Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Wow! What a month! I think I worked from eyes opening each day to dropping exhausted into bed each night. Between my computer work and embroidery orders, not to mention shopping, kids' activities, decorating, church program, and cooking, my days were filled. I have had a blessed few days since Christmas to relax, and I can't get a thing done because I have no deadlines to keep me running. I should be doing housework right now, but I'd rather be blogging, and, so, here I am.

Along with gifts and orders and swap projects, I made these sweet little birds from a pattern in Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. They are so darling. It's a little tricky to piece them the first time and make a round tummy, but once you get the hang of it, you'll want to make a flock! I intended to make sets of these to give to my friends, but just a few made so far. Check out mishflicks and see everything I've been doing this month.

For the ornament swap, I ended up making yo-yo's again. I really liked making those for my garland last month and thought they would be an easy project to duplicate ten times over to send out for the swap. In the meantime, I thought my design was a flop for the postcard swap, so, to make up for my lack of creativity, I also included a yo-yo ornament in each of those envelopes. I got pretty good at making them up. Look at the cute buttons I found at Joann Fabrics. You should pick some up for your stash. There are about 20 buttons in a small package. I made a cute arrangement of the ornaments and postcards I received back in those swaps. I will post those later on as I download the pictures.

I had a request for a new item I hadn't made before - fabric headbands embroidered with names. I had recently spotted a pattern, so I put them together and thought they turned out well. I hear the headbands fit just fine on the girls, so I am hoping to have a picture of them to add to my repertoire. However, here they are pictured in a row and one close up.

My son, the Group Commander for his high school JAFROTC (had to brag), asked me to make some scarves for the girls who are on his staff. These turned out very cute. I really like this idea of fleece and flannel. First, you can make it quickly, second, they wash well -- always an important consideration when putting time and effort into a wearable object, and third, they are nice and cozy. Cody said the girls loved them, and he even got a text message a few days ago from one of them just to say she was wearing hers. That polkametto tree has been a big request this season. For those of you outside South Carolina, the palmetto tree and moon is on our state flag, and that design has been used in so many ways on SC gifts. We love it!

I have really been enjoying reading blogs this season. It is quite addicting and so unbelievable the talent we all have ready to get out when given time and practice. I want to list all the ones I have loved, but it would be a long list. It's great entertainment and very validating and inspiring to pop around from one blog to the next. I have a new favorite site to read. It is Ravenhill. She is an American who has made Norway her home. She has little kids and makes very nice treats for them. Stop by her blog and see what is going on there and then go to her favorite blogs. A lot of them are in Europe and the UK. Right now, she has the most beautiful pictures of Christmas Day in Norway right off the sea. There are only a few hours of light each day in the winter, and the pictures are lovely. Make a comment and tell her I sent you. She will know me as calicodaisy.
Well, the time has come, even at 11:10 PM, that I have to finish the housework -- bathrooms, you know. I've known this since I woke up at 6:00 this morning, but somehow I have let 17 hours pass while busying myself with other chores - and shopping the clearance sale at K-Mart early this morning (very important and very good deals on fleece blankets and Christmas decorations) - and avoiding the kitchen and baths. I have four aprons to make as well. What do you think I'll get to first? Hmmm, I'm feeling sleepy.....

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Garland Glitter

I had hoped to take a picture of the pretty garland I received from Maria at The Junk Drawer after I had decorated the cupboard where I plan to hang it to give the garland its proper surroundings. However, this weekend was full-up with activity, and Christmas decorating is beginning only now, so before it just goes on too long, here are the little pretties I received last month. A sparkly Noel and a very pretty altered tile. I want to try to make one of those now. It looks like she decorated a piece of vinyl flooring. We'll see if that is what it is if she comments. I'm late for the first time for a swap. It's the postcard swap. I just got too worried over what to do. Now that I have received a couple and have looked at others on the web, I have a better grasp and more reasonable idea, as I need to make eight! That's my project this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thankful, Garlands, and Gifts

We had a lovely Thanksgiving here in South Carolina. Friends we haven't seen in five years! visited from Memphis. It was good to be together again. Lots of food, lots of fun, lots of noise, and lots of rest on Sunday after church when everyone went home! Now to the Christmas holidays...

