Sunday, November 29, 2009

Post Thanksgiving...

We had a wonderful, crazy Thanksgiving celebration at my house.  We had a turkey and a ham and we all ate too much.  My dear daughters-in-law did all the after dinner cleanup.  Bless their hearts!  We let dinner settle for a while and then all piled into the car with desserts.  Our tradition includes all going to my sister's home on Thanksgiving night for dessert and Black Friday shopping planning sessions.  I ate a piece of pecan pie, lemon pie and coconut cake.  Yummy!!  We read through all the ads and though I enjoyed hearing what strategies were going to be implemented, Black Friday shopping was something I just didn't want to do.

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


Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have

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

No place like home...

So, you know how big designers have "trunk shows"?  I am not a big designer so I am having "big brown box" shows!  I took all of my bags into the office yesterday and (with permission) set them up in one of the small conference rooms.  A 350 mile drive from home and I sold 11 bags.  A 20 minute drive from my house and I sold 5 bags yesterday with an option on a 6th!  I boxed them all back up again and they are making the trek to my sister's office on Monday.  "Have packing box, will travel!"

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

Craft Show Day 2

I wanted to give you some idea of how large this craft show was so here are some photos that are incredibly fuzzy.  There were 90 vendors and we were spread out down all of the main hallways of Indian River High School.

You could, in all honesty, get all of your Christmas shopping done in one place.  The quality and quantitiy was amazing.  That having been said, it was not a good show for most of the vendors.  Roughly 3,000 people attended.  I sold 11 bags.  Yes, ELEVEN!  That's it.  I had a lot of people take my card and ask if I did custom orders (certainly!) but only 11 are not returning to Pennsylvania.  Thankfully, I am fairly certain that the balance of my inventory will sell before Christmas so I am not totally freaked out.  I am very disappointed however.  I chalk this up to being a good learning experience (and I DID learn a lot!)  My dear son, Chad, is setting up a real website for me and also doing some really cool video stuff.  I will see what kind of interest that generates and go from there.  I am very serious about this becoming a business with a viable income generated.

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

Craft Show Day 1

Our trip to Virginia was uneventful and I barely made my mother work.  Her principal job on the trip down was keeping me hydrated with Diet Mountain Dew so that I would stay awake.  I only slept a few hours on Thursday night so the 7 hour drive was a killer.  As her first reward, I treated my mom to dinner at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Chesapeake. 

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

A couple of hours later, Chad arrived with his family and a surprise for me

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

Big Weekend

The show is tomorrow and Sunday afternoon.  I have no idea how many bags I finally have finished.  Actually, "finished"' is still a word I am throwing around rather loosely.  My mother will be sewing buttons on bags while I drive.  She will also be hanging care instruction cards on the bags and putting price tags on them.  She doesn't know this yet.  Don't you just LOVE surprises!!

By the way, I have updated the slideshow at  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

Early November Update

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… 

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