Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Best News Ever, seriously.

I was waiting to post because I was hoping dearly that I'd have good news to share. And guess what? I do!!! I do. I do. I do. I am so thrilled. I don't know every detail, but I do know that the tumor appears to be gone. Can you believe it?? Apparently, the CT scan showed that there was just some scar tissue left that is about the size of a thumb. John will still received the next 2 rounds of chemo and then will have a PET scan at the end of January. If there's anything suspicious, they'll biopsy it, but hopefully there won't be any. Talk about the best Christmas present ever. I was so relieved I just started crying. It was like the stress just melted off. So thank you for all your good vibes. I think they worked.

Oh, and completely unrelated, but I'm eating the best yogurt ever. Fage Greek yogurt with honey. hmm. And I went thrift shopping today and found a perfectly good comforter for Isaiah's bed from Pottery Barn. Yeah, I'm having a good day.

And since I'm having such a wonderful day, there will be 5 winners today. Yes, FIVE. One will received a stuffed flat rate box, and the other 4 will receive envelopes. Drumroll please....

Winner of the Box goes to:

The runners up:
Ashley Ann

Ladies, please send me your address to

That concludes our 12 days of Christmas Giveaway (remember we're pretending, right). Thanks for playing along everyone! If I'm not back before Christmas you all have a wonderful, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tired, Winner, Giveaway #7

Oh man am I tired. I think that all the sewing, trips to the post office, and chasing around a very demanding almost 2 yd old is catching up with me. Oh, and perhaps the going to bed way past my bedtime thing too. I just may fit in a nap this afternoon.

I was loving all the new visitors to my site yesterday thanks to Sew, Mama, Sew. I received several comments and e-mails about the dop kit. I did want to mention that I'm using the pattern for the patchwork bag from the Amy Butler's InStitches book. I just adjusted the size and omitted the handles. I really love this pattern and I think it makes for a very well finished bag. If you have this book, and would like to make it, I'd suggest installing the zipper like you would for a normal zippered pouch. I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, while I was packing things up to be mailed today, I realized I have way too much fabric. Plus, I just recently joined a fabric co-op and I'll be getting a lot more fabric soon. I know I already gave away fabric on Day 1, but I know that you guys won't be complaining if I giveaway some more. I have no pictures, as I don't know what I'll be adding, but I can tell you that it won't be crap. The winner will receive a flat rate box stuffed with various fabrics. And believe me, I'm good at stuffing. Leave a comment, tomorrow I'll announce the winner.

I loved reading your comments yesterday. I really wish all of you could have an IKEA by you, and I was happy to hear those that have them near by find it just as irresistible as I do! The winner of the IKEA goodies goes to:

Lynn of Craftsew please e-mail me your address to

And if this post wasn't all over the place already, I did want to give a little update on John. Tomorrow he has his first CT scan since he started the chemo. I'm not sure exactly what they're looking for, or expecting to see, but of course, I'm hoping for more than positive results. He's been feeling well and I feel so blessed for that. Thank you so much for all your thoughts, and prayers and e-mails. I really do appreciate each and every one of them. Friday he'll start round #5 out of 6. I can't wait to breathe a big sigh of relief when this is all over!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

IKEA and Giveaway #6

After we hit the post office this morning, Isaiah and I headed up the road to IKEA. I cannot tell you how great it is to have one so close. I love all their cute, affordable items. For weeks I've been searching for boxes to mail the little house ornaments in. I seriously underestimated how difficult it would be to find such a thing. I've checked so many stores out, it's starting to become exhausting. I thought maybe IKEA would have something, since they always have some interesting things. Imagine my surprise when I found out that all the IKEA holiday items were 75% off. Yippie! I did find some cute boxes, but now I'm thinking that they're going to be too big. Anyway, I picked up a bunch of things and probably could have gotten a lot more had I not had a restless child with me. I bought everything in this picture, plus two rolls of wrapping paper (.25 each!), 3 more sets of the boxes, and two hand puppets for less than $20. Unbelievable!

Today's giveaway will be these three items. A set of white ornaments, felt ornaments (which have a black& white gingham on the back), and some very cute gift tags.

