Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Schatzi, Sunshine, and Sewing

It is a LOVELY, sunny afternoon (at least it was when I started this post - it is now after 9:00 PM - where did the day go??)...and today, we are celebrating Miss Schatzi's 5th birthday (which doesn't even seem possible). I have had a pelthora of work demands today, so it was nice to get out in the fresh air and take her on a good walk.

Along with a technical website issue, a pile of correspondence, and a handful of phone calls, my sewing machine has been humming along today. Now that my Just CrossStitch deadlines have all been met, I am working on project bag and needlework finishing orders. Another 200 zippers arrived this week and two more bolts of fusible fleece...along with other finishing supplies that were low...and everything is organized for my sewing and finishing marathon. I'm trying to steadily work through each and every order, preparing for a Nashville vacation in late April (oh how I need a vacation!) on things we *need to* see and do, please send my way...

I seem to be shipping out packages are a select few sewing/quilting items I have been working on...and the first photo is a teaser of what to look for in Just CrossStitch magazine later this year - I can't show you the cross stitch just yet...(hint: one autumn, one Halloween)...

I hope the cheerful spring fabrics brightened your day! I'll be back soon with some new needlework finishing photos...

Monday, March 5, 2018

A Bird, a Basket, and a Squirrel...

Today was a rather gloomy day, but inside my studio has been bright and cheerful! I have been stitching all evening, working on another new design/model for Just CrossStitch Magazine (for an autumn issue). I also was blessed to spend my afternoon with some wonderful, colorful fabrics, as I cut and prepared another 45 zippered project bags for sewing. Orders have been coming in steadily and I am grateful for more happy time in my studio....just wait until to you see the all the special needlework finishing I have been working on for my clients...some absolutely gorgeous pieces!!

I have plenty of completed projects to share with you, as time allows - but today I thought I would share some creative eye candy from my recent birthday...I will provide details with the photos, if they are available. 

These top two images are of an incredible mixed media bird - I wish I had more information for you - unfortunately, I do not have the artists name (if you know, please do drop me a note!)...but it really is spectacular! It was created with all sorts of materials and sits on (what looks to be) a vintage candle holder or stand. It is quite large in size and I had a heck of a time photographing it, so you could see the images don't even come close to doing it justice. I haven't found the perfect home for it just yet - I have been auditioning places...right now it is on a shelf in my sewing room, where it is continually bringing me joy...

How cute is this stitched squirrel?!...and the round, concave tray is to die for...
plus I was given all sorts of little sewing gifts to keep in it...

So first - the basket - it is a Mini Organizer Basket from 1803 Ohio Farm Baskets
It is incredible quality, a lovely size, and the PERFECT gift!
The "sew" piece on the front is a needleminder from one of my
favorite artists, Michelle L. Palmer - her pen and ink works are FABULOUS!
You also see a scissor fob and three packages of hand-dyed rick rack...

How gorgeous is this framed piece?! - I ♥ it!!
The rick rack spools are from Riley Blake Designs.
Quiltfolk magazine - SWOON!
I received a couple back issues and a subscription...if you are not familiar
 with this magazine (each one is like a book and is advertisement free - high
quality paper and cover - no patterns), it celebrates the people and the
stories behind the stitches - it is BEAUTIFUL!

Stationery and Sewing Tin Set by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet
You can find it here:

Needle Case Slide Top Tin from Clayworks by Kim Detmers
Yes, the top of this tin is (3D) polymer clay and it is LOVELY!
So those are just a few creative things and artists I wanted to share with you - thank you to my dear friends and family that gifted me these heartfelt presents! Each one brings me joy and inspires me to create...

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February, Finishing, and Friendship

I blinked and February was fact, the entire last month has been a whirlwind. Things have been humming along in my studio...I've been stitching a couple more new magazine models, doing all sorts of needlework finishing, sewing custom bag orders, and, I designed and created another fun new sample for AccuQuilt last week. My studio is overflowing with creative projects, which is such a blessing!

Although things have been a little hectic here, I am hoping for a little break, as we dropped Garin (our German Shepherd puppy) off for formal training this past weekend - he will be gone at puppy boot camp for the next three months. It is a big mix of emotions, as I  miss him already...but I know his obedience and command training will be stellar upon his return (he is getting the same training Schatzi received as a puppy). Truth be told, I needed some time to get caught up on work deadlines and projects, as Garin seemed to be a full-time job (as any GSD puppy owner will tell you!)....but I am already missing him desperately and will be counting the days until May 19th when he returns home.

