Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bunny Journal Binder

My dear friend Sandy just celebrated her August Birthday and this is the gift I created for her.  She likes Bunnies.  Sandy is one of those rare and wonderful ladies who is forever grateful with whatever I make for her.  Avery office products makes these sweet little half size 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" three ring binders.  I created a fabric cover for it.

This is the spine of the binder and I merely attached some ribbon with vine and leaf embroidery.  Then I attached three really cute Bunny buttons that resemble the gardening bunnies on the fabric.

I forgot to take a photo of the inside.  The fabric slipcover creates pockets inside the front and back.  I cut up a Birthday card and punched three holes to place as the inside greeting.  Then I randomly punched some old ledger paper to insert for notes and scribbles.  This was well received by Sandy and she is so sweet to always like anything I create for her.  I am very grateful for such a dear friend.
Welcome to my new followers and I do hope you come back again. 
Thank you all for your well wishes with my back and leg.  They are doing better with meds and lots of rest.  In fact I have done nothing but rest for over a week now due to catching a nasty Staph infection in my throat.  More meds and more rest and finally antibiotics that I hope will be the miracle I need to feel well again.  It is not like me to have to cancel my commitments but I certainly do not want to infect anyone else.  No Chamber volunteering and No visit with my beloved sister tomorrow.  We will have to postpone our get-together and reschedule it for another day.  Normally I do not like to share my ills however I must really need your extra support right now as I just turned another year older.  It seems each year just at my birthday timing I get sick.  Hmmm...
I have lots of projects planned but will not work on them until I am completely well because I do not share my germs with anyone...except Mr. C and I am really trying to keep him well.  His trip to Bonneville Salt Flats with the BUB Seven Streamliner Motorcycle went well however nothing super exciting happened as this was merely a testing trip. 
I am seeing lots of you are moving right into Fall with your decorating and creating.  Summer has been long and hot here with no rain and all the fires so I can see why you want Fall to arrive.  This morning we actually had about 27 drops of rain fall on the upstairs deck.  Nothing to dance about and it certainly wasn't even enough to water the parched plants.  Tonight is the Full Moon and you can bet I will be gazing at it and loving how beautiful and magical the moon really is.  Goodbye August...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sew Organized Folder...

Sometimes I see something I fall in love with and desperately want to make for myself.  Donna of Brynwood Needleworks made a Sewing Organizer and I rushed right over to Craftsy and purchased the pattern.  Just click on the names and it will link you to each site. 

Then I was fortunate enough to be gifted this Sewing Organizer by Donna and I was thrilled.  For me looking at a pattern and reading and following it just isn't the same as having something to really look at and this was exactly what I needed.  Thank you beyond words Donna Dear.

Here you can see the inside of the Sewing Organizer and the fact that I am already moved right in and benefitting from how great it is.  This has gone everywhere with me and is getting quite the workout.

In the meantime I took my pattern and gathered fabrics and supplies.  You see I am already thinking ahead to Christmas and all the gift giving that is involved.  In our family we still prefer handmade gifts over store purchased. 

Making this Sewing Organizer really allowed me to branch out and learn a few new skills.  Of course I do not quilt however I already had the clever little Clover clamps in my supplies.  Who knew I would be learning how to bind just like for a quilt finishing. 

I will admit I struggled with the binding.  Donna's pattern is excellent but somehow I kept sewing the wrong diagonal and having to unstitch it.  Finally I resorted to YouTube and found my error.  I love this neutral Toile fabric which tells a story.  I used it for the exterior of my organizer.

Then for the interior I mixed it up a bit with fabrics.  I had this fun "pattern" cotton and thought is was just right for the pocket.  What do you think? 

