Thursday, August 25, 2011

A new season is peeking into summer. It's making it's appearance known with shiny silver dollar money plants ready to harvest, children groaning with even the thought of homework, and chilly nights where your toes cry out for soft warm socks. 
You can't see my silly giddy grin but I love fall the best. Give me that damp musty fallen leaves smell. Chunky sweaters and warm mugs full of tea. Winter can stay away but fall ... your welcome to come in.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

To Start or Not To Start

With all the projects I already have going on why am I thinking about starting a new one? Making crochet snowflakes to try to beat the holiday rush of garland orders is on my things to do, along with finishing Odyn's ripple blanket, making more snack bags, Halloween costumes, finishing the 2nd embroidery block, and finishing a pattern I've started for the holidays.
After cleaning and reorganizing the studio this weekend, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to hang this up.

Friday, August 19, 2011

More Plans Than Hands

Who knew that August would be my busy month. Fairs, farmer's market, and ideas galore - in fact so many ideas that I can't keep up. At night I find myself like a spider weaving a web, going round and round, dipping and diving here and there trying to make things come together. Odyn's ripple blanket is coming along but has taken a back seat a bit. His fuzzy has been making more and more of appearance. Fuzzy went to the fair, for car rides, and almost took a bath last night. As lovely as this ripple is I don't think it's going to replace fuzzy.
In other news a big decision was made and it requires some guts, courage, and a bit of practice. If  you don't have a problem promoting yourself then don't mind my rambling that is about to start. Doing the farmer's market is great exposure but I've been thinking it's very small and a little limited. Etsy is great globally, they just haven't invented the Willy Wonka type computer yet, where you can reach in and feel my items. So the best thing for me will be boutiques and local shops, until the barn is completed. Never having done this, it does make me a little uneasy. Do you email, walk in an ask to talk to the owner, send a letter, call?
I don't want to come off as a person who thinks they are perfect and great - just look at my studio right now. It's a mess but it's real for a wife and mother of 3 who is working and creating. So with all this in mind I'm making the leap, taking a chance, and pushing the inner self doubter out the window. If you have marketed your things at local shops and boutiques and have pointers I would ♥ to hear them! Well as you can see, the studio needs cleaning, a custom order needs to be filled, and projects need to be finished. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend full of sunshine!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Handmade Postcard

Recently I participated in The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap. This time the theme was bloom with which you instantly think of flowers. With little information about my swap partner given I went on a spy mission. Googling her name I found her blog, where she writes with her heart on her sleeve. It wasn't until then, after I  read her story, that I could start creating. Sarah-Jayne's husband, Pete, is going to swim the English Channel in September to raise money for the Penny Field School in Leeds. A school that helps special needs children learn and play through interactive activities and an understanding staff.
Rightfully so, a swimmer needed to be including on this postcard. A swimmer swimming through a field of flowers that will bloom into a big success. With my small message to them on the back, I shipped it off to the UK. My hope is that this tiny little postcard will bloom into something greater - encouragement - for doing something so great.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Day At The Fair

The sweet smell of oats and hay filled the air.
When the goats licked us, we laughed.
Trying to find the perfect rabbit was a bit hard.
One that looked like it belonged in Wonderland was finally chosen.
He listened to everything we were saying.
Who was the softest?
Sheep and rams won in the pet ability department.
Their fluffy wool and wise eyes kept the kids busy for awhile.
Rams looked like they were deep in thought.
All the food was too tempting.
Along with the musical sound of the rides.
Most were passed up because the kids like to keep their feet on the ground.
It was a fun day full of laughter, pageants, and personality. 
Free spirited wild child with the bruised legs, evidence she plays hard and as rough as the boys, didn't win Little Miss Lebanon.
(sorry for the camera shaking - I was laughing too much)
She did win Little Miss Personality :)!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

What Busy Means

A lot of people say they are busy but that can mean so many things. What is busy for you may be hectic for me or a walk in the park. I guess it all comes down to perspective. Busy to me is a farmer's market full of people expecting my booth to have things to buy, a photograph worthy town fair, three children anticipating a new school year, and a puppy who won't stop chewing things.
So today was a day to fill up on more supplies. Velcro, batting, fluffy stuff, button covers, and a fat quarter of fabric for myself that I just couldn't resist. Every now and then it's good to take a moment; But now that moment is over and back to the sewing machine I go. Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll be back with adventures from the fair.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Things

