Friday, December 25, 2009

White Christmas, 2009! Giveaway win, birthday, etc

I can't remember the last time we had a white Christmas, but we sure got one this year! Jim took this photo this morning about 8:30, the sun isn't quite up over the hill to the left of the house, we never see a sunrise or set around here because of all the hills. Nosey Parker was out in her very first snow this morning, but we couldn't see her, either! lol Perfect camo, that girl has!

It rained off and on all day yesterday and started turning to sleet last night about 8 PM, when it got cold enough. Then it became flurries and then full-fledged snowflakes. We ended up getting 4-5" of it, enough to keep my parents home today instead of coming over for a prime rib dinner. We decided to postpone that until tomorrow, just to be on the safe side.

And speaking of parents, the Mumster turned 89 on Tuesday, the 22nd. Isn't she cute?

She's happy and feeling pretty good, too, I think the doctors have hit on the right medication combo, finally. We took over a few gifts and a card and she had a nice time. The parents live about 11 miles away, in a patio home at a retirement center. They are completely independent but a small housekeeping crew comes in every 2 weeks and vacuums and mops, etc. Mum freaks out whenever it's time and she spends a whole day cleaning before they come, snork! (Please ignore my gormless hair- I'm in that horrible awkward stage of trying to grow it out a bit, I'm totally frustrated with it right now.)

And my big win came from Scotland! Lynz of DOMESTIC LIGHT and MAGIC made me this sweet little quilt/wall-hanging of laundry on a line. I just love it, can you see how sweet it is? I love everything about it, right down to the little scrap of fabric spilling out of the basket. I thought I'd hang it in the laundry room but I wouldn't see it very much, so I think it's going into the craft room, instead! Also, a wonderful assortment box of Cadbury chocolates, oh, MAN! These are yummy. I'm letting Jim help me with it, but only because it's the season of giving, otherwise, I'd have hidden them away and snarfed 'em all myself! Some of these chocolates are new and unknown to us, so it's kind of an adventure. We share each piece so we can both try them all. You're a real sweetie, Lynz, to send me all this, no matter WHAT everyone else says!

Thank you so much, Lynz, you're a great pal and a terrific sport and I enjoyed your slightly fixed giveaway contest immensely! lol You are such a nut! I'm just so thankful that my name is Susan and I have a ickle white kitten and live in ArKINGsaw with the kitten fishers! Phew, what WERE the odds of meeting all that criteria? Huge, I'm sure! Lucky, LUCKY me!

Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope you're all having a wonderful fun day with friends and family! We're staying home and warm by the woodstove today, it's cozy and quiet and a popcorn kind of day! Perfect. Enjoy!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial....

I made up a tutorial for a custom-fit sewing machine cover and it's on my FlickR site. I'm going to leave it there for now just because I'm too lazy to move everything over here. :) Anyway, I'll walk you through making a cover from measuring it and figuring out how big to cut your fabric all the way to making an opening for your handle and cords, if you so choose.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments or corrections. Thanks!

Friday, December 18, 2009

And you wonder why we don't put up a tree?

No, this isn't Nosey Parker, but it could be, if we were stupid enough to put up a tree! lol This video is like the Ghost of Christmas Future.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm a lucky duck!

First, this. Lynz does a pity giveaway, just for women who live in Arkansas, have little cute white kittens AND are named Susan. Whew, lucky for ME, I qualified. ;)

And guess WHAT? I won! Can you believe it, I couldn't, I was shocked. And of course, THRILLED! I can't wait to see what Wilson, Lynz and the Chook have come up for me. I know it's going to be something great and that I'll treasure forever! Thank you, Lynz, for taking pity on me. :) You're such a pal. *smooch*

Then as if THAT wasn't enough to send me over the moon, I find out that I won a giveaway at Hawthorne Threads! This is a wonderful new company owned by a married couple who seem to be very sweet together, so it'll be good to help keep them in business and bliss! Their prices seem to be very fair, too, so I'm placing an order today. My win is for an e-pattern and kit to make a Monterey Market Bag using Dolce fabrics. We all know I LOVE to make bags, so this is a perfect win for me! I'm excited.

One reason I've been bloggy-absent is that I've spent about a million hours stocking up my Etsy shop. I've been sewing like crazy- making cell phone purses, condiment wallets, sewing organizers and coffee cup caddies. (I've got almost 60 things in my shop. I think that's my record.)

I thought that the Sew,Mama,Sew Giveaway for the coffee cup caddy would generate some interest in them. Um. I thought wrong! lol I guess I won't be making any anytime soon, now that I have about 9 of 'em made. The giveaway was a lot of fun, though, and I'm really glad I did it. The lady who won seems to be very sweet.

