Friday, April 15, 2011

Best Shopping Day Ever!

I live just outside of a big city, so when I need to go into the city, I plan my day carefully so that I will be able to stop at all the places I need to in the most timely and efficient manner possible. It's a bummer when a store does not have what I need or want - doesn't have it in stock, doesn't have my size, the right color, etc. This usually means that I will need to stop there on another trip into the city.. a week or a month from now! Such a pain!

But not this week! This week when I went into the city, my day went exactly as planned with extra fun surprises! Let me tell you about it.

I started the day by phoning my parents to see if they needed me to get anything for them while I was in the city - sometimes they do. But they didn't need anything, and my Mom offered to take Otto for the day so that I could be faster in getting things done! Lovely! My parents are so good! So instead of having to get in and out of the van all day, Otto got a fun day with his grandparents (and did they ever have fun - a walk to the the playground, slides, swings, and trike rides down the driveway)! I also didn't have to worry about all the snacks and stopping for eating and all that. Nice.

Stop #1: Aldo Outlet. I went in for a specific pair of shoes in a specific color. Sadly, they did not have my size. But, awesome thing #1 of the day, I tried my size on in a different color, and instead of saying, "Sorry, we don't have your size, you'll have to try another store," the saleslady told me that I could purchase the ones I wanted in my size and they would send me the shoes to my door and they'd pay the shipping! Wow! That made my morning!

Stop #2: Winners. I love to stop at Winners and browse. Sometimes you find something good, sometimes you don't. Today, I found something wonderful! I found a cool green tin can and this beautiful bird cage jewelry holder. The door even opens to store bracelets and other things in the inside! Lovely!

Stop #3: Winners. Yep, I stopped in at another Winners. I just can't help myself! It happened to be in the same complex as the next two stores I would stop at. So every time I've gone to Winners in the past two and a half years, I browse through the handbags to see if I can find a suitable bag that would be fashionable, yet have enough room for all my purse items plus diaper and snack items for Otto. And maybe a toy or book for Otto too. And it would be really nice if this bag were green. Anyway, after over two years of searching, I found the perfect one! I couldn't believe it!

Stop #4: Dollar Giant. Gotta love the dollar stores. The last time I went to this same store, I bought a few microfiber cloths that I discovered I love as my dish rags. I wanted a few more. Guess how many they happened to have left! Yep, a few more! Cha-ching!

Stop #5: My Sewing Room. Picked up a pair of free motion quilting gloves. I wasn't even sure they still carried them, as the ones I had borrowed from a friend were bought awhile ago. Nice.

Stop #6: Fabricland. I am trying to put together a quilt for our master bedroom. I got all the fabric (with several trips) and cut out all the pieces, but I wasn't satisfied with one of the patterns. It matched some of the fabrics, but really didn't match the other fabrics. So I really hoped to be able to find something suitable. I didn't have high hopes because I'd already searched for these colors and thought I'd found everything they had. But I was wrong! I found the perfect fabric and it will look wonderful with all the other fabrics! WOW!

Stop #7: Staples. I wasn't really planning on stopping here, but at the last minute I turned in, thinking that maybe they'd have what I'd been looking for in another Staples, but didn't find. I figured that they might have something because this Staples was in a busier center. And did I find what I wanted? Yes, I sure did! (some white tags for scrapbooking)

Stop #8: The Distribution Center. Okay, so maybe this is indulging too much information, but I really needed a few more pairs of maternity unmentionables and guess how many they had left of my size in stock? The same number that I needed! Nice Nice.

Stop #9: IKEA. I wanted to get a few different sized frames to start getting things ready for my new business venture (more on that soon). And I also picked up a stool for Otto (side note: Otto has thee cutest way of pronouncing any word with an "L" in it, and "stool" is one of our personal favorites recently). I rushed through IKEA, knowing exactly what I wanted to get, but I happened to look in one area I don't usually look in and found the perfect shelving unit for my furnace/laundry room, which I'd been on the lookout for for the past several months! And at $14.99, it was such a great deal! Cha-ching!

Stop #10: Superstore. Kinda boring here, but I got all the things I wanted, including some organic face products which sometimes are not in stock here, and I finally remembered to pick up some finger paints for Otto (which we used yesterday and which he loved so much)!

So a total of 10 stops in the city, and I was able to get what I wanted and more from each stop! That is unheard of! So there you have it, a perfect day of shopping and errands! I was so happy as I drove home, I just couldn't believe my good luck!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Circles Baby Quilt

I LOVE this quilt. Don't get me wrong, there are tonnes of mistakes, as this is my first attempt at free-motion quilting, but I think it turned out all-right in the end. As we don't know the sex of this next baby, the colors are pretty generic, and perfect for us.

As for free-motion quilting - it sounds like a fun and fanciful free type of quilting, doesn't it? You can make whatever shape you want! You can go out of the lines! But OH! How difficult it really is! It is tiring on the muscles, and it is SO hard to get uniform stitches! But I do love that I can do circles and go anywhere with the stitches. {Just don't look too closely!} The special gloves {on loan from a dear friend} were a great help.

Here's a close-up of the backing. I used a soft minky, which will be perfect for babe.

I did a bit of a practice run first with this wee tag blanket. My favorite is the rick-rack around the edge.

I found and fell in love with the pattern on Cluck Cluck Sew blog. I changed the measurements to suite my project and my liking, but her tutorial was a fantastic guide!

Family Laundry Line

I am SO excited that this project turned out! This is my Family Laundry Line fabric artwork. I've had this idea {and many other stitched artwork ideas} floating around in my brain for some time and wondering if I might make these to order.... I must admit that I thought I might be an original or very near original by making the laundry line into a fabric project, but sadly, my idea was found {almost exactly} on the front of this book! *gasp* Oh well. I actually bought this book and it is a fantastic resource for many of the stitching/fabric projects I have in mind! I must give credit where credit is due and tell you that some inspiration for a laundry line came from here and here. And I couldn't have done it without a dear friend's generous donation of her itty bitty fabric scraps {and some not so itty bitty}!

Update: Now you can order your very own! Visit my Facebook Page at

Monday, April 4, 2011

All Bundled Up

Here is a recent LO I've done. It was super quick and super easy. My favorite part (besides the ridiculously adorable picture of Otto) are the Stampin' Up felt snowflakes and the white foam letter stickers. Would you believe that these stickers come from the dollar store?! I LOVE the white ones because I can dress them up with a muted stamp so they aren't so stark!

Hoppy for you!

Two weeks ago I had 6 of my students perform in the music festival in our town. It is a great opportunity to learn and grow in their performance skills. I am happy to say that they all did very well! One student was also chosen to win an adjudicator's award at the showcase last week. Way to go, students!

I made these treat boxes to let them know I am so proud of them. I recently bought this die (a mini milk carton) from Stampin' Up and I have used it so much already! Just change the colors and stamped sentiment and you've got the perfect little token of appreciation, good luck, love, happy birthday, congratulations, thank you, or happy holiday (insert Christmas, Easter, Valentine's, Halloween, St. Patrick's Day). LOVE it!