Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend Sales

I have listed many items in my Etsy shop. Take 10% off listed prices through this weekend! Use the coupon code "THANKFUL10" to receive the discount when checking out. The discount is good for all items in my shop. Any physical products purchased this holiday weekend will ship Monday. 

**This post contains affiliate links.

Craftsy is having one of their best sales of the year! All classes are $19.99 and under! This is the time of year when I always buy a few classes from my wishlist that I've been considering. 

Some recommendations of classes I've taken and loved:
On my wishlist:

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Quilts for Sale!

I have decided to list some of my quilts for sale, including my most popular quilt--the Pixelated Color Wheel. You can find them in my Etsy shop. I will likely be adding a few more in the coming days. Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Seeing What You're Looking For

I've been struck lately by the idea that I simply see what I'm looking for. When I'm truly invested in something and thinking about it frequently, I see evidence to support it. As I continue to dive into photography, I've also begun the journey in earnest to document our lives. I have seen how critical photos are of our day-to-day lives. This idea reinforces my desire to take more pictures, and I find myself more excited about documenting us. I'm seeing the value of photography and feel driven to improve my ability because I'm looking for it and constantly aware of it. I'm looking for good light. I'm looking for the beauty in each day. I'm seeking out the normal things in life that I wouldn't generally take photos of before. I'm seeing it because I'm looking for it.

I recently started putting together a scrapbook of my father's life so my kids will have a chance to get to know him even though he died before they were even born. It makes my heart happy to see pictures like this. My dad was always a Pepsi drinker. This picture is perfect because it shows one of his characteristics in such an easy, casual way. Pictures like this are invaluable.

This is one of my favorites of my daughter. I love how she always throws her long hair over her pillows to get it out of the way when she sleeps. I love watching her read at night. I love when she gets excited about finishing a book and begs me to immediately put the next one in the series on hold at the library. These are the details I never want to forget. 

I love fall more than any other season.

We go through more than 10 lbs of apples each week. I can never seem to keep up.

I've started making this bread. We love it! This particular loaf is basil Asiago--the best!

We woke up to our first snow on the ground this morning. There is something really wonderful about the changing seasons. I'm grateful for the chance I have to see it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Finding Beauty in the Everyday

We recently visited my mom at her house. She still lives in the home I grew up in--the one my dad built. My dad has been gone for more than 13 years now, but I still almost expect him to be there when we arrive. There are so many things in that home which are a constant reminder of him. For some reason I felt very nostalgic on this recent trip and took some time to document some of those little things about home that remind me of my youth.

I was struck this trip by how much bigger this tree is in the backyard. It's funny how long things can be there, and we don't even notice until pretty significant changes have happened.

We grew up with a wonderfully large yard. I didn't appreciate it when I had to mow it, but it's such a great place for my kids to play.

We weren't a farming family, but many of the neighbors are. Barbed wire fences are the norm and this fence has been along the back of our property for as long as I can remember. The fields behind our house rotated between wheat, corn and hay depending on the year. I always loved watching the crops grow and turn golden in the fall.

I remember my dad putting up this basketball hoop--probably at least 25 years ago. I have many memories of playing games out there growing up. I doubt it's been repainted since, but the peeling paint makes me love this picture even more because of evenings it spent in use.

I've come to realize that I don't document my own life very well. I'm always looking for the "perfect picture". Since I don't have the perfect life or the perfect home, I find myself taking very few pictures of the environment in which I live with my own family everyday. We have a pretty standard home in a normal suburban neighborhood with nothing that I would characterize as extraordinary. Taking pictures at my mom's home made me realize how much I truly value the beauty in the details of normal life. It doesn't have to be beautiful, perfect or amazing to hold feelings and memories which I'll treasure forever. I'm attempting to retrain myself to see and capture the beauty in the everyday rather than searching for the "perfect".

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Every once in a while I crave the precision of paper piecing. It's fun to work on a project like this (at least for a little while). I felt this way a while back and started a new project. I had a bin full of scraps from a previous project that needed used.

I opted for a pattern that has been floating around Instagram a bit. This is a variation on Grandma's Surprise from Then and Now Quilts by Joyce Giezler. This little guy is just 18" finished. I recently completed the quilting and am currently considering a binding. I'll likely go with navy to frame it. 

Mini quilts are a great way to try out a new technique or get something out of your system. I personally wouldn't ever want to paper piece an entire quilt, but I love it for small projects. It would never finish a whole paper-pieced quilt. This mini alone took me a couple months to actually complete. Now that I've done a little paper piecing, I'm ready to get back into a project that's more satisfying for me and a little less rigid.

Friday, September 4, 2015

New Pouches!

Just a few new pouches!

I made these framed clutches using Diane Stanley's (random or di) pattern. I went a little light on the interfacing. Next time I'll certainly use something with more body.

These are both made with velveteen from Anna Maria Horner. It is perfect for these clutches.

I've been itching to use some of my selvages I've been saving for years. I finally pulled out some of my Cotton & Steel pieces and made this wide open pouch.

I sewed the selvages to cotton duck. The base is navy linen with some metallic accent stitching.

It goes perfectly with my new Super Tote!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A New Super Tote

I caved about a month ago and started a new Super Tote. I wasn't intending to to make a new bag, but I really wanted to give it another go. I don't use it all the time, but it's a great large back for certain occasions.

It was also a bit of a test run for my new machine. Because I used quilting cotton on the exterior, this bag has layers and layers of interfacing. My machine handled it like a champ! I again used faux leather on the gusset and strap. This certainly complicated things a bit, but I love the functionality of this material. It's easy to wipe clean and holds up so well.

One of my greatest frustrations with the first bag I made were the interior pockets. I followed the pattern and disliked how they came out. They are puffy pockets with elastic at the top (similar to those in many diaper bags). It wasn't functional for me. I found all they did was hide the bottom of the bag and make it difficult to find anything. They also got in the way when I attempted to put larger items like a binder or my laptop in the bag. This time around I chose simple panel pockets and cut them the same shape as the lining pieces. They are approximately the same height as the pattern pockets. I like these pockets so much better! I sewed dividers in each panel to fit my personal needs--pens, lip gloss, phone. etc.

I used all Cotton & Steel fabrics, with the exception of the lining. I've found I prefer a simple, light colored lining fabric for large bags. It's hard enough to find things in a deep bag, but it's even harder against a busy, dark background fabric. Everything seems camouflaged. I used Essex linen in flax for this lining.

I added a couple pops of color inside like this green zipper and green key fob (neither of which are included in the original pattern, but I find them completely necessary). 

The evening I was working on the front pocket snap, I realized my stash of magnetic snaps was depleted. Luckily, I had one pink one left from a previous project. I wouldn't normally have chosen this, but it really worked out perfectly!

I was working only with fabric and materials I already had on hand to make this bag. I had exactly 1/2 yard of the outer viewfinder fabric. I would have preferred extra fabric to match the fabric pattern better. Next time I will order extra to allow for this.

Love it! It's already been used multiple times.