I'm going to make an e-pattern for coffee cup caddy, though, since it seems like most of the people who wanted one were perfectly capable of making one themselves and in fact, would prefer to, rather than to buy one. I'm exactly the same way, so I have no complaint about that. I've spent some time figuring out how to draw up the pattern on the computer so that it looks professional, and then, even trickier- how to save it to a pdf. file so I can email it to anyone who purchases one. I may need to call on one or two of my loyal followers to be my guinea pigs and perhaps even pattern tester for this project. Any volunteers?

*disclaimer- this is not actually Nosey Parker, but it should be* roflmao

Sunday, December 6, 2009

We have a drawing winner!

The drawing is over for the coffee mug sewing caddy, I used a random number generator (162 was way too many corks to number and besides, Nosey Parker is outside playing and chasing leaves around) and the winner is ...



BETHANY! Congrats, Bethany! I'll be in touch for your mailing address. I hope you get lots of use out of your new little caddy.

I'd like to thank everyone who participated in my giveaway. If I ever figure out how to make a PDF pattern, I'll do that and get some into my Etsy shop so you can make your own. In the meantime, though, if you didn't win a caddy and want to get one, I made some up this week and they're in my Etsy shop. And they're pretty darn reasonable too, if I may say so myself!

And thanks so much for ALL the great comments about your unusual pets and the stories that went with them, that was a lot of fun to read and I was laughing out loud more times than I can count. You big bunch of nuts! I'm glad to be associating with such fun, kind-hearted peeps. :)

Sorry if you didn't win, I wish I could make you all winners, but if I did that, I'd have to kill myself! lol

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Giveaway Day! Coffee Mug Caddy...

Another GIVEAWAY????? Oh, goodie!

No, not a kitten, she's here to stay. Sorry!

Welcome to my first venture into Sew, Mama, Sew's annual Giveaway Day!

I'm offering up one of my coffee mug caddies, which is a very handy item to keep next to your sewing machine or on your desk. This is handmade by me from my own pattern and with my own little fingers, with a little help from sweet white paws. :)

I'm showing you two here, so you can see it from different sides, but you're only getting one. I used Mary Englebreit's "Recipe for Friendship" cherry fabrics along with a sweet little dotted fabric for the backing and the binding. You can put this caddy on a mug, as you can see, or a heavy goblet, which is how I use mine. It has 6 different sized pockets on the outside. A small hair elastic loops over 2 buttons to keep it securely in place on your mug or goblet. You'll need to provide your own mug or goblet, but everyone has one of those laying around, right?

An overhead shot-

There are 8 loops inside to hold markers, forceps, turners, etc and space in the middle, too, for small things like Fray-Check. It really holds a lot! I didn't overfill it so you could actually see into it, but mine is way loaded and comes in so handy next to the sewing machine.

Some fiberfill and fabric stuffed into the largest pocket makes a really handy pincushion.

This is what it looks like without a mug or goblet.

If you'd like a chance to win one of these, please leave a comment here on my blog. To make it a little more interesting, how about telling me about the strangest pet you've ever had? (We raised a fawn and had her in the house for about 4 months. And we had African Pygmy Dormice, too.)

I'll ship to the winner no matter where she or he lives and I'll do the drawing Dec 6th, Sunday. Depending on the number of entries, I'll either use my little white random number generator (see previous giveaway posts!) or just a regular one. Please make sure you have an email address affiliated with your comment so I can let you know if you've won so you can give me your mailing address.

Nosey Parker says GOOD LUCK! And thanks to Sew, Mama, Sew for making this all possible. Be sure to go there and check out all the fabulous giveaways, starting Wednesday morning!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fabric SWOON!

Wendy Slotboom has a new line of fabric out, it's called "Frolic" and I'm dying for it! Go check it out. It's so cute.

There are 9 different fabrics in 3 colorways- pink, blue and green... OMG. Chippies (you might THINK they're squirrels, but I want them to be chipmunks and so that's what I'm calling 'em!, there's a reason for this!) possums, raccoons, pileated woodpeckers, owls, birds, there are even yard-art flamingos in the treasure map, this fabric is sooooo me! I'm leaning towards the pink colorway, but may have to mix it up! My only wish is that it was less pastel and a little brighter, bolder, but I'll make do!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

2nd Place Winner in Giveaway!

