Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I got an order yesterday for two children's purses and I should be working on them, however, I feel the need to quilt something other than a bag so I am working on table runners. I LOVE working with 2-1/2" strips of fabric. I am too cheap to purchase jelly rolls on a regular basis so I use my June Tailor Shape Cut and I can bang out a lot of strips in a short amount of time.
OK - enough rambling. I am off to sew!!
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Pretty, huh? You know you want one, too!
One last day of fun and then back to the office. I really do need to start playing the lottery!!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
So - what did I do last night? I turned on all the lights in my little Christmas village houses, lit the candles in the windows and turned on Christmas carols. 'Cause I really just needed to calm down, relax and enjoy.
I am planning on freaking out late this evening...
Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Writing about being inspired, have you seen the great recipes for sugar scrubs as gifts? I am going to make them for my nieces for Christmas. (This image is from C&H Sugar. They have some great ideas here including appropriate gift tag printables.) I already have most of the ingredients in the house and just need to pick up some essential oils. Yes, I do realize that Christmas is only a little over a week away but I work best under pressure! I am making two other gifts for my sisters and that is it. Well, that isn't exactly true. I am also making gifts for my grandchildren but I won't see them until Epiphany so that gives me nearly 3 weeks to have them finished. (We believe in using ALL the 12 days of Christmas in our family!!)
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I have hardwired smoke detectors throughout my home. They are extremely good smoke detectors and though when one goes off they ALL go off (that feature can be frustrating!) I know that in the event of a fire, I will be thoroughly alerted. What I discovered last night about my smoke detectors is that even though they are wired directly into the electricity, they have a battery backup feature. I know that is a wonderful safety feature. Really, I know that…however, when the battery needs to be changed the smoke detectors start to “chirp”. And they continue to chirp until the battery is changed. This chirping notification can start at any time of day. Guess when my smoke detectors started making noise? Midnight, you say? Actually, a little after and now it is 4:30am and the chirping continues. This is NOT a noise that you can drown out or cover up. This is an extremely sharp, shrill chirp…AND IT WILL NOT STOP!
My ceiling is very high. I cannot reach it without my 8’ long step ladder which is in the basement. I do not have any 9 volt batteries laying around. I live in a really tiny town in the middle of nowhere and getting to Walmart is a hike. The local hardware store doesn’t open until 8am. Had I known, I would have kept spare batteries on hand. Had the moron who rehabbed this house left any kind of installation manuals or user manuals here I might have been prepared. Guess who didn’t get much sleep last night and is feeling pretty witchy this morning? Good thing I just live with a cat…
Friday, December 11, 2009
If y'all were reading my blog last winter, you know that I struggle with heating my house. Usually the second and third floors stay pretty warm based on the fact that warm air rises from the first floor. Well, not THIS morning! It is cold in the studio. "Throw on a pair of gloves" kind of cold! A few months ago, my mother picked up a little Pelonis ceramic heater. I have been using in the kitchen on cold mornings but I just brought it upstairs to the studio and in 5 minutes, the change in temperature is dramatic. Thank goodness!
I know I said I wasn't going to do it but the Christmas fabric I picked up on Wednesday is calling my name. I think if I just whip up a couple of table runners I can get it out of my system! Off to find a fast pattern...
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I chose only the Moda fabric. Here's what $28 bought me
Table runners, table toppers, a couch throw, Christmas tote bags - the possibilities are rolling around in my head. I don't think I have the time to do anything this year but for Christmas next year I am totally prepared!!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Studio progress - another bag finished, two more cut and I started a quilt. The quilt is going together easily because I am using jelly roll strips for a portion of it and the blocks that I cut are a decent size. This is one of those projects where you can mindlessly sew strip to block, strip to block and gun them through the sewing machine.
Oh, I finished the pot of coffee and only a little of the Bailey's. I figured it would be good to have some on hand for the next time it snows!!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Hope your day is as fantastic as mine!!
If no one carts me off to the hospital for observation, I will update you with snow (please, please, please) photos as soon as I see the flakes!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Now I have to sit back down at the sewing machine and start working on bags again. I managed to cut out two yesterday morning but this morning I am not feeling it. I will be doing some serious work over the weekend. (Jan and Dee - bags next week!!)
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
My 2 sisters were shopping at 4am on Friday. After all the holiday preparations, I was happy to just stay in early on Friday morning. My grandson requested cinnamon rolls for breakfast so I got up a little before 6 to start the dough. By the time everyone was up and about, the house smelled heavenly. Chad and Amy went to the mall for a few doorbuster specials...left at 7 and were back here at 8:30. They were in and out and got everything they went to purchase. Later in the morning all the "girls" ventured to Lebanon County for some shopping. 2-1/2 hours later we were finished and returned to my house for lunch. Napping was the plan for the afternoon. I couldn't fall asleep but crashed on the couch for a while. I needed the rest!
