Monday, December 19, 2011


Hello everyone - if anyone is still out there!

We're moving over to a new blog - come join us at:

Needed a fresh start and a fresh name that fits a bit better.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Taking a Break...

I'm taking a break from blogging.

Not sure how long I'll be gone, where I'll go, or if I'll be back.

I'm just not feeling inspired to post.  

I've been crocheting, thrifting, dreaming up ideas...but haven't the oomph to share them here.

I might be sharing things on Flickr (you can get there from the button on my sidebar),

or, I might not.

If you'd like to say "hello", I'll still be checking my (e-mail) mailbox, and I'd love to hear from you.

I'll probably still be browsing the interwebs, too.

Although, I think I have a problem in that I'm always looking at/for ideas/blogs/patterns/etc., and not doing.
That is what I plan to spend more time working on - 
less looking and more doing.

But, as always, sending Blessings your way friends.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Late Night Crochet

I realized the other day that I haven't talked about my crochet very much here...

But that will probably change soon.

More on that later.

Tonight I just wanted to share that the house is quiet and I was up crocheting,
when all of a sudden, unconsciously, I started talking to God.

I'm trying to remember a time when that has happened before,
but I can't.

My hands were occupied, and my mind free.
And I didn't want to stop...

But I ran out of yarn.

There is more crochet in my future - for sure.

Blessings to you all tonight.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Putting my (needle?) where my mouth is?

Hand sewing - on the go.

What I've been up to lately...

My first real size quilt project.
Well, the start of it anyway.
All packed up in its "go kit".

What's this?
A little tea to go with my stitching?
As lovely as that would be...

I'm afraid not!
Something even better!
A little sewing kit.
I love it.
(Probably more than I should.)

Some extra batting was folded over
and wrapped with left over
fabric from my
Sunrise Folk sign.
Fabritac holds it there nicely.
Just a few pins and a quilting needle.
(though I haven't been quilting yet-just piecing. 
Jinny suggests a short needle 
and it's been working so well for me!)

Tiny scissors.
A spool of thread.
(I've heard grays/light browns are wonderful
for piecing b/c they are neutral enough that
the stitches don't usually show up on the right side
unless the fabrics are black or white. 
And I have found this to be true!)
And a leather thimble given to me by
my friends mother, Mrs. Davison.
(Thanks Mrs. D!)

Yellow wool felt.
Just so happy.

Cut pieces.
Pieced pieces.
And the plan.
I was going to cut all the pieces and got
so overwhelmed.
Jinny recommends just cutting a few at a time.
So glad I did - less stress!

My stitches are already becoming straighter
and more even.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the dimpling of
hand stitching.
One of my favorite things about fabric and thread.
(also the dimpling of hand quilting.
that's probably the best.)

My chicken-scratch plan.
I'm glad I know what's going on,
because that piece of paper is a MESS!

The inspiration for it all.
This was in my stash.
I think I (or maybe my mom?) got when I was in high school?
And it needed to be used.
And our bed needs a summer quilt.
So there you go.

It has 16 panels.
A few repeating states/cities.
But most importantly:
It looks vintage (yay!)
And has my homestate (yay!)

((p.s. - the fabric that is the backdrop for the sewing kit will also be in the quilt.))

Happy Hand-Sewing to you all!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Handiwork -or - what I've been thinking about a lot lately...

Handiwork is becoming increasingly important to me in my creative pursuits/missions.  More and more I feel the need to learn/value/pass on this skill set that WAS so commonplace that in quilting/sewing patterns and books from eras gone by, there aren't even descriptions or explanations of the process of sewing by hand (how to hold the needle, fabric and thread, etc.).

So what images come to mind when I say "handiwork".  Blue hair, shawls, hot tea and cats?  Umm, I hope not - not that any of those things are bad!  But that's mostly what came to my mind for a long time - because I didn't really know more than one or two people my age doing the kinds of "crafts" I was doing.  What is handiwork anyway?  Webster's II defines it as "1. Work done by hand. 2. Something accomplished by a single person's efforts. 3. The product of a person's work or actions."  Well, that's a pretty broad definition - I associate handiwork with anything fabric+thread+needle related that is done by hand. 

Please don't misunderstand me, I am not anti-sewing machine.  I LOVE my machine.  I just happen to LOVE hand sewing more.  It's portable, quiet, precise (I can sew on the machine, but am much less likely to screw something up if I sew it by hand) ;), s l o w e r (see precise) and there is just something special about sitting down with a needle and thread and all the love that goes into the finished product.  Natalie Chanin's books are great resources for hand sewists and a new hand sewing book Sewn By Hand by Susan Wasinger is out, which I have not seen yet, but would love to!  While patterns and books might not be specifically labeled for hand sewing, there is no reason they can't be used that way!  I've heard a lot of people who come to my booth at the craft shows say things like, "Oh, I wish I could sew, but I don't have a machine".  I try to tell them that they don't need one!  It seems that the slowness and "make do attitude" is just not part of our society anymore.