I'm a complete idiot, I had totally forgotten that I had decided to give one of these littler caddies away as a 2nd place prize. I must have thought it up during the night and then forgotten all about it, because all week I was pushing myself to make you a little 2nd place something and I HAD these all along! The photo is just a sample one, there are 4 languishing in the shop and the 2nd place winner can choose whichever one she wants. I gotta tell you, I have one of these next to my sewing machine, in a big chunky goblet and I just love it, I use it all the time and it saves me a lot of time and scrounging up of bits because they're all organized in my wild colored one.

So- since the little white random number generator is outside playing in the damp cold, I had to resort to a normal one. And our winner is.....

NUMBER 22- LynneS of Oz! I am sure we also know her as Natiel3, right???

Congrats, Lynne! Pop into my shop, linked above, and tell me which one of the 4 coffee mug organizers you would like. (I apologize for sending you to the shop, but I don't have these photos saved anymore and I tried to cop 'em back and it's giving me fits! I give up!)

Sorry I'm such a doofus, people! I meant to do this yesterday, sort of. lol

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wow, what a giveaway!

Penny, at sewtakeahike, is having a wonderful giveway for some Flea Market Fancy fabric and a book and all kinds of great stuff! See the little photo just over there >>>>>>>, to the right!

Get on over there and sign up for YOUR chance to win. But if you do win and I'm the one who told you about it? Don't tell me, 'K? lol

We have a winner!

Nosey Parker has picked a winner. I helped her put a number for each entry on the end of a cork and then we went out into the dreariest, darkest late afternoon light to see just which entrant would be the winner. I apologize in advance for all the bright, cheerful colors that didn't make it into any of these photos!

The pile must have been a little intimidating as she felt the need to watch it from the safety of her toy box.

After she worked up her nerve, she decided to come over and check them all out.

She began to get interested and bapped a few of them around.

Then it hit her! She had a JOB to do! A couple of somersaults, a back-flip and a whole lot of fast action took her and her new favorite toy, the cork, to the very edge of the drive, in about 2.3 seconds!

She had to have a little lie-down to recuperate after all the whirling-dervishing.

I don't know if you can see it, but the lucky cork belongs to comment #14, who is DENA! Congrats, Dena! Send me your address so I can mail this off to you!

Your prize. I hope you like it.

Thank you everyone, for playing and trying to win this, I had fun reading all your comment and I wish I had one for everyone, but since I've been working all week on only 7 of them, I don't think that's going to happen. EVER. lol I had great intentions of making a 2nd place prize, but I never found a spare hour or two to do that, I'm sorry!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Round 4 of the Old Red Barn Company Quilt-Along....



ORBC Round 4 Giveaway- The Sewing Caddy

Round 4 brings us another giveaway for one of our lucky quilt-along-ers! This time it's for a sewing caddy/organizer/travel thingy that was designed and sewn by me. There is also a tutorial posted here on my blog that will show you step-by-step how to make your own, if you should choose to do so.

The needle/pin holder flips up to keep sharp pointy things under cover.

Removable trash bag and gathered pocket on this side.

To help you with your hand sewing, here's your chance to win a sewing caddy that folds up and keeps little hands (or paws) out of it when you're not using it. I made this out of Fresh fabric, the little hummingbirds and butterflies are sooo sweet! On the outside of the caddy, I enhanced a few strategic places with hot-fix Swarovski crystals, like on the ruby throats and some flower centers, a little glitz never hurt anybody, right?! Right!

Leave a comment here for a chance to win this sewing organizer/caddy. The drawing will be on next Friday, the 20th, in the AM. To follow tradition, my own little white random generator will draw a name or pick a number or something. :)

If you've been taking part in the Old Red Barn Company's quilt along at Flickr, then you know about the newest round we're doing- the Circles, Curves and More quilt, blogged about here at Pottery and Everything Else, created, taught and led by the fabulous Heidi Elliot or as we like to call her, Hats! This week we're learning how to piece the crazy 9 patch. I'm excited to get started.

Happy Quilting and good luck, people!

Simple project, big payoff!

The heating pad cozy.

I saw a tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew last week by TeresaDownUnder at Patchwork and other sewing projects that struck a chord with me, it was for a hot-water bottle cover. I don't own a hot water bottle and don't really want one, as I don't think it would stay hot long enough to do the job for me, as I'm so cold-blooded. (Which is not to be confused with blood-thirsty! lol) but, I do use a heating pad quite often to warm me up when I first go to bed.

As you can see, the cover that came with it was pilling and getting pretty sad looking and needed to be replaced and when I saw Teresa's tute, it was all I needed to get me going! I adapted her instructions and came up with this-



I love this heating pad- it's one of the older ones that DOESN'T shut off every single hour, my friend Jennifer gave it to me when I was whining about how much I hated the new, safer ones. So what if I have 2 scars on my back from where I fell asleep and got burned? That's MY problem, right? lol

I left a small opening on one end for the control doo-hickey to fit through...

