Monday, August 6, 2012

Christie Cottage is giving me away!!

Ok, so not ME, but one of my very cute "Set the Table" placemat tote bags!! How great is that?

Go HERE to enter and you could win this tote!

              Yep...I love giveaways, don't you?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Is this a designer bag?

 So, if I make my "Set the Table" placemat tote out of Ralph Lauren placemats.......
does that make them designer bags?....just sayin'


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Don't set the table with these!

I love to wander through the discount stores, they are almost as interesting to me as a trip to the hardware store.

A couple weeks ago, I picked up these....some lonely vinyl placemats

I discovered a long time ago that a vinyl placemat is not just a vinyl placemat and these are not something I would buy for my table, I really don't like them as placemats.


I love to use them to make bags of all sorts. Tote bags, clutches...oh yes.....

This IS a vinyl placemat!

  And these are too......
I got so excited about how cute these totes were turning out, I wrote a pattern for them (my newest addiction) so you could make some too. I love, love, love writing patterns! These totes are soooo easy to make and the possibilities are as endless as the supply of clearanced vinyl placemats no one wanted for their table! 

If you aren't the DIY type, I listed some in my Etsy shop and the pattern is HERE if you are and want to make some for Christmas gifts...they make great project bags or market bags, strong and sturdy...not too big, a teacher might find them handy for everyday use. 

One of the rules of womanhood I find easy to follow is "you can never have too many bags" so I say, don't set the table with those placemats....make a tote instead!!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Finding success even in failure

I tried, I really, really did. Sometimes things just don't happen the way we expect them to but in the end, I think if you can look back and say, " wow, that could have ended so much worse", then you probably have some blessings to count....and I do.

I love backpacking in Yosemite. Period. My husband and I have completed some amazing trips through God's wilderness. Volgelsang, The Grand Canyon of the Toulumne, Glen Aulin to May Lake...... 
Volgelsang, Yosemite 2007 with my brother, Barry and sister, Marcy

This year was to be no exception...a trip up to Cloud's Rest 9,990 ft-ish elevation then down to Little Yosemite Valley and then down to Curry Village where a shower, pizza and our vehicle awaited us. Ok, so perhaps I should have taken the cue when I broke my wrist the week before we were to leave.....did I mention stubborn? FYI, when the Harley begins to lean....LET IT GO!! Pfffff.....hubby feels a little responsible for this one.

BUT, I was not going to allow a simple cast on my left arm to keep me at way. My husband, my brother, Greg, and I donned our packs for the 3 day 2 night excursion, purple cast and all and headed up, ....and I do mean UP. The trail ascends a great deal in a short amount of miles, the resulting trail is most definitely UP.

Oh, I've gone up before....Volgelsang is nearly 11,000 feet...not a walk in the park. At about 9400 ft. the top of Clouds Rest was so very close and the worst part of the uphill was over. But, what are you suppose to do when your head begins to spin and there is a feeling of disorientation? GO BACK? Yes, that's what you do.  One of the hardest things I have ever, EVER done. All the planning in the world doesn't prepare you for altitude sickness. I have never experienced it before and I hope I never do again. I admit I cried on the trail, I did not want to end my trek, but I knew I should not go on.

Getting back to camp was an adventure in itself, and whoa....this could have ended much worse for sure! My husband and brother were so strong at a time when I felt so vulnerable, I am truly blessed to have both of them in my life.

Of course as I descended and my head began to return to normal .....I was planning a return trip to complete this hike. Did I mention that I am just a little bit stubborn? I will be back to tackle this trip again.

I haven't blogged in a long, long time. This fail...if you can call the resulting almost there and back a fail? It was grueling....this fail, really weighed on me. I've taken some time and while the disappointment is still bruising, I know I made the right decision. Period...and that to me spells success! So, I'm getting over it...putting it behind me.

Life threw me that curve ball and I swung the best I could and I am just so thankful God gave me such amazing team mates to play the game with!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Coloring inside the lines...

I know I'm not the only one who feels the calendar slipping by rather quickly. I read bloggers everyday expressing distress at the speed of time. Nothing has made me more acutely aware of how quickly the pages on the calendar turn than the Craftsy Block of the Month I have been trying desperately to catch up with. Each time I sit down to work a block, it is brought to my attention that I am STILL two months behind!