This is where some huge role models for my handiwork cause come in - Natalie Chanin (of Alabama Chanin - I spoke about her here), Anna Maria Horner and Susan of Plays With Needles.  

Hand sewing is what Natalie and her company are all about (and producing items slowly and locally using sustainable methods and talented sewers right here in the states).  

Recently, Anna Maria has talked about the importance of hand sewing and I believe she does quite a bit of it herself.  She talked about the dynamic of having a business and handsewing/making and whether the two together are possible.  As small as Sunrise Folk is, it's something I think about a lot, too.  I am increasingly inclined to take the plunge and go mostly, if not all, hand sewn in the shop.  Anna Maria also posted a video (courtesy of Etsy) that discusses a dying art and it really got me thinking about how important it is to keep these art forms alive.  

Then, Susan had a wonderful post about the time it takes to do handiwork - how most people don't understand why we do this, but how important the work is (and in her case the work is amazing ARTwork!).   

For quilters out there, I am quite sure you all know who Jinny Beyer is (I didn't know until a few weeks ago!).  If you don't know, she is a prolific hand quilter - she pieces and quilts every one of her quilts by hand.  And they are AMAZING!  She's written several books, has a website stocked with info and free patterns, has a fabric line and even has handy quilting tools for sale.  I recently purchased Quiltmaking By Hand and I'm SO glad I did!  It is a treasure trove of information, not just about hand quilting, but color selection, pattern drafting, hand sewing and skill building.  One thing I am incredibly impressed with about Jinny is how 'free' she is in her instructions/sewing philosophy.  She never says "you must do it this way or you are wrong".  Quite the opposite, she says there is NO wrong way.  *Love!*

Do any of you do hand sewing/hand quilting/hand embroidering/etc.?  Please let me know if you do, I would love to hear from you and try to round up a group of us!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I have pictures!

But the pictures first... as promised, here is my first Alabama Chanin skirt!  I only did one layer instead of the two I was supposed to...but for the sail boat reverse applique, I cut a little piece of contrasting fabric.

I apologize for the wrinkles in the skirt.  Most of the time, unfortunately, that's how I roll.  My husband came home shortly after I took these photos and had a very puzzled expression on his face.  
"Why are you wearing a skirt over your pants?"  
"Because I had to take pictures of it on me."

The slow cloth piece I worked on during vacation.  Still not quite finished, but I think I might just leave it be.  

Sorry!  Couldn't get it to turn!!!!

My first english paper piecing experience!  And after some time away from them, I already have several projects lined up in my head incorporating more hexagons!

And the mess that was formerly the craft room/office (affectionately known to J and I as the crawffice).  With the new internet came the need to pull the bookshelf out, so everything on it got put anywhere there was room in here...

And in here.  I'm happy to report that I went through all of it, got rid of a lot of it, and the rest is back in order in the crawffice.  It will all soon be a mess, however, because we are getting new carpet in our bedroom tomorrow, so all that furniture will be all over the house. ;)

Last, but not least, a baby hat made for a co-worker's new little one, Piper Jane!  (Isn't that a sweet name??  I love it!)  She is so adorable!  The pattern came from a search on Tangled Happy and can be found here at the Aesthetic Nest.

More soon!  Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Party in a box!

I meant to write about this when I talked about Wy's birthday party, but forgot!

We live pretty far from family, so our "work & church family" joined us for Wy's actual party.  I didn't want the grandparents to miss out on the fun though, so I sent them a party in a box!

(please excuse the mess behind the actual birthday stuff!)

Since they couldn't join us, I wanted to include little details from the party that would make them feel like they had been there.  I was going to be printing several sets of pictures (for Grandparents, Great Grandmas and Grand Godmother), so I sent them to Walgreens to be printed.  So much easier!
Believe it or not, that Bisquick box in the background is not part of the "mess", it's one of the boxes I used to send the package.  See how to make it 'sendable' here.

Invitations, straws, bubbles (in plastic sandwich bags with cowboy paper trim) and the cute baking cups I found at Michael's!

The tissue paper pom poms.

Everything got wrapped up in a bandana and put in a box to send!

Here I was, saying I wasn't going to post anything until later this week and I already have this one and another one ready to go!  Pictures, pictures, though.  I need to take some pictures.

Not sure when I'll be back - but I will bring pictures - promise!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Maybe I'm the stranger...

Well, I'm afraid I don't have the pictures yet that I promised last time.

And I don't really even have a post today.

But - we are getting a better/faster/awesomer internet connection in a few days which hopefully means this whole blogging thing will be easier for me and I will be able to contribute a little more to the internets.

So, until then -

It's sort of difficult to read in this picture, but the quote is:
"A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water"
- E. Roosevelt


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hi there stranger...

So it's been awhile huh?

Sorry about that.  We were on vacation with my family up in Michigan.  Not somewhere we normally go to vacation, but this time was a little different.  We spent the week on Mackinac Island (pronounced mack-ea-naw for those of us not from the region).  There are no cars on the island - not even scooters or golf carts (except on the golf course...silly goofers!), just horse drawn carriages and bicycles!