Yesterday's winner is:

Felicia please e-mail me your address to

And did you see? My holiday meme is on the Sew, Mama, Sew blog today. How cool!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Little houses part deux and Giveaway #5

The ornaments are finally done. Each of these little guys started their lives as cardboard mailers that I picked up from the thrift store. I cut out each house using this template from Martha (who else?), glued them together, painted, glittered, the works. A couple of them I painted over a million times because the color wasn't just right. Sometimes I really hate that about myself. I start over analyzing, and then deciding if I like it or not. Pheeeww, it was quite the process. Now that they're done, I couldn't be happier. They really came out well. Each is a little different from the next, and I really hope my partners like them. And I hope no one is allergic to glitter, because there's a lot of it.

Today's giveaway will be one of these house ornaments. Not one of the exact ones shown, but one that is still needing a little love (or another coat of glitter) and waiting for it's metal hanger. Leave a comment on this post, and the winner will be named tomorrow.

And the winner of the pillow from yesterday's giveaway is :

Here are your random numbers:11
Timestamp: 2007-12-17 19:00:56 UTC

Katie please e-mail me your address to

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A meme, winner and Giveaway #4

Today I have an empty house, thanks to John. I was admittedly complaining the other day about how I feel that I have no time to myself. Thankfully, he offered to take Isaiah up to his parents for the day, leaving me free to sew, craft, clean, and veg out all by myself. I spent some time writing some Christmas cards and now I'm completely in the Christmas spirit. Now only if it would stop raining and start snowing!! Anyway, I saw this meme on the Sew, Mama, Sew Blog and I thought it would be fun. So here we go:


Do you have a favorite gift that you love to give?
I love handmade gifts. Usually cookies for neighbors, ornaments for friends, and larger sewn items for those closest to me.

If you’re making gifts this year, what are you making? Most of the men are getting these dop kits.

My MIL is getting this bag.

Now I'm trying to figure out what to do for the rest. I guess I better decide soon!

Do you have any good stories about handcrafted gifts you’ve given or received? Last year my niece received her first American Girl doll for Christmas, so I decided to make her a dress for the doll. I spent a lot of time on it and it turned out beautifully. When she opened it, she just adored it. Then nana told her I had made it, and she lit up. She wanted to put it on her doll right away and didn't care about opening the rest of her presents. She walked around for awhile telling everyone I had made it for her. The warmth in my heart of overwhelming!

Do you have any great gift compilation ideas (a grouping of gifts just perfect for certain recipients?) I have to agree with Artsy Momma. I loved themed gifts and when things coordinate well. For instance, a diaper bag for a new mom filled with diapers, wipes, lotions for baby and mom.

Name one thing on your personal wish list. I would love a piece of her artwork (maybe if I had more money!!) or this book, which probably be helpful for all those last minute gifts.

Do you make and sell things that would make fantastic gifts? I have a quaint little shop over on etsy. I'm working on some more dop kits today, so hopefully I'll have them listed soon!


What is your favorite family holiday tradition?After returning from church on Christmas eve, my family always makes sandwiches and watches A Christmas Story. We then each open one present, and usually fall asleep around the tree.

Have you started any new traditions with your family that you didn’t practice growing up?Not yet. This is our first Christmas in our own house together. This will also be the first Christmas Isaiah is actually excited about. He sort of has an understanding of Santa and is really loving all the holiday happenings.

What do you love most about the holiday season? I just love the happiness and cheerfulness of people. The willingness of people to help others. I wish we could all be like this more often, but I do appreciate the spirit that Christmas brings to people. Oh, and I love baking cookies.

What do you like least about the holiday season? The stress. Too many people shopping, crowded malls. Long lines. Thankfully I took the handmade pledge so I'm trying to avoid all that.

Anyone close to your heart that you’ll be missing this year? I'll be missing my own family this Christmas. John and I have routinely spending Christmas with my parents and sisters in NY since we were dating. This year we have to be here because of John's treatment. I do feel sad that I won't be in NY for Christmas. I love doing all the Christmas-y things with my sister. In a way though, John's illness has allowed us to slow down, enjoy and appreciate what we have. We get to spend Christmas together in our own house, and that's pretty special.

