Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Getting My Ducks in a Row

Things are starting to fall into place around here. I'm starting to relax and not worry so much about the craft fair. I've finished these bags, and a few more are lined up for sewing. I'm in love with this style and I'm having fun making them.
During this project, sewing became therapeutic again and a lot less stressful. Funny how that happened. All the linen for these bags came from one skirt I found at the thrift store. Can you believe that? I think I paid less than $2 for it! Much better than the $7.99 a yard linen from Joann's. I am having a little trouble with the pricing of some of my items though. How much should I price these bags for? They're about 10" wide, 5" high, and 5 " deep.

And all your well wishes must have really helped John out.By Monday afternoon, he was back to his old self. He wanted to play with Isaiah, help clean up and joking, and laughing. It's great to have him feeling back to normal. It really is amazing how this chemo is such a crazy cycle. I think all the good days really outweigh the bad days, and I'm really thankful for John only having to endure a few bad ones each cycle.
Happy Halloween to everyone. Hopefully I'll be able to get Isaiah to wear his costume. We'll see how that goes!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Running out of steam

Wow, it's been a long time since my last post. I've been feeling stressed, tired, and crazy for the last few days. My craft fair is less than a week away and I'm feeling like I'm running out of time. I'm excited, but of course, all those little fears keep popping into my head. What if I don't sell anything? What if I don't bring enough? How am I going to set up the table? How do I price my items? What if I forget my Starbucks with Vodka?

It's crazy the amount of preparation that goes into this kind of thing. I find it amazing that people do this all the time. Crazy people. Anyway, I've been sewing like a mad woman all weekend. Hopefully I'll be able to finish enough things to bring.

John has been feeling pretty bad the past few days. I definitely think that's adding to the stress. I've noticed (when I finally looked up from my sewing machine) that our house is pretty disgusting. I'm having a really hard time keeping up with all the house work, cooking, sewing, and playing with Isaiah. I think that after the craft fair is over with, that the sewing machine will go away for a little bit. More play time with Isaiah, and a lot more laundry will get put away. Hopefully.

Have a good Monday!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Birthday Quilt finished!

On the long days of John's chemo, we're in the hospital for anywhere from 3-5 hours, so it's nice to have some sort of project I can do with my hands. Luckily, I remembered to bring the quilt I had been working on, about a month earlier. I finally finished putting on the binding a few weeks ago, and mailed it just in time to be about 1 1/2 months late for the little birthday girl. Better late than never, right? I had started hand quilting it, but quickly realized that it would take way too long. I settled for some straight lines across the quilt. I know quilting would have been much easier with a walking foot. I'm starting to think I should invest in one!

Anyway, I wasn't able to get the best pictures of the finished product, but I'm happy with the way the quilt came out. I added a little embroidery of her name, Grace Vita, and I think it was the perfect touch!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Swap Update

Ok.. so it seems many of you are interested, but are worried about having to craft so many items. I hadn't thought it would be too many, but I'm definitely willing to lower the amount of items if people are interested. Sooooo.. here's the updated version:

Partners will send each other 3 items. Two will be handmade from your partner's list of their favorite Good Things. The 3rd can be anything Martha related. This does not have to be a handmade item. It can be a craft item from Michael's, a Martha mag, or just another "Good Thing". That will be up to you. Is this more reasonable?? I really hope some peeps out there want to do this!


I guess not everyone is a huge fan of Martha's Good Things. Is this actually anyone interested in this swap at all? I can make amendments to the swap if there's a problem!