So here are two of the organizers I completed.  I am so grateful for having a finished example to follow along with the pattern.  Thank you again Donna for writing an excellent pattern and for including such great tips for novice binders like me.  I am happy to have these waiting in my gift cupboard.  Yes, I have attached the recipient's names so as to not mix them up.  When I make handmade gifts I always think of the recipient and put lots of love and happy thoughts into their creation.  Be sure and check out the Craftsy link for this fabulous pattern. 
Our weather is continuing to be challenging with very hot temperatures and no humidity or rain in any forecast.  We are so very grateful for all firefighters, support personnel and equipment that continue to fight daily to keep us safe.  Our air quality is poor however it is not as bad as it could be so we feel fortunate for this.  I very much appreciate your continued prayers and well wishes. 
I am still putting back together my rooms from the remodel. I did have a slight set back and am not able to lift or move much for a while.  My back has decided I have done too much and now is giving me fits from my lower back and down my legs.  I actually went to my doctor and the diagnosis is Radiculopathy with a scheduled MRI to pinpoint the root cause in order to determine further treatment.  This is all part of my Spinal Stenosis and complications.  I have had major back surgery in 1996 and do not wish to experience that again.  So for now, I shall listen to my body and doctor and take it very easy. 
As Summer is waning and Fall is showing signs of its forthcoming I am enjoying every bit that I can.  May you continue to have Creative Bliss and EnJOY your days of Summer/Winter Smiles...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Visiting, Dresses, Hearts...

August is definitely my very most favorite month of the entire year.  It is the month I gave birth to my beautiful daughter.  She just celebrated her birthday and I got to spend it with her and my two beautiful granddaughters too.  Here we are being silly and enjoying a very large craft store!  From the left is Amy 25, me "old", Jenifer 48, Amber 28.   

My daughter treated all four of us to a Chris Isaak concert at the Grove in Anaheim.  If you remember him he is still fabulous and a great entertainer.  His song "Wicked Games" still sounds so good and he can still hold a note forever!  We also had dinner before the show and it was delicious.  Thank you my sweet loving daughter.  You are the BEST!!!

I finally have my sewing machine back and repaired.  The first project I did was to enhance the shower curtain in the new downstairs bathroom.  Mr. C did not like how the ceiling brackets showed white above the grey fabric curtain.  So off to my favorite store to buy black lace.  I have resolved the bracket showing issue and also have a very beautiful custom curtain now. 

Mr. C approves of this designer look.  I like how it all ties in together.

The next thing I did with my repaired sewing machine was sew the three dresses I had cut out and ready to complete for Dress a Girl Around the World.  My friend Donna of Brynwood Needleworks is collecting dresses and thankfully extended the deadline to this coming Friday.  I had all three sewn and mailed by last Saturday.

I am making these dresses larger for the tween girls.  I am having fun with mixing up pockets and armhole bindings.  Sometimes you can use up the smallest bits of fabrics in such a great way.

This dress is one of my favorites even though it is the one I was sewing when my machine had it's metal on metal horrific crash.  I merely unstitched and began again with much care.  This fabric is quite wide so maybe a girl who has a little more body than the others will like this dress.

Now what are these you ask?  Did you ask?  Well, in my many peruses on this vast internet I came across this...The Preemie Project.  I was telling my dry cleaning lady (Wendy) about my sewing escapades with dresses and these hearts I wanted to sew.  On my next visit Wendy very kindly and generously gave me fabrics she has kept from when her girls were little.  She hoped I would sew dresses and hearts and let her be a part of the giving.  These are 31 hearts ranging in size from 5" to 8" and they are all made from Wendy's fabrics.  Thank you Dear Wendy.  These Developmental Hearts will make families with Preemies feel part of their special care.   I will continue with more dresses next. 
I enjoyed my time in So Cal with my girls.  It really does go by so quickly.  Mr. C was kind enough to drive me to and from the airport and the traffic is worse than ever!  Thank you Mr. C.
Our weather is triple digit HOT and still so very scary and DRY.  We have fires that break out every day and yet so far we remain safe in our home.  I am so very thankful for all firefighters and support people and equipment. I don't mind paying twice every year for fire services (please don't's complicated).  After all we do live in a forest!
Loving August Always...Staying busy in this wonderful Summer...and Smiling...