My darling boys hung the chandelier in the dining room. It turned into a major project and I am surprised they are still talking to me! It does look terrific and I am so pleased with the result. They also installed a dimmer switch, fixed the kitchen faucet (again!) and helped with dishes. It was nice not having to touch any garbage bags - man work!
They left around 8:30 this morning and I had my usual sob fest. I can be brave for about the first 3 hugs and then I slowly end up sobbing on the last poor soul I hug! I walked them out to the car and then came back into the house, sat on the couch and just cried for a while. I feel better now. I have been doing laundry and doing some "straightening up".
Back into the studio later today. I have some Christmas fabric I am turning into sweet Christmas tote bags. I am making some that are mother/daughter size. Too cute! I also have 2 custom order bags that I want to make this week and get out in the mail. I bought a jelly roll of Moda dark marbles that are perfect for a quilt I want to make as a Christmas gift. I think I will cut out the blocks on that so that with very little effort I can have quilt top ready in a few days.
Hope you have a lovely Sunday!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole
creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.
We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for
the loving care which surrounds us on every side.
We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best
efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy
and delight us.
We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.
Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the
truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast
obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying,
through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life
again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.
Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and
make him known; and through him, at all times and in all
places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.
1979 Book of Common Prayer
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I cleaned the studio last night and turned it into a dorm for the grandchildren. I have large plastic totes with toys in the eave storage closet so they will be easily accessible. They have a television with DVD player and a VCR and access to the computer. I think that will keep them entertained. The studio is warm and cozy and I hope they will want to keep the toys confined to this room. I lowered the cutting table to regular height so that the children could color or draw. I think I am ready!
Ms. Em and I are going to pick up some wire and chain this afternoon so the guys can hang the chandelier in the dining room on Thursday morning. Em is going to help me with Thanksgiving preparation this afternoon/evening. We need to get all of the Thanksgiving side dishes prepared and refrigerated...and bake a pecan pie and coconut cake...and make up the top bunk bed...and change the sheets in my bedroom...and dust and vacuum the living room & dining room...and wash the kitchen floor...
Good grief! Why am I just sitting here?!!
Monday, November 23, 2009
So, this morning we are loading up the car, adding a grandchild and her stuff and heading home. The rest of my family arrives on Wednesday night. I am not going near a sewing machine until next Sunday. I will probably be a little twitchy for a few days!!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Once we arrived at my son's house, we finished working on tags and bag buttons and got ready for Saturday. Again, I could not sleep. I was so afraid that I didn't have enough bags, they were not good enough, my display would be crappy, etc.
I arrived at the venue and was overwhelmed. This show is HUGE! There were so many booths and they were all decorated and set up beautifully. I had a table, a pot rack and a basket hanging rack. Oh, dear! I did the best I could with tablecloths, quilts and tablerunners and then I was off to pick up my mother and the bags. Momma stuffed them with newsprint (thank you nice man at U-Haul!) as we were driving back to the show. I put them into large packing boxes and loaded them onto the folding cart my son loaned me. We put everything out and here are a few photos
Isn't he a sweetheart?!
Sales were slow going but I have sold enough at this point to cover my costs so that is terrific. I had a lot of people touching the bags and telling me they were beautiful but not nearly as many actually purchasing any! I thought about lowering my prices but only for a moment. I worked hard on producing this bags, I have used quality materials and they ARE beautiful.
Today the show starts at noon and only runs until 4pm. The woman at the booth next to me has done these shows before and told me that Sunday sales are pretty good.
Y'all keep sending happy thoughts and I have every confidence a lot more bags will be gone by this evening. Mama needs some new shoes!
Friday, November 20, 2009
By the way, I have updated the slideshow at http://hazelnuthill.blogspot.com/. I keep throwing new photos on when I remember to take a couple of bags to the office to photograph. Hopefully all that you see (plus another 60 or so) will be GONE by Sunday afternoon!
I am working from home for a few hours before we leave. Remote access to the computer on my desk at work makes my life so much easier. (If I could only convince upper level management to let me work from home 2 or 3 days a week!) I will still be tied to the office via my cell for the rest of the day but my mom will also be playing secretary for me today while I am driving. (I think I am going to owe her big time after this trip is over!!)
Y'all have a good weekend!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Since my posts have been few and far between, I thought a quick update the best thing to post this morning.
Just got back from Virginia and my son’s award presentation. I took my parents and we drove down on Friday afternoon and returned to Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon. I think I am getting too old for these fast trips! Chad actually received two awards and it was a delight to be able to share the moments with him.
