit a creative block or just feel like playing around with your fabrics.  Best of all, no fear of wasting large quantities of fabric (you are only using 1 yard, after all).  Just about any project in this book is quick and easy and would make for some affordable last minute gifts.

 Full-sized pattern pieces are included. There are 300+ pages of projects, tips, and resource guides. This book was a steal at a mere $18! I've paid a great deal more for other books that were not nearly as fun and inspirational, and with only 20 or so projects at that.  I was lucky if I ever produced more than 3 projects.  I purchased this book for my very lucky niece (who received a sewing machine for Christmas from yours truly). I thought it would be perfect for her. I quickly fell in love with this book for me that I came incredibly close to buying myself a copy. Lucky for me, my wonderful husband-to-be had it under the Christmas tree for me.  =)

Yes, there are projects of incredible simplicity (really, does one need a pattern for a pot holder or place mat?  Do I need another apron, wall organizer, or laundry bag?), but the fabric choices and wonderful photography are so cheery that they encouraged even this seasoned sewer to whip up a few quick projects (once my machine is fixed). Why not? I already know that I will be pulling this book from my sewing library often. I must have revisited this book twice a week since the holidays. I may just leave it next to my machine for easy access.

There are 11 chapters that cover everything from Craft Organization and Household items to Playtime and Furry Friends. I love that not only can I make a handbag or smock, I can also find instruction on creating a cuddly turtle or baby elephant. Really, they have thought of everything.  The cute factor that is present on most photos helps as well. How could one resist?!

I give One Yard Wonders 4.5 pink buttons out of 5!

photos c/o

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Knit One...Purl Two?

So, I am finally learning to knit! My future mother-in-law gave me a lovely basket of yarn, knitting needles, books, etc... for Christmas so that I may finally beginning the process.  This is another item that I would like to cross off my to-do list. I hope to be quite skilled enough at it to begin posting my creations.

It's been going pretty well so far. I definitely need to work on my tension and I have to actually pay closer attention to what I am doing. I have managed to drop several stitches all over the place, but I suppose when you are too wrapped up in what is on the television, this is bound to happen. I even managed to knit half a row and purl the balance. Not sure how I managed that, but I must have been knitting, put the needles down to do something and then returned to absent-mindedly purl the rest of the row.  Oh well, it's all a learning curve for me.

I am not so ambitious to start tackling sweaters, afghans or mittens. I really only want to stick to easy peices, like scarves. This is truly all that I can manage at the moment. I have to build up the confidence (and skill) to work my way up to garments and other items. As it stands now, I would probably produce a 3-armed sweater or some other terrible mistake if I ventured beyond practicing my stitches.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My sewing machine is ill...

Just before the holidays, while I was using my sewing machine (perhaps more than I ever have in the past few years) she started to show signs that she was in need of a tune-up and a little TLC. It was functioning quite well, but I suppose I was not paying as close attention to the mechanisms as I probably should have.

Over the month of December, the bobbin winder went from making slight squeaking noises, then to being sluggish, to a final horrid squealing pitch accompanied by no winding action what-so-ever. Darn!  Time to take it in for servicing. I probably should not have waited this long. I probably should have taken it in at the first sign of trouble. I just kept telling myself "...after this week". 

I will be taking it in next Monday. I hope to get it back within 48 hours (as promised by my local sewing shoppe). After that time, I can carry on with some projects. My fingers have been itching to whip up something.
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