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Embroidery, Coloring, Charming...

I was recently missing my creative time and a very dear lady said a special prayer for me.  A gift of time is what I received and this is what I did with those sweet precious bits of time...
I embroidered this pear.  Thank you Jenny of elefantz for your wonderful design and monthly stitchery club.  You are a very dear lady!

Then I framed this little pear and sent it off to a friend for her birthday.  I love taking time to hand create gifts for friends and family.  I put lots of love and special thoughts into my gifts.

I also gathered my coloring pencils and spent tiny bits of time coloring these adorable drawings.  My friend Lindsay Ostrom is the artist and Miss Creator of Cuteness!  I am using these as post cards and card embellishments for my participation in Random Acts of Mail and Love Notes.

I also was able to create these angel and dragonfly charms.  I like to have these on hand for little Thank You gifts.  Or many times I give these as "thinking of you" charms.  Now I will have a nice selection to choose from.
I am so very grateful for the gift of time and being able to spend it doing what makes me truly happy.  Next I will share with you a new to me project I am participating in.
I have decided on my August tag line after giving it a lot of thought and trying many out.  Because August is my very favorite month I am happy with...August Always!  Creative Bliss and continued Summer Smiles from Hot, Dry, Burning California.  May you all stay safe and hydrated...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sewing By Hand...

In my last post I mentioned, "You can take the sewing machine away from the girl but you can't take the needle and thread from her fingers".  Well, while my sewing machine has been out for repairs I just had to pick up needle and thread.  A few months ago I won this lovely book, "Pretty Birds" by Virginia Lindsay from Lori and her son Zack of the blog Pretty Things.  Thank you both very much.

The least I could do was make Zack one of the birds and Lori mentioned he liked the Bluebird.  So I gathered some scraps of fabric and began cutting out the patterns.  Of course I didn't reverse the pattern the first time so the bird would have needed therapy so I gathered some other scraps of fabric.

Without my machine I threaded a hand sewing needle and began.  Actually the bird came together quite nicely and I am pretty happy with my stitching.  Here you see I am working on the tail section.

Well...when the little bird was all sewn I thought it lacked personality so I added a real tail feather to the fabric tail.  Viola!  So much cuter. 

This is the one I made for Zack.  I like the brighter colors in this fabric.  So off it flew in the US Mail clear across the country.  Wouldn't it be fun to hear the story from BlueBird of his travels?!

Zack got his little fabric birdie safe and sound and here is proof he likes it.  Thank you very much Zack and Lori for gifting me not only this book and some beautiful purple fabrics but also with your friendship through the years via blogging. you ever put needle and thread in fabric and find it to be a wonderful relaxing pastime?  I have always enjoyed hand sewing.  There are lots more "Pretty Birds" in this book and I know I shall be making more as time allows. 
The closest fire (Lowell) to us is now predicted to be fully contained by August 10th.  California and our other West Coast states have so many major fires burning we are running short of firefighters and support air attack planes.  Thankfully other states (and Canada) are sharing their resources to help fight these fires and keep us safe.  If only El Nino would get here (with nice rain...not flooding rain).  Every day the reports are devastating not only about the fires but about the lakes and reservoirs that are the lowest levels in recorded history.  Thank you all for your continued prayers. 
Here we are into August 2015 so quickly I hardly remember July as it rushed past me.  August is my favorite month and there are lots of birthdays to celebrate...beginning with my daughter on August 7th!  Happy Birthday Honey!!! 
As I try to find my word for August so far it has eluded me.  Lots come to mind however I am not amused by them...Awesome August, Amazing August, Always August, Outstanding August, Artful August.  I want a word that truly describes my JOY I feel in this month of August Summer.  So in the meantime I am tagging with Summer Smiles...  I do hope you are enjoying your Summer and the wonderful world we live in while experiencing Creative Bliss.  I am truly grateful for each and every one of you!