Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Back In The Sewing Room!

Twill Pouch / Hungarian Tree Design

It feels good to be back to the sewing room! I am full of ideas and have been trying to roll them out. I am IN LOVE with the twill fabric above. I can't get a great shot of the color, as it's a bit more mossy than exactly tan, but it's wonderful. I bought it from Hancock fabrics off the decorator fabric remnant table. When washed and dried, it is so, so soft. I originally bought it because I had an order for a Golf Shoe bag -- from a gal in London. I was looking for a manly, durable fabric to sew the bag up in and found this. I can't say enough about it! I have two of these zip pouches in the calicodaisy shop. The little Eastern European/Hungarian tree embroidery stands out so nice on the twill.

Acer Aspire netbook cover / cozy

My friend, Leslie, received the coveted little Acer Netbook for her birthday this month. She asked me to make her a cozy for the little laptop, so I did. She has come to love the zebra flair, so I used that fabric and embroidered her monogram on an appliqued hot pink patch.

Bonsai Tree Shank Buttons

Look at these! Aren't they darling! I've covered some 1.25" buttons with embroidered Bonsai trees. Don't you think they will be perfect on something made up with Japanese linens? Are Bonsai trees Japanese or Chinese? Beautiful in any case.

Lunch Box Lunch Tote fabric

Last, but not least, I've added to my lunch tote inventory with a bag made up in some lunch box fabric. I like working with the PUL fabric; it is durable and handles pinning very well. Best though is that it is easily laundered and makes carrying lunch and snack items around in a fabric bag convenient for easy, wipe-out clean up.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Handcrafted Bias Tape

It's a beautiful day here, and I have nothing important to do outside the house today. Hooray! It will be refreshing to stay home with the windows wide, tidy up a bit, and work on projects that have laid dormant this past month while Viola visited. She went home to Germany Tuesday. It was hard to let her go, but her parents were waiting with open arms. Her dad sent photos right away of her homecoming, and we really "wished we were there!"

Handmade Patchwork Bias Tape

I have been so surprised by a steady flow of sales out of my calicodaisy shop recently. Thank you to all who want my items! I think the "stranger" orders, as I call them, as so exciting. Folks who order and don't even know me. It's amazing to me that out of all the etsy products available, someone wants mine! All of the giraffe fabric sold, but there is still some zebra fabric available. I knew those were a great deal. I wish I bought the entire bolt of each design. I've visited a couple of the etsy shop owners who purchased the fabric from me. It's pretty fun to see my picks used in their product line.

One gal ordered up four packs of bias tape. I listed the orange tape (above) so long ago, I panicked as I tried to locate where I stored them in my studio! I'd love to see what she'll do with those. There is an ongoing length of the Handmade Patchwork NOT Bias Tape in my shop as well.

Nonna Bag

A very special custom order was put together this week and sent out yesterday. Someone's Nonna has a special birthday coming up, and the customer chose some Italian-themed designs from the embroidery websites I like to use. At first I was unsure of how to mix the ideas, but I think we came up with something wonderful for Nonna.

Nonna Bag

We put the softly-shaded pasta scene on the front, and the Italian flag and boot on the back pockets.

Off to the post office now and back to sew wristlets for a bridesmaid party and a Netbook cover (the small littler Acer laptop) done up in the zebra print for my good friend, Leslie.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring and Teacher Gift Ideas

lunch tote bag

Need a great idea for teacher gifts this spring? Check out these design-your-own items below. Just click on the mosaic below for a full-size view and individual descriptions of each item.

For more gift ideas, including wedding, birthday, baby items, please check out my clubbmish studio set and scroll through previous custom orders.

You can find a number of these items ready-to-go in the calicodaisy etsy shop, or, for a design-your-own gift, please contact me through e-mail at calicodaisy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Spring and Teacher Gift Ideas

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The In-Betweens

Hhhhmmmm .... I'm all in-between things right now. I'm in between having "the girls" this one last week and having just "the girl" after Tuesday next week. Our "V", the lovely Viola, is going back home to Germany. Oh, how we will miss her. I can't express how she has just seamlessly fit into our home and how we have come to love her. She is so like Camille in many ways, and she is well spoken, kind, self-sufficient, and interested in all my words (or, at least, I think she has been).

Viola and Camille have had a big time together at school, in Atlanta, in Charleston on a youth group beach trip, and now just getting back to all the shops and buying up all the items she has put on her list.

Here are the kids on Easter Sunday. The girls ended up in black on that beautiful day, but they looked beautiful and fresh anyway. We made little Easter bags for the kids, so Viola can bring home boxed bunnies and Peeps and Bonnie Bell flavored lip balms.

I'm in between work projects. It's always feast or famine. I've gotten used to it now. There wasn't much work for me earlier in March, but now I've been working at the hospital nearly every day, projects have come in on-line, and I have a number of shop orders I am working on -- or am supposed to be working on. It's hard not to catch a breath before moving to the next idea, and in-between all of that, I'm running the girls around from school to activities to the shops.