It's a good thing modern technology has allowed us procrastinators the opportunity to replay and pause the classroom or some of us might never graduate!

I have been really good at sharing with you the process of putting together each block, but I failed in April to snap pictures. Well, part of it was done here    so, can you blame me? And honestly that was April......I just did not COMPLETE them until now.

Each month there are postings on Craftsy of finished blocks and there is some amazing talent out there. Our instructor, Amy invites us to be as creative as we want with our blocks.  I usually am one who goes off into my own creative place and comes out with something completely different than what I was instructed to do....hmmmm...that could have been my problem as a child....


I decided that this Block of the Month should be an exercise in coloring inside the lines, you know? 

Pfffff....I know, it's crazy isn't it? How does a creative mind stay in the lines?

Secretly, I have another one of these blocks made up in a completely different pattern because I just had to...but don't tell anyone!


Let's just pretend that these are the two April blocks I did and they are exactly as instructed.....I stayed inside the lines....mostly.

How about you....are you a color inside the lines type of person?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Teaching my sister to sew

My sister, Marie, asked me when I was going to make more of these....
Aren't they cute? She bought a lot of these bottle covers from me when I used to make them and sell them in my Etsy Shop. I tired of making them and put the idea on moth balls for a long while. I had actually forgotten about them until she asked about them recently.

So, I dug out my pattern. I designed it to fit over the odd shape of the Bath and Body Works hand soap dispenser. When their soap goes on sale, I stock up to have them around for a quick gift. Everyone uses soap....right? I whip up one of these bottle covers in a favorite color or theme to suit my recipient and voila! An inexpensive, simple but personal gift!

But, instead of making bottle covers for my sister, I decided to write a PDF pattern for it so she can sew her own.....teach a man to fish....except in this case...teach my sister to sew. After all, she needs to get her sewing machine out of moth balls and maybe this will encourage her to do just that.

Of course you have to have a catchy name........

 And lots of reasons to make them....

Housewarming gifts.......

             Teacher's gifts.........

Party hostess gifts..........

My friend, Joni, tested my pattern for  me and she made this one for her kitchen.....

                          Isn't it SoaPretty?

I think the possibilities are endless.....add some piping, rick rack or lace. Embellish it with a flower or rhinestones. The canvas is small but sure can be cute!!

I've placed my pattern here and here so you can be prepared for the holiday season with something quick to put together for that last minute gift! It's a great way to use up your stash too!

Friday, June 8, 2012 get to wash your windows!!!

Hoorah!! Someone gets to clean their windows!! I know that doesn't sound like fun, BUT, my winner will NEVER have to buy window cleaner again so that means she'll have more money to spend on crafty THAT sounds like FUN!!!

I used to pick the winner of these amazing products from Norwex of Canada and the winner is...

she said : 

That does sound like an awesome product!!!! I hate cleaning windows, so this might change that. =)


2-Two years ago, we had 3 or 4 baby bunnies in the backyard. We kept the dog out of there & as they got bigger & their eye open, they would venture out of the nest. It was awesome to watch them grow until they finally went on their way.

Thank for this opportunity Suzette!

I'm so happy I get to share these fabulous window cloths with her! She has 24 hours to respond to my email to her so if she doesn't let me know she wants them, I'll have to pick a different winner....don't hold your breath though, I'm betting she'll get in touch with me.



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In the Purse-uit of happiness

Is there anything like a new bag? I think not! A bag, a purse, a tote, a clutch...they all have one thing in common....we LOVE them!

They come in "just the right" color or style. We buy them because "it matches my shoes"...because "it will go good with..."....because it's practical? (not so much). We wear them like trophies on our arms..on our shoulders...on our our hands and YES there is always that triumphant feeling when exiting the store after "winning" a new trophy!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE bags...I am an addict, I admit it. My closet has more purses than shoes, that's for sure. I'm older now (or at least parts of me think so) and my shoulders have tired of carrying big bags that make a statement. So, my collection has become small and shamefully practical but I still find myself touching, smelling, opening and closing bags of all sorts when I am's a woman's's written in the Declaration of Independence after all...that all women shall shop in the "purse-uit of happiness" !! RIGHT?

The Forefathers may have had it wrong, but women know where happiness's in the bag! 