And it was chilly, even down right cold part of the time.  Such a wonderful difference from the stagnant heat of New Orleans.  We spent many an hour on the bicycles circling the island, getting off to do some window shopping and ice cream eating and riding through the woods.  

A few milestones were reached during our stay in the island... the first was that my husband and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.  Go us!  ;)  The little one stayed with Grandma and Grandpa while we walked down to a lovely dinner at a restaurant overlooking the water.  It was perfect for us, beachy colors inside a window filled dining room (J pointed out that the color of the walls was the same color as our wedding cake!), yummy food and happy and friendly staff.   

I even found a quilt pattern in the design of the tiles on the bathroom floor!  Isn't it gorgeous?!

Speaking of sewing...I didn't get much of any of THAT done.  Which is a bit of a bummer.  But lots of time was spent with family so I really can't complain!  I took along my paper piecing teaser from the first issue of CraftSanity Magazine that I had yet to dive into and gave it a whirl.  At first, I really could not understand why people say it's addicting because it seemed like a whole lot of work to me.  But looking at the finished piece now, I really want to do more!  And I hoping to incorporate them into bags and items where they are not usually found.  Mostly though, it was that bathroom floor.  So so beautiful!  

I have been very inspired by the slow making/ slow sewing/ not sure what to call it - but the hand sewing (as in a needle and thread) talk that has been going on these days (more explanation coming soon...).  While working some late hours a few weeks ago, I finished piecing my first Alabama Chanin skirt!  I LOVE it and am happily looking forward to making more!!!  I put the elastic on while we were on vacation.  It doesn't look pretty, but it does it's job and that's really all I can ask of it, I think.  I don't have a picture of the whole skirt (yet), but here is the stencil before the reverse applique was finished. (note:  a few weeks ago my wonderful husband found freezer paper for me - I was beginning to think they didn't sell it in New Orleans, I couldn't find it ANYWHERE.  J to the rescue!!  This was my first freezer paper stencil and I was so happy with how it turned out!!!) (note(2): I did not draw the boat, I found it in Google images) (I think that's the last note...)

In my little sewing bag were also some shirt scraps and random thread.  The first time in a long time I went without a plan - and this was the result...
uh, sorry.  I don't have a picture of that either.  Coming soon!

Look at that, you got me all caught up in talking about sewing and I haven't even mentioned the other milestone!  ;)  Our little Wy is walking!  Definitely can't put my finger on an exact time or place but I know that when we got there he could only take a few steps before he fell down and now he walks across rooms and down hallways with no problem at all!  Things are happening quickly - I'm so glad we were able to spend the whole week with him to see all this unfold.

Alright, I suppose that's enough for now, don't you think?  Until next time...

Blessing friends!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to...

We had a birthday last month...with a cowboy themed party... can you guess which one of us it was?

No!  It wasn't me! ;)  
Wy turned 1!

I sewed a bandana tie and some denim (from scraps from a denim shirt-turned-apron) onto a plain onsie we already had for a cowboy outfit.

And to complete the outfit, Grandma found a cowboy hat that fit perfectly.

We tried to leave it low-key with a pot luck get together, cupcakes and no gifts.
Somewhere I have better pictures, but since I can't find them, these will do.  Michaels had tissue paper with cow print, denim and a bandana print (score!) that I used to make pom poms (see them hanging there above the island?).

Michaels also had a large assortment of colorful bandanas.  A few pinking shear cuts, felt letters, glue and twill tape and a Happy Birthday banner was done.
I, of course, needed an apron for the occasion and World Market had a perfect set of dishtowels to make one.  I roughly used the pattern in Apronology (one I think I will return to again and again).

Wy LOVES bubbles (in fact bubbles was one of his first words), so i really wanted to have bubbles as favors to have out for people to use during the party and after.  I had the hardest time finding small containers of bubbles that weren't wedding favors.  In fact, I didn't find any other ones so I tried to disguise the wedding part with start stickers and by putting them in glass jars covered in cowboy scrapbook paper.  I'm not sure if people bought it, but they did blow bubbles and that's all that really matters I suppose.

More on my extended absence soon - just have to get pictures uploaded!

Monday, May 30, 2011

New Business Card

Ta Da!  Here is a picture of my new business cards.  The lovely Teresa is modeling one of the shirt aprons as a little peek into what the shop has to offer (this was one of the photos from the Etsy listing for this apron).  I was so pleased with how they turned out - I think I might have a whole bunch made...

And this is one of the hair clip holders.  I used the shapes buttons in pages (the mac version of word), on the business card templates.  We printed them on the pre-cut business card paper, from there it was easy to just cut two slits in the middle of the card, sort of thread the back part of the hair clip through the slits and clip it on.  I will also be making more of these!

Have a safe rest of your Memorial Day - and take some time to remember what this day means.  Not just family time and barbecues, but the sacrifices of our soldiers, policemen and firemen.  

Blessings - Daphne