I'm in between craft projects. I've been moving stuff around in the studio to set up the new equipment, so everything is kind of shuffled. In the meantime, I picked up this book at the library.

Inside is this great crochet pattern for a starburst sort of pattern. I love it!

It's very easy but a bit fussy at the end of the rows. However, once you get going, it's kind of a fun stitch. It keeps your mind busy.

It seems like everyone is doing a ripple pattern blanket. Attic24 put up a pattern a week or so ago. I really like her stitches, but mine isn't coming out ripply enough for me. I'm going to have to look for another pattern with more stitches between the ups and downs for a more defined look. I went to my LYS looking for a new lush yarn that I could wash and dry. The salesperson showed me Berocco Comfort, a mix of acrylic and nylon. Very smooth and feels like a cotton. I chose the blue, brown, pink, and maize for the ripple blanket.

The orange and blue skeins are from Hobby Lobby. Both are a wool mix. Very affordable and great colors. Camille thought that starburst pattern would do well on a scarf, so I did this sample up. I haven't decided how to finish it off.
Well, my cup runneth over right now, but it has been hard to focus on just one thing to do well. My Google reader tells me I have 368 posts to read. Though we have had a wonderful time with company and activities and running here and there, other than missing Viola when she goes home, I'm looking forward to Camille riding the school bus a bit more often the rest of this month and finding myself at home for hours at a time rather than running on a tight time schedule.
There isn't too much rest and quiet coming, though. Remember just a short while ago when I thought I was going to whither from the pain of my son leaving me for college and the dorms (just down the street)? Well, it turns out, his freshman year ends at the end of this month, and he is moving home -- back into my pretty vintage yellow room (which is really his room) -- in about 14 days! The college boy returneth! I hope he remembers how to do dishes. If not, he will have a big lesson in about 15 days ....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Personalize A Tote!

canvas tote with frog

This week I picked up a bunch of canvas and denim tote bags at a great price, and they are ready to be embellished. These are perfect teacher's gifts: Useful, reusable, and a backdrop for personalization.

Canvas Tote with Frog

The denim bag measures 16" wide x 14" tall x 3" deep. The canvas tote is a natural color measuring 13.5" wide x 13.5" tall x 4" deep.

For a recycling theme, one can go with some great little graphics.

earth friendly

green frog flower

Or, get a little kitchy with these retro birds and critters. You'll find more like these in my Embroidery Design Files Flickr set.

owl applique 2

Crafty Chipmunk

You can keep it simple with some names and monograms. See my Embroidery Font Flickr set to check out a number of fonts I have available.

Frenchie Totebag

If you're a South Carolina girl, you'll love the Polkametto Tree! Be sure to check out all my South Carolina designs in my SC Flickr set.

Hand Towel/Golf Towel/Baby Burp Cloth

You can further embellish the tote yourself with ribbon trim around the edges, add a button and loop for closure, and maybe some yo-yo's or fabric flowers.

I'm not sure how I'll list these in my calicodaisy etsy shop. I haven't had luck taking good photos lately, as I'm still working on the backdrop issue. The price will run in the $15.00 range depending on the requested embroidery work. If you'd like to order a personalized bag, though, just get in touch with me here or through the shop and let me know what you'd like on your bag, and we'll design something together.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I Miss Blogging!

The blooming dogwood trees are my favorite sign of spring here in South Carolina -- really, all over the South. The flowers have been gorgeous the past week, and today the sun is shining and the skies are clear, just glorious. My Google Reader is so full having had no time to read through my daily faves. I've been working everyday this week (so thankful!) and running around with "the girls," as I call them.

Later today we girls are taking a road trip to Atlanta! One of my favorite cities, as I call that place "home." We're going to show "V" around the big city and do some shopping. Sunday looks to be nice as well, so we might try to go to Stone Mountain, too, and let her have a little sightseeing there.

My niece in Los Angeles is going to be in a high school scholarship pageant this weekend. She has a little soliloquy, I guess, and is going to dress as a French painter and wanted a trapeze coat for her costume, just like the character Madeline. Her mom asked me to make it, and I chose Indygo Junction's Trapeze Topper to sew up for her.

I used a twill for the coat and buttons and a soft denim for the collar. I was a bit afraid of sewing a coat, and I haven't set a collar in a very long time. However, the pattern was very self-explanatory and had raglan sleeves and a loosely fit collar, so no problem. This little coat was just calling to me for embellishment, but it needed to stay simple, so I let it go. She has a red beret and scarf to decorate and black leggings and a sweater for underneath. I'm anxious to see the photos next week.

Well, I'm off to the horrible, never-ending housework so I leave a clean home to the men and pets who will stay behind this weekend. I'd rather blog, though, and play in my studio. It's amazing how many great ideas I have when I'm supposed to be doing housework. When I walked in the door from dropping the girls off this morning, I told myself, "No blogging. Stay on track." Well, okay then, but maybe just one post to check in and only to read the blogs I really must check out daily so I don't miss out on anything ….