I have been back to the “cheap” fabric store and they still haven’t finished bringing up everything from the basement. They were also offering a 10% discount coupon if you spent $25. When the salesperson cut my fabric and started totaling my bill she told me if I spent $50 I could get a 20% discount. What do you think I did?!? I found enough of one piece of “Chocolat” to make the bed skirt for my bed and an additional border for the quilt. I also picked up another piece that will be used for pillow cases. So many women in home decorating blog land are using canvas drop cloths for drapery fabric so I have decided to take the plunge. I will use the drop cloths for the basis of my bedroom drapes and add some of my “Chocolat” collection to embellish them. This is going to be a project for after the big craft show and Thanksgiving.
While at the fabric store I picked up a few more pieces of fabric for purses and purse linings. That project continues and I find little time for anything else. Next weekend is “crunch time” and I am calling in all my favors to get finishing work done. I think that selling some of the bags will be difficult. I am really in love with several and have had to restrain myself from snatching out of the collection to use for myself. Some of the really large print bags are stunning…if I DO say so myself!
Did everyone take advantage of the sales at Joann’s this weekend and the extra 20% off coupon on your total bill? I picked up Warm and Natural Queen sized batting that was pre-packaged. The usual price is $19.99 but it was on sale for $9.99 and then the extra 20% off – SCORE! I also picked up some harvest themed goodies that were discounted 70% so I felt like quite the shopper. We stopped in Maryland on the way home from Virginia. My father wanted to wait in the car. Silly man. He finally called my mom’s cell phone to see how much longer we were going to be. Thankfully we were in line at that point so we didn’t make the poor man sit too much longer. (I probably should have given him the keys so that he could get out and walk around a bit!)
We have an official due date for the new grandbaby…May 20th. Next ultrasound may show the gender. I found the most fabulous fabric for a baby girl quilt. Of course, I can always find something wonderful for a boy…but another baby girl would be lovely. (Bella said she already has a baby brother and she would like a little sister this time.)
I discovered just last week that all of my business cards and my purse/tote tags have the wrong web address on them. You know, if it isn’t one thing…
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thank you all for your comments, prayers and good thoughts. Now, back to purses!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Please add them to your prayers.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
So...I did get the "Hazelnut Hill" site up on blogger with a slide show of about 8 or 9 bags. There are more that I will add when the weather clears and I can get outside to take photos. As I have mentioned before, no two are alike. I only buy enough fabric usually to make 2 bags and each of those would be from a different design or the color placements are different. At some point I have to throw a couple of diaper bags into the mix. I have designed one that I think is terrific but it is still on paper with no prototype.
That's the update, folks. Here's hoping I get a whole lot done this weekend!!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I came down with a cold in the middle of the night but I still managed to be productive today – even if it meant a tissue stuck in the sleeve of my sweatshirt all day! The weather here is awful – cold, rainy and gray. I was supposed to be sewing at my sister’s house but several of our friends were going to be there and I didn’t want to drag my nasty germs over and infect others. Truth be told, I really didn’t want to get out of my sloppy sweats, either!
I have spent the entire day in the studio. I have 8 bags cut and pieced. I cut all the fusible interfacing so that is next. I find that if I do them in sort of an assembly line fashion they go faster. The worst part is constantly changing thread color. I try to group fabrics by color so there isn’t quite as much of that.
My big accomplishment is this
I didn’t have anywhere to hang it it the studio so this is the best photo I could take. Here are some close ups of the quilting
Monofilament is not easy to use. However, if you use a top stitch needle, loosen your tension and don’t go too fast, it works out fine. I did not have any thread breaks from start to finish. I finally think I know how to use this thread! I have also been practicing a lot of the stitches that Leah Day demonstrates in her tutorials and I find that my free motion quilting is improving every time I quilt.
Hope your day was productive and you were warm and dry wherever you are!
Friday, October 16, 2009
I’ve got it, people and I’ve got it bad! I need to make many, many more bags. They weigh heavy on my mind. They have been taking up all my time in the studio. I think I may have snapped. Instead of bags, last night at midnight I was doing this
Fish! I was making fish for a quilt based on a McKenna Ryan pattern. I have made this little wall hanging before and loved it. I dig through my stash of batiks and make little fishy pieces. I have two large pieces of blue batiks that I am going to audition with the fish on them to see which blue makes the best background. I will just fuse the fish onto the “water” and then add a narrow inner border and a wider outer border. The quilting on this is the most fun. I will use a smoke colored monofilament thread to anchor and outline the fish and then make long wiggles of stitches to represent water movement.
This project will, no doubt, occupy me for about another three or four hours and then back to the bags. I think I really just need some diversion.