...and a big enough opening for the heating pad to be rolled up slightly and stuffed through on the other end. By keeping the opening small, it prevents the pad from slipping out of the cozy.

To make this, I layered a piece of Warm and Natural between 2 nice cotton fabrics and did a free-motion stipple all over. Then I just folded it RST, marked where the openings would be, turned under those areas and stitched them down, and then I stitched the rest of the seams on all 3 sides. Before I turned it right side out, I did a multiple zigzag stitch on the seams to overlock them. (I didn't feel like dragging out the serger for this little project.) Then turned, put the cord through the big opening, out the little opening and rolled and stuffed the pad into the cozy. Voila! I think this took about an hour from start to finish and I just love it! It's so much prettier than the old cover and it feels good under my neck/back/kidney area. And it's washable, of course.

Thanks to Teresa for her tutorial for the hot water bottle that gave me the push to do this for the heating pad!

Oh, and since I can't blog without a photo of the little "white weasel" as her Daddy calls her, here she is reading me out for not letting her go outside, when it's dark out. My, what sharp teeth you have, Nosey Parker!

This kitten has quite the little fan club. I catch flak from friends if I don't show her off enough. lol

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sew, Mama, Sew has honored me... featuring my sewing caddy/organizer tutorial in this year's Handmade Holidays- a month long blog extravaganza of wonderful tutorials of projects created by an incredible number of talented crafters. (Could I possibly use any more adjectives in one sentence? I didn't think so!)

I'm pretty excited, I've always been a big fan of the Sew, Mama, Sew blog and shop and their Flickr site, which has nearly 5000 members, and to be noticed, to me, is HUGE! I was totally honored when someone from there contacted me and asked me for permission to link to my blog. I didn't hesitate for a single second, I was that thrilled. So forgive me for bragging, but WOO HOO! Yay, me! lol

And of course, if anyone needs an organizer and doesn't want to sew one, I have a few in my Etsy shop! How convenient, right? Great little Christmas gift for you or your Mom or best friend, whomever!

OK, I'm done, thanks for putting up with me again!

Editing to say- I removed the tutorial as I now have the pattern for sale in my shop and didn't think it was fair to sell it to some people and give it away to others. Sorry for the inconvenience, hope you understand.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I finally finished the "baby's" quilt....

It's kind of embarrassing, as small as it is, that I have been sitting on this since late June or early July. The old cat blankie that we've been using is practically threadbare and I thought the baby would like a new one. It's made with leftover strips of fabric from the original ORBC quilt along, I thought great- a good way to use some of them up. So I made the top and there it sat, blocking my view outside by hanging on the railing upstairs between me and the balcony, glaring at me, making me feel guilty for not finishing it.

I decided yesterday afternoon to put myself out of my misery and in just a few short hours, it was done. I cheated this time and stitched the binding down with the machine. I just couldn't bear hand stitching another binding so close on the heels of the Hooters! quilt.

Nosey Parker thinks it's a great place to hide while hunting wiggling leaves!

The backing is some Free Spirit yellow ribbon flowers fabric by Denyse Schmidt that I found for a whopping $2.50 a yard, that was a shopping coup! The binding is a coffee cup stripe fabric by Barbara Tourtillotte that I bought ages ago and didn't really care for as a big piece of fabric. Cut into 3" strips, though- it made a great binding for a colorful little quilt.

It's washed and dried and wrinkled up nicely, I think the cats will be fighting over it. Wait. They fight already. Well, this will just give them a good excuse to go at it. :)

Wow, what an honor!

Pardon me while I blow my own horn! Toot! Toot!

My Hooters! quilt won Quilt of the Week at Fabric, Patchwork and Quilting, a Flickr group.

I'm shocked, there was some really stiff competition, one of which was my friend Dena's quilt, it's a stunner. The fabrics she used, the borders, the colors, I like everything about her quilt. Oh, and the quilting, too! I really expected her to win.

Anyhoo, I'm flattered and excited, especially since I'm really new to this whole quilting gig. This quilt was #5 for me. I had fun making it and I love all the colors and fabrics in it, so I know it'll make me happy to have it around. And I learned a lot while making it, too, thanks to John, Quilt Dad, who taught us all how to make wonky log cabins!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Nosey Parker Seal of Approval....

