Friday, January 28, 2011

It's true

I occasionally watch "What Not to Wear". Staci and Clinton are always yammering about finding the perfect pair of jeans, how painful it is and how many pairs you have to try before you find the perfect jean.  Well, it's true.  You do have to try on a lot of jeans and look at yourself in those horrid dressing room mirrors.  You may shed a few tears.  For me, never again!  I have found the perfect jeans.

Photo from the Lee website
They are made by Lee and called Slender Secret Graham Straight Leg.  There is a touch of Lycra in the denim that is amazing.  I did have to hem them because to find the perfect jean I had to go with a long length in the leg.  Hemming a pair of pants that make you look good and feel good is no hardship!  I wore them to work yesterday (because we can wear jeans on snow days) and someone told me my jeans looked great on me AND how much thinner I was getting.  OK, gotta be honest - I have lost a few pounds but it was the jeans, people!  I bought the dark wash (I think it is called Onyx but they are not black - just a really, really dark blue) and they refer to them as a "modern" fit - the waistband is below the waist but not half way down my tush!  I am fortunate to live very near (what I believe to be) the original Vanity Fair outlet in Reading, Pennsylvania so I could try on lots of different pairs of jeans.  I also bought at outlet pricing so they didn't cost an arm and a leg.  On the Lee site right now they are on sale for $32.99 with an MSRP of $42.  I bought mine just before Christmas on special.  I paid less than $20 for them.

There you have it.  Real woman's body, jeans that fit.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What do you think now?

Ta da!  Here is "Desolation" with a red border.

Isn't my "design bunk bed" elegant?
I have to say that I like it so much better now! The red fabric has a couple of shades of red mixed with the black and I think it compliments the "mountains" pretty well.  I knew I would find the perfect fabric at Burkholder's and I did.  Someone suggested that I donate it if I didn't like it but it is a weird size.  I am going to hang on to it for a while and then come up with a plan.

So this is what else has been happening in the studio.

This is a laptop bag for my cousin. She picked the initial fabric and then told me to do whatever I wanted with the balance of the fabrics. In the interior there is a flap pocket that opens for file folders and on the other side is a full row of pockets in different sizes.

The bag is only 3" deep so it fits most laptops fairly snugly. My Dell fits perfectly and I really like this bag. I may have to make one for myself!

Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

FNSI project

Here it is

Photo disclaimer: The whites in the quilt are all white and not the variations that they appear to be in the photo.  The background is the beige carpet of my "design floor".  And, yes, the values are a train wreck.

The question is:  What am I going to do with it now?!  I know I took a picture of the "inspiration" quilt, however, I cannot find it anywhere in my files.  I just remember there was a red border.  If I can convince my quilty sister to pick me up in her 4-wheel drive vehicle, I would like to go to Burkholder's (with coupon in hand) and find a piece of red.  I really don't like it.  I am going to call it "Desolation".  (This may very well end up being a dog bed quilt...but only if I really don't like the dog!)

That being said, I would do the pattern again.  It is fun and easy.  I think doing this totally scrappy would be very pretty.  I love Kim's in batiks with a theme.

I am off in search of some coffee and a couple of chocolate chip cookies to console myself.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More of the same...

weather! Snow is coming tonight so I am working from home again on Friday.  Life is good!!

I saw over on Kim's blog that she is working on a quilt for her son. (Click over because it is beautiful and you need to see it!) The pattern she is using is from Bonnie Hunter's "Scrappy Mountain Majesties". Four or five years ago, I made all the half square triangle sets, attempted Bonnie's instructions and made a mess of two blocks. (I don't know if it was because I was tired or if I wasn't motivated but at that point in time, I was befuddled!)  I pulled out the blocks yesterday and started cutting and sewing little mountains. They are adorable!

 I originally had the idea for the quilt based on one I saw at a quilt shop in Wellsboro, PA while trekking north to our retreat destination. I am working on the blocks sporadically now as I am trying to finish up two commission pieces but I think the mountain blocks will be my project for

Handmade by Heidi

Are you going to sew on Friday night?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Icky weather!

First it snowed last night.  Then there was sleet.  Now it is freezing rain.  It is just plain nasty outside.  I  attempted to look out the window in my studio and I cannot.  There is a coating of ice on the window so all I can see are shapes. Thankfully, I am working from home and I am nice and cozy in my big, fat fleece robe that I got for Christmas!

Now for the technical portion of this post...

Do you use LiveWriter?  I used to use it and then suddenly it stopped working for me.  I type the title and then about 2 sentences into the post the whole thing disappears and LiveWriter shuts down. Weird, huh? I have done a "re-install" twice.  It is very strange because I used the program for months without any problems.  I do like it so much better than writing in Blogger.  So, if you have had any issues and have resolved them, I would love to know what you did!

Back to work.  (I am thinking cookies will be made today!)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Busy weekend

I started and completed a new purse design. I cut out two additional bags and started piecing them.  I also did laundry, put ALL of my Christmas decor away (which meant more than 20 trips to and from the basement), cleaned, baked cookies, made a mean pot of chili, reorganized the linen closet and crocheted a scarf. I worked so hard this weekend I need to go back to work to get some rest!