It took me a while to decide how to make my garland for the GaGa for Garlands swap this month. My first attempt was to make these pretty poinsettia package decorations from a Martha Stewart project I found at Michael's. I was going to string them along. However, though they came out pretty, I thought the glue seeped through a bit and made the paper dark, and the gel glue didn't seem to really make the mound for the glitter as it should have. You know, my transcription business name is The Perfect Type, so obviously I couldn't send the poinsettias out! I was reading Old School Acres at some point and saw her cute yo-yo banner and posting on 11/12/2007 and got my muse. So, I made a "Merry" garland with fabric yo-yo's and punched paper circles and Christmas-decorated chipboard letters and buttons. I like the twill tape I found to string the garland along. My garland partner is Maria. She sent me a sparkly, glittery NOEL garland. I have yet to take that picture because I want to do that when I have the cupboard in my kitchen set up with decorations. I'll amend this posting then. Her garland is very pretty. My only regret is that I didn't make TWO garlands so that I can keep one for myself. Oh, well, maybe in January....

My daughter had a Sweet 16 party to attend a couple of weeks ago. Since I have that great workshop downstairs and because I spend so much on my fabric stash, I want to make as many gifts as I can rather than buying. Sometimes Camille likes this, sometimes not. However, this time, she liked the bag we saw in a project book and picked out the fabrics for it. It turned out fabulous. It has inverted pleats in the front with contrasting fabric. That's a good switch on the tote bag. I hear the Sweet 16-year-old liked it. I'll really believe it when I see her using it! Poor Camille. It's like the cobbler's children -- they had no shoes. Camille sees the cute stuff I make and send out - and sees her friends with our creations but doesn't have one for herself. I always say I'll make another for her, but you know how that is... I need to make a list of the items she would like and get to it!

Have you seen all the aprons I have been making? Check out the mishflicks - look in the "clubbmish studio" set. It is Apronland downstairs. Some are at the Old Barn in Lexington. Some are tagged for gifts. Some are for special orders. Those are really fun to make. Just squares and rectangles and seam binding - which I have been making on my own to contrast with the main fabrics. I'm really enjoying the ease of putting those together. The one pictured is two-sided. It makes for a nice weight of the apron and is useful for two messes!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Easy Sewing Projects for You!

While blogging last week, I came across two places listing great, easy, sewing ideas for your creative holidays. Check out the Sew, Mama, Sew blog. Everyday all month, this blog has great ideas for your gift list or your just-to-try list. They also have a fabric store (!!) on line at Sew, Mama, Sew. Very cool fabrics you don't necessarily see at the regular stores.

The other place listing easy projects is Cotton Spice. There is a super easy pot holder idea - made from a dishtowel - on one of the days. Try this link: Potholder tutorial. Really, you should try it for yourself.

I made the sweet jacket pictured above. It is an 18-24 month size. It took just a few minutes to make -- really. It is cut out on two folds, so there are only the arm seams to sew and the binding around the neck. However, you have to take the pattern to Kinko's and have them increase the page up to the proper size. I found the pattern in the Bend The Rules Sewing book by Amy Karol. She has really fun ideas in that book. Seasoned seamstresses and novices alike will enjoy the ideas.

Try something new this season. I am working on my garland for the garland swap. I have already received mine from my swap partner, though the send date isn't until 11/16. I have some glittering to do still.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Sun Still Rises, The Swaps Go On, The Holidays Are Coming!

The Sun Still Rises: After my posting below, I find that the sun still rises every morning and life goes on as usual, even after we face changes. I am back to work again with my transcription services and have been busy with the teens in the house. My girl is busy socially, and my son is a senior, 18, and ready to apply to college - and, since I am bragging, Group Commander of the JAFROTC. We have lots of fun and have been learning to balance carrying on and remembering my grandmother all at the same time.