What is your favorite holiday food? um, cookies? When else is it alright to bake dozens of cookies and sneak a few from each batch?

Do you have a great recipe to share? Right now I'm loving this cookie recipe I posted a few days back. Hmmm.

Oh, you wanted to know who was the winner of yesterday's giveaway?? That was a long post. Tricky me. So, the winner of the doll quilt is:

Katherine Please send me your address to

And today's giveaway is this pillow I showed not too long ago. I embroidered the middle design on linen and framed it with the gorgeous AB print. You have to click on the link to see it, because apparently I've deleted the pic from my computer. Leave a comment and the winner will be picked tomorrow!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Winner and Giveaway #3

The lucky winner of the Martha Ornaments is according to the swami.....

Here are your random numbers:8
Timestamp: 2007-12-15 16:05:24 UTC

Meg, a new to me blogger, but loving her blog! Meg, please e-mail me your address at

I had all but forgotten that when I made this doll quilt for my wall, I had made a second one as well. The top has been lost in my stack of WIPs for a long time, but I recently just rediscovered it. It's a miniature version from Denyse Schmidt's book. I'd love to do a larger size eventually, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, right? So, for today's giveaway we have this doll quilt. I can't promise I'll have the binding done before the 19th, but you never know, miracles do happen! You know the drill, leave a comment, and tomorrow the winner will be picked with giveaway #4.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Martha and Giveaway Day #2

Isaiah and I took a nice trip to K-mart this morning in search of a star for the top of our Christmas tree. I didn't have any luck (and didn't have any at target last night), but I did walk away with some of the cutest ornaments. I swear I could've bought them all, but I restrained myself and only bought with a few. Actually, I was going to get two more for myself, but for some reason they weren't ringing up at the register. I just love these folk inspired ornaments. The bird didn't want to cooperate for the photo shoot. I may have to hit up the day after Christmas sale.

And the moment you have all been waiting for, the winner of giveaway #1 is:

#16 Geek + Nerd (Please e-mail me your address

For today's giveaway, I thought I'd share my love of Martha and offer these two gorgeous ornaments I picked up today. I looove them, but I'm afraid of tiny grabby hands around the tree. I thought someone should have them! You'll have until tomorrow to leave a comment and I'll announce tomorrow with giveaway #3.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Giveaway A-Day for 7 days(well, sort of)

I had really wanted to do a fantastic Christmas giveaway, but I'm slacking in all areas of my life right now. So much going on, and no motivation to do any of it! Anyway, that's besides the point. I had originally wanted to do a 12 days of Christmas giveaway, but obviously that's not going to work. So, just pretend it's 12 days, o.k.? From now until the 18th of December, I will have a giveaway each day. On the 19th, I will mail everything out so that it will arrive in time for Christmas.

So for today's giveaway, one lucky winner will be receiving a few of my favorite thrifted fabrics. And I have several of them! Yesterday, I actually made it to the thrift store and found this gem. Every time I find fabric there, it's usually in multiple yardage. It's amazing actually. (pictures are hard to get today, so gloomy, I promise this is cute in real life!)

So leave a comment and I'll pick the winner tomorrow when I announce the next giveaway. Everyone is welcome to enter, just know that if you're out of the U.S. you may not get it until after Christmas.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Little houses

They're almost ready to be sent out. I went through several ideas before settling on this one for the ornament swap. They're turning out to be a little more tedious than I thought, with all the cutting of the thrifted cardboard mailers, the gluing, the painting, and the glittering. But I think it'll be worth it. And now I've developed an unhealthy obsession with Martha's glitter. That glitter is to die for. I wish I had it in every color. Sick I tell ya! The hardest part about making these is deciding what colors to use. At first I wanted to do them all colored, but now I kind of like the cream with the colored roofs. I may just end up with 30 of them. Hopefully I'll get them all done tonight. That's probably what I should be doing now!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Take that Starbucks!