In my Imaginarium

This past week I wrote and published my first PDF pattern for a small wallet tote I designed for my youngest sister. She wanted something to carry just her Disney Pass and some money when she went to the "happiest place on earth"...I asked her if that meant she was coming to my place for a visit, but apparently, she was talking about Disneyland :(

She's a nurse and a bit of a germ-a-phobe, so I added a small hand sanitizer and called it the "Happy Hands Wallet Tote"

Now she can spritz away those handrail germs...You're welcome, sister!

For her tote, I used some Micky Mouse fabric.

I made one for me to go to my Grandson's baseball games on the back of hubby's big bags for me!

This fits my cell phone my ID and some money...what else do I need to carry?

Just fun and perfect!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Norwex GIVEAWAY and the joy of cleaning windows

I was doing my housework this morning...good gawd...doesn't THAT sound like fun?....and it dawned on me as I was cleaning my kitchen window that I should really spread this joy around and have a giveaway!

 Hmmmm...I know, I know, not much joy in cleaning, let alone in cleaning windows....unless...

You happen to know the joy of Norwex of Canada and their absolutely fabulous window cloth !

Honestly, one of my favorite cleaning products....REALLY?
Can there be such a thing as a FAVORITE cleaning product? Pffffff....I did not think so until I found this!

              Look ----------------------------->

How clean is this?  I just wiped my window with a damp Norwex, Envirocloth and dried it with the amazing window cloth.....NO WINDOW CLEANER!!!

I am still amazed at how clean and streak free they are when I finish with them.....and did I say with NO CLEANER?

So, I wanted to share my joy with all of you! I bet you just can't wait to clean YOUR windows...right?

Well, thanks to my sister, Julie, the NORWEX distributor, you could win an Envirocloth AND the fabulous Window Cloth a $33.98 value!!!! 

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this blog and answer these two VERY IMPORTANT questions:

1. Go here and tell me what color you will choose for your ENVIROCLOTH if you win ( I won't ask about the WINDOW CLOTH, because it only comes in my favorite color...purple)


2. What is the funniest, craziest, cutest, most special or just plain silliest thing you have ever seen out your window  (CLEAN answers only please)

THAT'S IT!!! A random number generator (I know, not as fun as the hat ) will choose the winner.

I guess I should add that the contest will end at midnight (west coast time) June 7th, 2012.

Good luck and I am so excited to read your stories!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Blogger's Quilt could I resist?

One of the blogs I follow is Quiltincats. She recently posted about a Blogger's Quilt Festival and so of course, I had to check it out. Amazing! Simply amazing! Over 500 entries have been made already...that's crazy!

Well, naturally, being slightly competitive and a lover of all things quilts....I figured I better throw my hat in! What do I have to enter though? This is the last day to enter and so it's not like I can finish any of my UFO's AND take pictures AND write a story.

Let me see....I must have something around here.....

Aha! Peace, Love and Happiness! I made this one last year and it makes me smile when I see it, isn't it so bright and cheery?

 It's kind of scrappy (I love scrappy) and I also love rag quilts. They are super easy, you get to quilt as you go and they just have a homey, snuggly feel about them.

This quilt was really out of my element. I have a tendency to stay in a not so lively color pallet but I wanted bright and hippy colors contrasting with one of my favorite combinations, black and white. 
 I also love to use my embroidery machine AND I love applique....did I mention that I love all things quilt?  So I got to play with finding just the right font for my "peace, love and happy" 
and of course there is peace, love and happiness in applique too!
I had discovered in a previous rag quilt, the use of Osnaburg fabric for the inner layer. I absolutely love it! It gives my quilt a light but cozy feel and the Osnaburg just ravels so nicely!

AND, this is one of my favorite things about making a rag quilt....the back is done when the front is done and the only thing left is the binding!

So, I am going over to Amy's Creative Side now and link up to my first ever Blogger's Quilt Festival!
Come and see and the wonderful entries, you will be amazed, I promise!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Chuck it all...go serendipity shopping with me!

                           Holy smokes! Will you look at this calendar?

Where has the time gone? Those flowers should not be so happy that May is almost over!