The Swaps Go On: Who would have known when I found out about blogs and then the lovely swaps how important they were to become to me the last couple of months? Not me! I actually worried I might be silly and wasting time getting involved -- when I had so much work to do, but it turns out that the handwork and plans I was making for the swaps entertained my mind and hands while I was waiting on my grandmother at both the hospital and at home. The Swaps turned out to be a blessing! Thanks to each of you who participated with me back and forth. Though you might have just entered for fun, as I did originally, those exchanges gave me short term goals and deadlines and the opportunity to think about making a "stranger" happy with my handiwork. It is a good way to spend time.

This is the Fall Swap exchange I received from Dana. I was in love with my goodies before I even saw them. Dana's card told me she hand-felted a pumpkin atop a pincushion for me and made a wool penny needle case. Perfect, perfect for me! And, of course, you'll note the chocolate and candle. Just in time for a cozy evening this already cool November. Well, that cozy evening may come in January, but you know what I hope for.

This is the stocking I received from Cathy in the Vintage Stocking Swap. It's a pretty vintage blue with a lace cuff and beaded garland. She loaded me up with vintage goodies inside and photocards of her shop and home. Oh!, and see the sparkly star wand. I know some little girls who might want to swap with me for that! All the pictures from the swap are here.

I have two more swaps to go. One is the Ga Ga for Garland swap and the other is an international Christmas Postcard Swap. I've got my ideas down, so I just need to execute. Did I say a few swaps ago I was done with this for a while? Well, it is like Diet Coke - you can't have just one... Then there is the Holiday Ornament Swap. You still have three days to sign up, so get over there if you are interested. You'll have to make 8-10 ornaments to send both internationally and here in the states, so think about it first. However, how much fun will that be? I saw last year's ornaments here, and I see the ornaments don't have to be crazy crafty, just something fun and easy and affordable to send out.

The Holidays Are Coming: I know I don't have to point this out, but I can feel it! I already have orders for Christmas gifts to make. My friend, Cindy, and her husband own the Old Barn General Store in Lexington, SC, right past the LHS on the left. You Columbia-area gals should really make a trip out there. They have antiques, new country items, gourmet foods and coffees, and sweet conversation. They will also have beautiful Christmas trees. They gave me one last year (pictured above), and it was beautiful with my grandmother's antique glass ornaments all through the boughs. Cindy asked me if I wanted to put some aprons in her store for her holiday shoppers. I was very glad to comply, as you can tell from my flickr site (mishflicks) where I listed my current projects and orders I have received lately. If you want to order any items from me for your gift giving this year, think about it quickly. Since I have to get my transcription work done first each day, I have to keep to a schedule of what I can produce before shipping time.

Until the next time... Please send me a note if you like. If you want to join the swaps but are worried to do so the first time, let me know, and we can do one together -- starting in January 2008!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Still Swapping

These pretty buttons arrived in the mail last week in exchange for the ones I sent out earlier in the month. The mushroom came from Amy, chopsticks from Meg, owl from Sarah, watermelon from Jessica, and the sweet sailboat from Shelley. Everyone had such great ideas. I did receive one more button as a bonus from the button host, Michelle. It is a clever robot. However, my daughter quickly snagged that one to add to her button collection. That is the best compliment - when a teenager has to have what you have! Check out all the button art and the cute robot button at the embroidered button picture site. Now I just have to decide what to do with these little pieces of art.

I've also sent off two more packages in swaps I participated in. One was for the Fall Swap organized by Chara Michele. I sent a set of embroidered dishtowels, a crocheted scarf, and a quilted table topper to Dana. Each participant was to send out items that reminded her of fall. The pictures of everyone's swap sets are at the Fall Swap grouping.