If you're anything like me, Starbucks is a dangerous place this time of year. My mouth waters at the sound of Peppermint Mochas, and those cookies are to die for. I swear I crave them at least 4 times a week. And I wish I were kidding. Yesterday I really wanted a cookie, but there was no way I was going to drive with all those crazies out there, so I searched for a recipe online, and found this one. I didn't have all the ingredients, so I'm posting the modified on I made. These taste exactly like the Starbucks one. Hmm soooo good.

Molasses Cookies

2 1/4 cup flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp fresh ginger (you can substitute 1 tsp ground, but add with dry ingredients instead)

2 1/2 tbsp milk

5 1/2 tbsp butter softened

4 tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup unsulphured molasses

1/3 cup granulated sugar for coating dough

Preheat oven to 375°.Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon into a medium bowl and set aside. Mix together the butter and oil, and then cream together with the brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, no less than 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, ginger and molasses and continue to mix until well combined. Pour the milk over the flour mixture and stir gently until it has absorbed some of the flour. Gradually add the flour mixture into the shortening mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times.

Form the dough into as many balls as you want cookies. I used a small cookie scoop, and that worked out well. Roll the dough balls in the granulated sugar. Place on a lined cookie sheet (either with parchment paper or a silicone mat) and cook for 12-15 minutes. Let cool a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack.

And as an alternative to a $4 Peppermint Mocha, here's a recipe for that too. This makes one mug. You can double the recipe, but I wouldn't double the amt of salt.

Peppermint Mocha

1 Tbsp Sugar (I use Turbinado sugar, but you can use granulated, just adjust sugar to your liking)

1 Heaping Tbsp Cocoa powder

1/4 cup water

Dash of salt

3/4 cup of coffee (I use day old, but you can use freshly brewed)

1/2 cup Milk

1/4 tsp Peppermint Extract

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, water, and salt. Mix thoroughly and bring to a boil, stir frequently for about 2 minutes. Add coffee until warm, then stir in milk and peppermint extra. You may adjust the mint to your taste. Top with whipped cream and enjoy with a molasses cookie!

I'll probably be enjoying these all weekend, especially while getting our tree and decorating. Have a good one everyone!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Blah, Thrift, Blah, Sew

Sigh, I think a lot of people are having the same feelings I'm having. Excited about the holidays, but overwhelmed with all the bustle that goes with it. Today it finally felt like winter, snowing most of the day. Actually it might still be snowing out, but we only have about 2 inches or so. The thing that cracks me up about living in this area is how the tiniest bit of snow gets everyone in a tizzy. I grew up in a place where snowstorms were the norm, and you only missed school if you had at least 1/2 a ft of snow. Oh well, I'm glad to have it. I just laugh everytime they make a big news story about it. Isaiah and I went outside and played in it for a while and he looooved it. I just love little kids bundled up in snow gear making it impossible for them to move. Definitely brightened my day.

Pheeww.. I'm pretty sure that was a lot of rambling. I haven't posted in a while, but there has been a lot of sewing going on around here. I've been busy with orders, post office runs, and holiday decorating. On Saturday I enjoyed a child free trip to the thrift store and I made out like a bandit. I spent the most I think I've ever spent at that thrift store ($75), but I found so many great things. I found these pottery barn stockings with the tags still on them for $1.81 each. Granted, our names are not Kerry-ann, michael, and aidan, but I'll figure something out. Any ideas?? I'm sure that these were gifts that someone didn't want. I looove them.
I also got all these houses and various decorations you see here. Except for that portrait of Isaiah. That was my BIL's gift to us last Christmas.

The find of the day was this gorgeous hand sewn quilt I found for $14. Normally I would never spend that much, but it was just so unusual and pretty, I had to get it. I think it's a full/queen and it does have a few stains and some places that are tattered, but I just love it. It'll probably end up being re purposed, but I don't have an exact plan for it yet.

Not pictured, but found the same day were 2 vintage fabrics (each about 2 yards), 2 bags filled with embroidery floss, a nutcracker, Christmas ornaments, and a lecreuset saucepan. Ah, just writing about all of this makes me want to go thrifting right this very minute!!
Alright, back to more sewing. Can't wait for project runway tonight. It better be a good one.