Martha is known for saying "it's a Good Thing." On her show and in her MS Living Magazine, she frequently has Good Things for crafting. This link should bring you to the list of the "Good Thing" Crafts. For this swap, you will list at least 10 Good Things that you would like to have your partner make for you. For instance, if you really like these gift tags you would include them on your list. Your partner can then choose to make these for you. I said you would each make 5 things because basically the good things are usually quick, easy crafts. I hope that clarifies this for anyone interested.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Martha Good Things Swap

Ok! I've been wanting to host this swap forever, but have always been sidetracked. I participated in a similar swap months ago on craftster, and it was great. Basically, it will work like this. When you sign up (and I hope you do!!), you will send in a list of your favorite "Good Things". Your partner will choose to make 4 of those items, and will also send along a 5th item of their choosing. I hope that makes sense. I'm giving a month before you have to send out you package, in hopes of leaving enough time for crafting. Feel free to put the button on your blog. Let me know if it works. Please e-mail me if you have any questions. Here's all the info:

1. SIGN UP DEADLINE: October 23rd
2. SWAP PARTNERS: You should received your partner by October 24th
  • Mail by November 24th
  • Send a total of 5 items. 4 "good things" from your partner's list, and 1 of your choosing from anything Martha
  • The 4 Good Things should be handmade (hope that's obvious), and the 5th can be anything Martha Related (i.e. a craft supply from Michael's, or just another good thing)

4. HOW TO PARTICIPATE: send an email to with the following details:

- first and last name
- address
- email
- blog address

Are you willing to ship internationally?
List at least 10 of your favorite Good Things

Any colors that you do or do not like?

Any Allergies?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Patchwork Bookmark Tutorial

Okay, here it is. My patchwork bookmark tutorial. I hope the directions are clear, although this is a pretty simple process. They're quick and easy to make. I plan on giving them with any books I give for Christmas presents. If you have any questions feel free to email me at

Materials Needed:
  • Various fabric scraps, varying between 1-2", must be at least 2" wide

  • Small scrap of backing fabric, at least 2" x 7"
  • Fusible Interfacing
  • rotary cutter and mat OR scissors

Note: Since I am making a lot of these, I am showing the method I use to produce several at one time.

Step 1:

Arrange scraps in pleasing order and sew together. You can either sew them with straight edges, or cut the scraps at small angles. When finished, you'll should have a piece that is at least 7" long, but not longer than 9", and at least 2" wide.

Step 2:

Iron all seams in the same direction. Turn fabric over and press well from the front. Iron on fusible interfacing. If you wish to have a floppier bookmark, you can skip this step.

Step 3:

Cut one edge of the piece and use that side as a guideline for you next cuts. Cut into 2" wide strips. Depending on how wide your piece is, you will end up with several different bookmarks.

Step 4:

Cut backing fabric to the same size as the front of the bookmark. I used muslin since it's cheap and I had to make a lot of these. You can use any fabric that you have available. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew around all four sides, leaving a hole for turning.

Step 5:

Trim corners, turn out bookmark, and press.

Step 6:

Topstitch around entire bookmark, making sure that you have closed the opening.

et Voila! A plethora of bookmarks

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm a factory...

Last week I had a terrible dream about my upcoming craft show. I dreamt that I arrived late and only came with 5 headbands to sell. Of course, after that, I was feeling very anxious that I had barely done any work for the show. It is only 3 weeks away now and I'm feeling the pressure. Thankfully my family was down this weekend and I was able to get a good jump start on all the sewing. My mom and sister even helped to cut out some of the headband pieces. It's amazing what you can do with a few extra set of hands.

We also had a get together at our house on Saturday. We were surrounded with lots of family and friends and had a great time. John was feeling pretty tired, but he enjoyed the company. I know it's hard for him not to be as active and social as he is used to being. That's probably the toughest part. Anyway, Saturday night we played a fun game, something I haven't done in a very long time. It was hilarious and I was glad to get in some great belly laughs.

Most of Sunday and Monday were spent sewing. My sewing table has been in a constant state of disarray (see above picture). For the craft fair we had the option of sending in "swag" for bags for the first 100 customers. I had originally set out to make a bunch of bookmarks. These are quick and easy to make, but still, 100 is a lot. I'm thinking about just sending in the 60 I made and sending in my business cards for the rest. What do you think? Is that bad? There's still lots more sewing to be done. Right now I'm in the process of making 60 headbands. I can't wait for those to be finished! I'm sick of this project.