The other package sent was for the Vintage Christmas Stocking Swap hosted by MaryAnn. I had to think a bit about that one. I'm not necessarily on the lookout for a Victorian look of pastels and lace and went with more of a vintage country home look. I saw a couple of fabrics at Hobby Lobby that inspired me and went that direction. We were supposed to fill the stocking as well, and I chose to put in some holiday craft ribbon, an embroidered dishtowel (Why that again? Because I have a stock of them on hand, and they are a universal gift!), and an embroidered ornament. This stocking is on it's way to Debbie in PARIS! Well, Paris, Arkansas. (I'm sure she hears that one all the time.) The participants made some beautiful stockings and were really inspired on what to pack away in them. You can see all the stockings at the Vintage Christmas Stocking Swap group.

In any of these picture sets, if you see work that you like, click on that person's link or blog and go see their other work. It tends to follow that if you like something about their work in one place, you'll probably be really interested in their blog sites and other work.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

follow the links ... to your interests and swaps

Now sweet friends, I not only have this blog to keep you up to date on what I am doing but also to share with you what you can do, too. If you are interested in my blog beyond just being nice and checking in with me, be sure to follow the links in my messages to further interests and instructions. The blogging program allows us to make a word highlighted and, thus, a link. That way you can see for yourself what I am going on about. Once you do this a few times, you'll be able to figure out where how to search for blogs where your interests lie. Following the favorites on other sites might lead you to food blogs, photography, scrapbooking, knitting, homeschooling, etc. It's not just crafting but all kinds of interests.
Regarding the swaps, well, come on, don't you want to get in on those, too? It's so much fun, maybe a little distressing, but it gets your game on and encourages you to learn and practice what you love. Also, you get matched with someone to trade with or to pass on to and get to find out what is up in their corner of the world. Be sure to read the rules and dates due; you want to be able to keep the promise. I have two new ones to tell you about:
The first is a Christmas Postcard Swap hosted by a gal in Australia. She seems pretty cool. She is involved in a lot of sewing projects with Burdastyle, a web site that offers great clothing patterns that you can tweak to your own style. Anyway, the postcard swap is for postcards embellished with recycled materials (I guess paper, fabric, yarns, etc.) with a Christmas theme. Look here at this postcard gallery. That sounds easy, right? It's an international swap, as well, which I think can be exciting.
The second is the GaGa For Garlands Swap. This will be great. You can make a banner, a garland, or a wreath out of fabric or paper, etc. Check out the Martha Stewart holiday craft section, for ideas on these items. Also, the GaGa site has some links to other garland crafters. I picked up Better Homes and Gardens' Christmas Ideas magazine today at the bookstore, and there are several garlands and wreaths in there.
Here is a great and practical reason to participate in these swaps: If you make two or more of the item you are sending away to a swap friend, you'll have the extra for gifts or for decorating your own place. You won't feel sorry to send your great project away, as you will have more on hand, AND you will be getting back a complete surprise in return!
A way to find your own swap interests: Check out SwapDex to see what is coming up next.
If you do decide to swap, let me know, too, and send pictures of what you send and receive.

buttons, buttons ...

Here are the buttons I designed for the Embroidered Button Swap sponsored by greetingarts. I wondered, "How much of a design can I get into a 1-inch button and embroider the details?" A lot, I figured out. I carried around a square of paper with a 1-inch hole cut out. I would stop at all the card displays at Hallmark, Publix, Wal-Mart and put the circle up to sweet designs I found on cards. That's how I drew the rubber ducky design (I bought the little gift card). The teapot came to me while sitting in my studio embroidering and looking at some fabric my sister-in-law has picked out for an apron - teapots. So, I traced out my little circle and started drawing teapots. I had to cut out the main part of the design, a beehive like shape for the pot, center that on the fabric within the circle area, and trace around it. Then I added the spout and handle. The boat came from an embroidery book suggested by oldschoolacres, called Embroidered Treasures for Children. That book has the little embroidered baby shoes pattern, too. The butterfly came from a great book I found at the bookstore the other day and bought on Amazon's second market. I think all crafters will like it. It is Sew Pretty Homestyle, by Tone Finnanger. You won't be sorry to purchase it. There are a lot of good ideas in there, and I have one in the making for the -- are you ready? -- Fall Swap that I joined. Okay, okay, I'm going to stop soon -- I think. It's really a lot of fun, AND, if you know what is going on at my house lately, this blogging and these swaps have been a real blessing to me while I care for my grandmother. They keep me busy, entertained, and on my toes. Otherwise, the hours in the day gets lost with caretaking. So, maybe I won't stop just yet! Well, back to the buttons. I am expecting to receive five buttons in return. As soon as those come, I'll update this little piece as well as my flickr with my new prized buttons and you can see what little masterpieces come my way. I'm just wondering what to do with them!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Owl Swap Complete!