And you can thank me now for NOT posting the photographic evidence of the dead mouse found UNDER a rug in the laundry room.
"What's that lump?"
"I don't know."
"Hmmm, it seems to have a tail attached."
lolol Flat as a fritter, too.
Wonder how long he'd been stashed under there? lol

Anyway, the kid was having fun last night, playing on the new quilt. It really fired up her rockets, I don't know, maybe it's the busy-ness of it? She was having fun though, rolling around and showing off all her little bits and pieces. Shameless hussy!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Introducing- the Hooters! quilt. So christened by Lynz, due to all the owls in the centers of the blocks.

This was a lot of fun to make, making wonky blocks is pretty stress-free, no measuring to speak of, just add strips and whack off the excess! Big thanks to QuiltDad, John, for all his great instructions and leadership!

Do you like it? Think it could stand a bit more color? rofl It's pretty big, about 70 x 84". I did that swoopy quilting and it was HARD to do on this big of a quilt, shoving 95% of the quilt thru the throat of the machine just stunk, it was murder on my neck and shoulders and hands, even with my grippy gloves on. So, quilters- save the swoopy quilting for smaller quilts, like my zigzag quilts, which were 40 x 48" or something like that.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Owls? Are you KIDDING me???


Yer killin' me, Mom. Seereusly.

Ded. That's me. Ded.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let's make cat collars and save a ton of money!

We have 4 cats and because they are indoor/outdoor cats in the country (we live on about 90 wooded acres with no real near neighbors- bliss!) we put break-away collars on them just in case one of them wanders off and gets lost. Hopefully, someone would find him or her and know that the cat has a home and is loved and would call us. We try to keep our phone number on them at all times, too, but because they lose these collars at an alarming rate, we don't buy tags, I make them with the label maker and stick them around the ring. Knock on wood, only one cat has ever wandered off, Murphy- he was gone for the longest 5.5 days of my life and showed up one night, skinny and hungry and almost as happy to see me as I was to see him. Poor baby, I really think he was up a tree, he was so thin. And he had laryngitis before he got lost, so he couldn't even call me for help, I couldn't hear him anywhere!

See all these bells? Each bell represents a collar that was bought, worn and lost. Each collar = $3 at WalMart. This is about $120 worth of cat collars. (I take the bells off because I think it would make me insane to have a bell around my neck all the time and I don't want to torture my cats.) I'm getting tired of buying new collars all the time! Rarely, but occasionally, we will find a collar in the yard or the woods. Once it's gone, it's usually gone forever. Parker has already lost her first one, it's probably buried under the falling leaves somewhere.

So I started looking for the hardware to make our own. Heck, making a collar is no big deal if you have the hardware! Plus, I can use the clasps for my crafts, too.

So I found the hardware by using Google and the whole set- nylon break-away clasp, nylon adjuster, ring and a big bell- comes to 66¢ each and that INCLUDES the shipping! Wonderful! And the service was really quick, too. This company,Creative Designworks, LLC is great to deal with. They also sell the narrow webbing if you choose to not sew your own straps. Since I'm trying to save money, I'll be making my own but I did order some webbing to use in my crafts, it's pretty reasonable and comes in a lot of colors.

So, if you have about 10 minutes, let's make a cat collar!

Cut a strip of fabric about 15" long and 1.5" wide. Fold it in half the long way with the wrong sides together, press. Open it up and iron both long edges into the middle. Press again and stitch down both long edges.

Put one end of the strap through the little adjuster and using your zipper foot, stitch it down to the center bar.

With the raw side of the just stitched edge facing up, feed the end through the male end of the clasp, coming up from underneath. (It has a curve to it, to hug the cat's neck.) Bring it back to the adjuster and go up the closest end of the adjuster, over the bar and back down through the other opening.

Feed the end through the metal ring and then through the opening on the clasp, going through it from the top to the bottom (pay attention to that curve in the clasp again.) Adjust for fit to your cat or compare it to a store-bought collar. Sew it in place like you did the other one, one or two rows, your choice. A dot or two of Fray Check is a good idea on your sewn edges. If you forgot to put the ring on, don't panic! The rings that came in my "kit" were split rings like you get on a keychain, so it can be added on later. And the bell can be added later, too, if you choose to use one. And you're done, wasn't that ridiculously fast and easy?

I put the bell on just for the photo and because it looked so pretty. The bells you get from the kit company are silver though, and a bit bigger.

Nosey Parker is having fun chewing on her new collar. Sorry about the muzzy photo, too, she was sooo active and fast.

Here she is in her Halloween collar, it's candy corn. Gosh, I could make her a new collar every day if I wanted to. I don't, but I could! lol

Let me know if you sew some collars, I want to see them!