My mom's published book Picky Eater, That Peter is out!!! Damien is beyond thrilled that she used him as the model for Peter in the book. Not only did my mom write the story but she also drew the pictures.
Are any of your kids picky eaters? Damien was the pickiest eater out of all three. Thanksgiving was difficult to say the least. Questioned with why I was cooking a peacock, then having to explain it was a turkey didn't make it more appetizing to him. At holidays biscuits were his choice food, they still are but now he eats a little bit of everything. No more whining, crying, or fussing - thankfully he realized what Peter does in the book.
With food in mind (nice segue and unplanned), I have been making reusable snack bags for the farmer's market. They are so much healthier for the environment and cost a lot less in the long run then having to buy those plastic baggies. Just pop them into the wash with the other laundry and you got a clean snack bag. Kids seem to like them so much they don't care what's inside as long as they get to hold the bag.
  Think they will be a big hit at the market?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Just popping in for a second to announce the winner of the Summer Bloom Bucket Bag. Thank you to everyone who entered. Our lucky winner of this beautiful bag is ......
Grace!!! Congrats!!! Grace also have a lovely Etsy shop. I'm loving her warm oatmeal scarf. Again thank you everyone who entered.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Lesson

All primped and fresh out of the laundry Mr. Squirrel and Calico Bunny had their photo shoot. They will be placed in the shop!! They did give me a bit of a scare the other night though. 
Another bad habit I like to do is keep pins tucked in my lips while sewing. Being the busy mom that I am one of the kids came into the studio while I was sewing, reminding them to be careful and that I would be out in just one minute, I lost track of the pin. Realizing there was once a pin in between my lips and now there wasn't the first thought that came to my mind was .. Did I just swallow a pin? 
Of course thinking this thought only makes things worse. You Google what to do if you swallow a pin (something I would not recommend to anyone), your throat starts to hurt, and you go into total freak out mode. Needless to say I am still alive, nothing hurts, and I won't be joining the circus anytime soon for swallowing weird objects. The pin is on my studio floor and not in my tummy. 
A nice little lessons learned. Don't tell your kids to not put things in their mouths and you put pins in there. Slow down before you hurt yourself. Pay attention. 
Slowing down will have to wait though. This weekend will be filled with a barn tag sale, game night at my mom's house, making things for next weekends farmer's market, and finishing up the 2nd Doodle Embroidery Block. I did get the blocks from the printer and they will be in the shop as soon as I can show my finished block. If you do want one before then I can set up a reserved listing for you - either comment or send me an email (itchinstitchin (at) gmail (dot) com). 
Hope everyone has a fun filled weekend like we do!!!
*Also don't forget to enter my Bloom Bucket Bag Giveaway it ends on Saturday Aug 6th!!! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tops To The Quilt Top

For no reason at all, besides wanting to try my hand at free motion embroidery, this quilt top was born. Mr. Squirrel has made an appearance again and each time he always looks like he is looking for nuts to gather for the impending harsh winter.
This time he brought along a new friend Calico Bunny, who is very proud of his handmade pom pom tail. It was made with the softest yarn that all the children love to rub their faces against. Being around children is something both Mr. Squirrel and Calico Bunny hold dear.
For children are loyal and share snuggles with one special blanket for years. Although they haven't found their proper home yet they know when they do they will hang on the wall of a tiny infant's room, be held close during night time storms, and carried around till their threads can't hold.
Patiently waiting for the lady, who often mutters to herself things like "how much juice can one child drink" and "I don't have 8 arms but it would be helpful if I did", to sandwich them together into a quilt. Often she gives them a knowing look and an apologetic smile.
Today is different though. There is a whisper in the air that they are going to be finished. Batting, bias, and backing fabric are flying about. A new needle and large spool of thread have been put on the sewing machine.  Mr. Squirrel is giving himself a proper cleaning and Calico Bunny is hoping in anticipation knowing that their pictures will soon be taken. It is with these pictures, a little shop, and a new family that they will find their way to a place they will soon call home.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Must Give Credit

All the free motion embroidery people out there that make your pieces look perfectly peachy I must give you credit. Trying something new, which as you all know is something I do every other day, the idea for a sweet little baby quilt came into my head. A big tree, a sweet bunny, and maybe Mr. Squirrel would make an appearance.
After much deliberation over what color fabrics, cutting them into applique shapes, and drawing with a fabric pencil the time came to try my hand at free motion embroidery. It's nothing like the slow patience you need for hand embroidery. Knowing that you need to keep the pressure foot down all the way making the needle hum and at the same time make rhythmic even paced motion with the fabric, had me a little freaked. Taking deep breaths and completely understanding why one woman on the sewing boards recommends a glass of wine before beginning, I jumped in.
No it did not go smooth. There was breaking of thread, a bent needle or two, a wonky nest of fabric underneath, and words that a lady sewing should not say. Giving up is not in my vocabulary so I kept going and it got better. Leaves started to look like leaves and before I knew it a tree was born. Stretching my back and uncurling my fingers I got up to study what I created. Glancing out the window I realized that nature decided my work was worth copying.