My first swap is complete. Check out the All Things Owl swap items sent and received by Camille and me here: Owl Swap Pictures. Camille took lots of pictures, and I didn't know which ones to pick, so you can see them all!

Camille and I had a great time in our first craft swap. There are so many cute owl ideas out right now on clothing and linens, but when it came to making something for a person I didn't know, choosing what to do was a tough decision. Camille and I each had a partner to swap with. Because Camille is just starting out sewing and crafting, she made a softie and I added a scarf to the set for her partner, Dallas. Dallas has great pictures on her blog of the items, and she sent out a very hip little owl to Camille and a purse with funky fabric that is her interpretation of owl eyes. Very cool! A good job done by a new seamstress.

My partner was Michelle C (the swap organizer thought that was fun: Michelle C to Michele C). Michelle is a paper artist, one of many talents, and she sent me a beautiful handmade journal and flower pen. I've only seen this art in magazines and on HGTV shows, not in person. It is really beautiful and warm, and she put in lovely sentiments. She helped me think of a great way to put this journal to use this season, and I am going to get started on that right away. It's sort of a sweet personal journey to record, and I appreciate her thoughtfulness on the subject. You should check out her site, too, as she seems to be quite informed on what is going on in the crafter's blogging world of activities. I sent her a tote bag and a little pin that I designed based on the little owl doodle drawing Michelle drew on the journal. It is a bit of hers, mine, and ours.

You can check out many of the other owl swapper's projects here: Swapper Photos.

This isn't my last swap, as I'm in another due in October and one in November, and I believe this can get out of hand, so I'll have to hold off on searching for more, but it has been a great introduction into the crafter's blogging world. So many are so talented. It is such a great way to share the excitement and learn unending new things from so many people!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rushing, anyone?

My time at college was the best years of my early adulthood. I loved it all, and the time there left me with great, lifelong friendships. When I was in fourth grade, I saw a movie in class, and I don't know what it would have been about, but it discussed college, living on campus, and sororities. First, I knew I wanted to go to college, but second, I wanted to be in a cool sorority! Little did I know what can come along with that.... However, the university I went to had local Greek clubs where good control was maintained over them and dues were kept at a minimum. So, until I began to hear from other friends about all that was going on in their sororities at the big schools and the cost of staying in, I really had no idea. I was just sublimely happy with my situation.

Anyway, I've always been a lover of the paraphernalia of groups, including t-shirts and bags and stickers and printed notepaper. So, when I received my embroidery machine, of course, along with monogramming everything, I was crazy to make sorority-related stuff. That excitement has passed -- it's being done plenty by everyone else. However, I still have the means to get the job done. Pictured is a bag I made for a girl in my sorority, ZX, at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. So, at this time of year, if you, your kids, or friends are rushing or back to the sorority and need a fun gift to give, please remember me.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Basket Liners

Have you been to a Longaberger basket party before? Such beautiful baskets with a million reasons to have them all over the house and then lined with the lovely fabrics they offer. I have purchased a few over the years as well as the liners and garters; I love textiles, so I had to have them. I found a company, though, that has basket liner patterns for nearly every basket style, AND they are REVERSIBLE! Great, huh? Obviously, perfect for matching in your home dec department. One side could match the home decor and the other might be a holiday print, or a winter to summer theme. Pictured are my two favorite baskets - the round darning basket and the medium market basket. See how perfect the liners fit, and then you can see how nicely they reverse.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sweet, sweet baby shoes!