 I feel's too hot already, I want it to be spring for another couple of months....I'm drowning in procrastination, I can't seem to find the bottom of the pile...the older I get the faster the calendar pages turn and the slower my mojo moves! know what they say...."it's better than the alternative?" ....Nope... "it'll get done, just keep moving forward"....... Nope......"go shopping?" .......YES!!! GO SHOPPING.......ok, so maybe that's not really what they say but, hey, everything will still be there when you get back! Yep, the piles will remain, it will still be almost the end of May and it will still be too hot....

 I actually sat down to write about something entirely different but in a moment of serendipity, I've decided to do just that.....chuck everything and LET"S GO SHOPPING!

I love serendipity shopping trips! I have been wanting to check out some of my blogging buddies shops, so, that's where I'm my blog list!

I thought I would wonder into ChristieCottage . I have never been into her ArtFire shop before and look what I found for Dad...

Isn't this a great coaster? I know a couple car enthusiasts who would appreciate this as a Father's Day gift!

This wasn't suppose to be a Father's Day shopping trip, but at BeazersGarden I found some great men's products .....and a couple things a wifey might want.

Who doesn't want their man to have great smelling feet?
I know MY nose would appreciate it if my hubby would sprinkle some of this in his shoes!

OK, so maybe it's not the BEST thing to give Dad for Father's Day but, it could just save a marriage....

I love Tigers Eye, it's got such earthy colors that go with almost anything. I found this bracelet at ElunaJewelry and she has some beautiful wire wrapped pieces Dad could get for Mom....I know, I know, that's not the way it's suppose to work for Father's Day but I think it should be Mother's Day EVERY day...don't you?

Tom is a guy who makes some very cool wood things for his ArtFire shop TRocheWoodDesigns .

I love his cutting boards!

Isn't this little pig so cute?

Pfffff....I was almost done and then I saw fAverittecreations
on my reading list and I wondered what she had going on in her shop....and look what I found!

Super Hero P.J. pillows! Gosh, I would go back in time and be a kid again just to put one of those on my Christmas wish list if I could...I love purpley pink things!

What a fun gift for a grandchild and you know you don't have to wait for a special day to get something for the grandkids!'s time to get back to reality....BOO....but I always feel better after some retail lookout procrastination pile, here I come!

I hope you feel energized and ready to tackle whatever pile you are facing....thanks for shopping with me!

P.S. My next giveaway is coming.....sooooo exciting!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Invigorate the creative soul....organize!

 Don't you just love organizing things in things?...bins, baskets, cupboards, shelves and now there's this! ----------------------->

 Storage things are addicting as fabric to me.

In my wanderings through What's on Your Work desk Wednesday...also fondly referred to as of the gals was talking about this marvelous piece of organization that she had discovered through another friend. 

Well, of course I saw the usefulness and hurried down to my local Harbor Freight Tools center and bought one....$18.99...and believe holds a LOT of brick-a-brack. Isn't it marvelous? It's like a 4 layered Lazy's metal and spins like a dream! Ok....maybe that's a little dramatic but I DO love it! 

While I was shopping...I don't think that's what the guys say when they go to Harbor Freight...but that's what I was doing, shopping, I also found ON SALE these magnetic holder!...I have been wanting to get one of these to hold my scissors for a long time and there they were....$4.99 regular price $9.99!! So of course, I bought two.

 When I opened them up, wouldn't you know it?...That name right there in the middle was just printed on one very long sticker. Well, naturally, I thought...I bet I could make that cute before I hang it up. 
And so I did!

 I peeled off the sticker (sorry US General, ya gotta go).
I got out my trusty E-600. Can I just say....I LOVE E-600! 
And some simply cute black and white swiss dot 1" grosgrain ribbon.....I also love swiss dot anything!
I just covered the magnets with my wonderful E-600 and laid the ribbon perfectly over the top of the magnets...doesn't that look sooooo much better than that sticker?
Of course, you could also use something like Washi tape instead of ribbon, I just happen to have a LOT of ribbon and NO Washi Tape.

And there you have it....a place for all my scissors.....

....uh, scissor addiction is showing pfffffff! Secretly, I have more in the drawer, I might have to buy a third strip :)

And look, even my rotary cutters can hang there and look pretty!

So, now with this new organization, I feel ready to dive into some of my procrastination pile. 
It's a good thing to change things up.....move things around.....somehow the same old brick-a-brack moved to a new place invigorates the creative soul.