Tomorrow, a quick patchwork bookmark tutorial. (Although it's so easy, I'm sure you could figure it out!)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Happy Mail, Fabric love

Mail makes me happy. But then again, doesn't mail make everyone happy? To this day, I still don't think John can understand my excitement to get the mail. I actually get mad at him if he gets it out of the mail box. Anyway, this past week was an excellent mail week. Fueled by my swap request, I received several packages of gorgeous fabric. Add two purchases from Sew, Mama, Sew, and Fabric Stash, and my stash has grown dramatically. Good thing it all just got organized by the MIL and SIL!!
I've been dying to have all the Katie Jump Rope, so I dove in and bought these from Fabric Stash on Etsy and Sew, Mama, Sew. Both were great places to buy fabric, and I highly recommend them. These were my rewards for being a damn good wife and mother during this whole cancer ordeal. (If I do say so myself).

I also participated in a scrap swap a while back and received my package from Carole. Lovely scraps, that I have big plans for.

A one-on-one swap with a new to me blogger, Mika. She sent such great fabrics, I keep touching and playing with them. Yummy 30's repros that I am so happy to have!

Another one-on-one swap with a sweet, talented blogger, Jenn Maruska. More 30's repros cute into neat little sqaures. Just waiting to be made into headbands.

And finally, a sweet, generous package of fabric, from the gifted Jen of BeebeeMod fame. She was nice enough to send me this group of fabric just because and I love her for it!

Thanks so much to all of you! I'll be sewing for days now. And, I hope you all are not too jealous, because I have more to show off tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

update #2

Wow things have been really busy around here. On Thursday, John and I spent the entire day at the hospital for his final tests before beginning chemo. He also had a blood transfusion, which ate up about 5 1/2 hrs. He was looking and feeling much better after that. I wonder if he's bionic now. hee hee. On Friday, he started his first day of chemo. We arrived early in the morning for him to have an echocardiogram, and then he had to have an IV of an antibody. That was about 5 hours. Then they gave him his little pump of the chemo and a fanny pack to carry it around. Oh how the fanny pack brings so much humor into the situation. So for 5 days (today being day 5), he's had to carry around the fanny pack of hazardous chemicals being pumped into his body, and return to the hospital every 24 hours to have the bag changed. Meanwhile, our house has been invaded by John's family. His mom and sister have been organizing our house like mad women. It's been helpful and stressful, but mostly helpful. It is really difficult having people come into your house and work like that! John's father and brother also finished putting up insulation and plywood in the attic, so we now have a lot of storage up there. whooohoo!

On top of all this, our washing machine decided to break again. I spent 3.5 hrs last Wednesday at the laundry mat, something I never want to do again! John's parents thought it was ridiculous, and bought us a new washer and dryer! I could hardly believe it, but now we have new whirlpool appliances that will last us a good 10 yrs (hopefully).

Today is the end of his first chemo cycle. He'll received the last drug, which is a drug that can be harmful to the bladder. It'll be a long day, because in trying to prevent damage to the bladder, they give IV fluids before and after the drug is administered. I tell you, this is a very interesting process. After today, he will have his PICC line pulled, and then he will be receiving injections of a bone marrow stimulant. Plus, he'll have his blood drawn twice a week for the next 16 days. I'm just glad to put this first cycle behind us. Miraculously, John's symptoms have begun to subside, and I'm happy to say John's acting more like his old self. The drug he is receiving today may make him sick, so it'll be interesting to see what happens. I just hope that it doesn't happen as I'm driving him home in D.C. rush hour traffic!!

I've received some great mail the past few days. Nothing like mail to lift your spirits! Lots of great fabric from some very nice people. I'll be back tomorrow to show it off!