Back to blogging again. My computer died in July and there were all sorts of activities and business going on for the past month, so I had to put aside my creative endeavors. However, I was blogging on other sites this weekend and came across something I have never noticed before -- handmade (sewn and embroidered, too) baby shoes! I fell in love with the felted wool patterns, but I didn't have any wool last night, so I found a way to make a pair with soft flannel and canvas soles. And, of course, a bib because it has to be a set. I can't wait to make more. They were so easy and gave me instant gratification. Tell your friends who are new moms or need sweet gifts for baby. We can customize a set to match an outfit or just embroider an initial on the toe, etc.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Custom Monogrammed Pillow

Here is the finished pillow my friend ordered as an anniversary gift for someone. The scrolling font of this monogram is so pretty. It's a 14 x 14 inch pillow cover with an insert. The insert can be removed for cleaning. I created the piping from some upholstery fabric I picked up to cover my dining room chairs in. Hmmmm, whenever I get to that project, I will have to show the chairs off as well. Like everyone else, I never seem to get to my own decorating though, unless I have a party or company. I had better start planning something soon, so I don't use my dining room fabric up on other items.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sweet things

Sweet baby Emma will stay pretty in this bib! My sister-in-law ordered this for her new niece. There is little tiny piping around the edge and a polka dot flannel on the other side. I love to make baby items. I wish these cool designs and fabrics were out when my kids were little ones. I did sew for them and hand embroider at that time, but they would have been covered with these darling designs.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Busy over the 4th

I've been working on my ever-growing list of orders, new ideas, and gifts I have planned to give friends and family. Usually, I just get to the paid orders and keep cataloging the new ideas and gift list. However, I have mixed it up this week. I have some orders for personalized bibs, towels, and pillows, so to keep me working hard, I have done some gift items in between. Pictured are a hand towel, set of dish towels, and a cute apron. The apron is made from some darling fabric picturing all 50 states and fun symbols. I wished I could have bought the whole bolt. However, when I went back to get more, everyone else had wanted it as well, so no more. The hand towels, I think, work great as burp cloths - they cover more area and can then be used as a hand towel in the future. Taking orders! Just e-mail me.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Picture posting and arranging the blog page

Today, I will try to post a picture. This is one of some travel size pillows friends have ordered from me for kids' gifts. Some I cover completely, some I just make a regular pillow case for. Nothing exactly comes out the same, but that would be too hard to keep up with for me. I seem to have to invent the wheel AGAIN each time I make a product.

I am probably going to have to put my kids on the job of figuring out how to make a title bar at the top of the page and other arrangements. I might actually e-mail another craft blogger whose site is from this same system and ask her for help. I don't have the time to read too many instructions - it makes my head and neck hurt - and if someone else already knows how, why not just ask! We'll see. Wow, I just looked at the icons at the top of this posting area, and hit the button for "add an image," et voila. That was easy.

Done for this session now, anyway. Back to work.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Just Getting Started

I've become intrigued with the craft and sewing blogs! I had to have one. Maybe something I create can be an inspiration to another person. It's amazing to see these crafters and artists from around the globe post their thoughts, inspiration, work, and pictures. I am afraid I have become easily addicted to reading the sites and then following foward to their favorite blog sites. Their need to create and discuss matches mine. It's a great distraction from my computer work. Thankfully, I work at home in my own small business, so I answer only to myself and my daily quota. My children are laughing at me. I've been so bothered by their my space and face book activities, and now I may have my own time spender! Well, we will see where this takes me. I think at first I may just play around and figure out how to use this and then start to show off my work and interests a bit. It might be a good way to journal for me, if anything.