I was also doing some "experimenting" with my Canon p&s camera.  (I swear I am going to learn how to use that darn thing!)  The lighting in my studio is less than optimal - especially for taking photos.  I prefer to use natural light when I can and really don't like the glare that always seems to appear when I am using a flash.  I thought I would try something.  Here are two photos of the new drawstring tote.  The first is taken with flash and the ISO set at 800.

The second is taken with flash, ISO 800 but this time I taped a piece of wax paper over the flash.

I didn't edit them except for the addition of the watermark.  I really like the second one with the "diffused" flash.  With the full flash the whites really seem too bright.  I think I will mess around with the second one in Piknic and when I am happy with it I will post on Hazelnut Deux.

Speaking of editing, I use Picasa and especially like the addition of Piknic to the software.  I did the trial with Photoshop Elements but honestly did not have the time to really take advantage of all the features.  If I were a serious blogger and had the time, I think Photoshop is an incredible program.  I use Picasa because it is easy to learn, has really nice features and is free.

I like free and easy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow day!

The snow started last night on my way home from work.  Early this morning I awoke to 4.5" on the ground. No, that is nothing compared to what the New England states have gotten but it was enough to keep me at home.  Have I mentioned before how much I enjoy working from home? I love working in my jammies!

When I finally got some clothing on, I went out to clean off the car.  I took a few photos.

In the garden

Trees just down the alley

Brick barn just around the corner

Stone barn next door
As you can see, it is still overcast and a little gloomy. We had a few fast moving snow showers but now it appears that our snow "event" has ended.

Last night I started this baby quilt

Note the bottle of Mountain drug of choice
I have been working on it off and on.  Since I am supposed to be working from home, I am also doing a lot of this

I am a dedicated employee!!
I am going to finish up the baby quilt this afternoon and maybe even get it quilted.  Tomorrow it is back to the office and reality!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What a weekend!

I worked in the studio all day on Saturday and I can see the floor!!  I dusted, vacuumed, organized and sorted.  Here's what it looked like after I started cutting again.


Today I finished a UFO - a baby quilt that I started 3 years ago.

I also started AND finished a table runner that someone had ordered. The "leaf" fabric is the backing. I sure hope she likes it!

Because I worked inside all weekend, I have not done anything about cleaning snow off or from around my car. I think I am going to get a lot of exercise tomorrow morning!

Friday, January 7, 2011

First UFO finished in 2011!

I said I would and I did! I finally put the binding on the wall quilt I made for my son and his wife...wait for it...2 years ago!!  Ta da!

It's looking a little washed out here in the sunlight.  It has all the colors of their living room and the border also has aubergine in it which ties in with the color of one of the walls in the dining room.  My DIL was thrilled with it.  The pattern is Snapshots from Terry Atkinson's "Happy Hour".

Next up is binding my niece's quilt.  That one is from her freshman year in college.  She graduated in May and is now employed and living in Tampa, Florida.  Think it's about time I gave her the quilt?

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Like nearly every other quilter, New Year translates into "organize your sewing space". Many quilters are finding all their PIGS and UFOs and are making plans to finish projects. At this point, I would really like to be able to FIND my unfinished projects! Behold - my studio:

Why (you may ask) is there a hole punch on the ironing board?  I DON'T KNOW!

Yes - that is a multi-function printer on the corner of my sewing table.  Why is it sitting there?  I DON'T KNOW!

I am only showing you 2 corners of the room.  You really don't want to see the other two corners.  My plan is to attack this a bit at a time over the next few days so that I can actually sew again over the weekend.  Usually when I take on a project like this there are lots of things I "think" I need to purchase to help with the organization.  Not this time.  I have all the containers I could possibly need.  I just need to actually put something into the containers!

There are rumors of snow coming this weekend.  With snow I would be forced to stay indoors and do something constructive...rather than take my 40% off coupon to Burkholders to buy jelly rolls and charm packs!  (Though I do have a container for them...)

Saturday, January 1, 2011


So, what's new for 2011?  Well, I cut my hair.  Seriously cut my hair.  My mother declared me "too old for long hair".  (Love her but she makes me crazy!)  I actually had been thinking along those same lines but I let her believe it was her idea.  Next week will be the color change.  I have been talking about it for YEARS and I am finally ready.  Be gone strawberry blondish hair!  I am going to ease into my natural hair color.  I think it is mousy brown with a whole lot of white.  The transition will be interesting.

I am going to finally open a little Etsy shop and start advertising on some blogs.  I am doing the Dave Ramsey thing and 2011 is the year to reduce debt.  I really want to be able to create full time and work part time (mostly for insurance benefits).  This is a long term goal and I am a long way from being able to declare myself financially independent but this is the year to begin.

2011 will also be the year of the real vacation.  I am not sure where I am going or what I am going to do but I will vacation this year.  I do love Holden Beach, North Carolina but Seattle keeps calling my name!

2011 is the year of finishing my stack of UFOs!  I have so many quilt tops that just need quilting.  I have way too many quilts that just need binding!  I have all ready made blocks that just need to be assembled.  I am not going to lose my mind over this. I am going to be methodical and practical (neither are my strong suit!).  First thing is the binding on a quilt I made for my son and daughter in law.  I am binding it this weekend and checking that one off my list.  (I love checking things off lists!)

How about you?  Any plans for 2011?  Do tell!!
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