I also celebrated my birthday in February and was able to enjoy a lovely lunch with two dear friends. I received some incredible gifts (that I will share in a future post) - lots of creative, stitching, sewing, and quilting gifts - my favorite! To everyone who sent me wishes via mail, e-mail, and social media - thank you - my heart is full.

Today's photo inspiration is a selection of needlework finishing I recently completed for a wonderful friend and customer...she trusts me to finish her pieces however I see fit, so each piece is a joy to work on - I get to be creative and finish each piece as I would my own. Just a note - these images do not depict my stitching or my designs, just my finishing work....

"Be Rich in Good Deeds" by Little House Needleworks 

"F is for Friend" by Heartstring Samplery (Special Club Kit from The Silver Needle)

"Traveling Stitcher" by Little House Needleworks
Pre-made Pouch and Needlebook from Elegant Stitch

 “Be My Friend” by the Scarlett House (Special Club Kit from The Silver Needle)

Finally today - here is the last photo I took of Garin when we dropped him off in Minnesota...but don't worry, we will be receiving weekly updates with photos and videos while he is at puppy training camp!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Humming Along

It's a quiet Friday night and I thought I would take break from a stitching marathon to post an update. I have been working on more cross stitch projects for Just CrossStitch Magazine and a new AccuQuilt design, so things are humming along. I've been trying to clean up my counter of customer projects, so there are piles of project bags cut and ready to sew, along with a couple small quilts and a wall hanging...and multiple piles of needlework finishing, all in various stages of completion...there is also a tray of Stitch Starter Ruler sleeves and several project/tool bags prepped and ready to sew for my Etsy Shop. I'm still trying to find a balance with the puppy requiring quite a bit of attention while my husband is traveling.

...and since when it rains, it pours, there were a few challenges this week. My web host tried to move my website to a new server and (of course) my e-mails are tied to my website, which caused a bit of an issue - no e-mail for a couple days, then it all started pouring in my inbox in large batches...and when a new batch would arrive, the old batch would disappear (poof!) - it seems to be fixed now and I think we recovered everything, but if by chance you sent me a message that needed a response and didn't receive one, please re-send it! I managed to get my 2017 sales taxes completed this week and started preparing our income tax paperwork for the CPA - something I dread all year, even though I am quite organized. It was just one of those super busy weeks where it doesn't seem like anything was accomplished. I got back on track yesterday and the to-do list is starting to look manageable....hopefully this coming week will run smooth (fingers crossed)!

Last Friday, I was able to have lunch with my dear friend Mary - it felt great to get out of the house and just breathe. Since the puppy arrival last October and then the holiday rush, I have been on scheduled autopilot - I really only make it out to go to the gym and to run errands, so "me time" has been pretty much non-existent - to be able to relax, even if only for a couple hours, was pure joy. After lunch, we walked over to a local quilt shop and picked fabrics for a couple small projects....and I felt refreshed and ready to tackle more of what life has been throwing at me. I have been doing quite a bit of needlework finishing for Mary and was able to return some of her beautiful stitching (these photos showcase her stitching and my finishing):

This piece has been getting quite a bit of social media buzz and we are trying
to figure out the designer/title - the consensus is that it was in a magazine,
 but I don't have specific details - if you know, please leave me a comment!

Don't you love it when seams line up perfectly!

This shows the back and the side seams...

...and for those who have been patiently waiting, I was able to get another 50+ Stitch Starter Ruler Sleeve Sets listed in my Etsy shop...they have been selling out very quickly (thank you!!!) and I am always trying to keep them in stock. I have another 50 ready to sew...

Time to get Garin out of the kennel for one more play session with Schatzi before bedtime. Wishing you a creative and productive weekend...

Friday, January 12, 2018

Projects, Presents, and a Puppy

Happy Friday friends! I thought I would pop in on this bitter cold afternoon and visit with you. The winter months are wearing on me and I am already dreaming of springtime and sunshine. This week I have been focusing on balance - it has been a struggle since we added a puppy to our family at the end of October. Trying to keep on a schedule and accomplish everything I have to do has been a bit overwhelming...and truth be told, I could really use a vacation....but I'm trying to keep on track and steadily work through my deadlines and work obligations.

This past week, I finished up a couple magazine models for Just CrossStitch Magazine - look for a new ornament in the July/August issue (Christmas Ornament Preview) and another in the special Christmas Ornament Issue. I can't show them to you before the publications are released, but here is a photo teaser of the ornament backs (upper right) - I will tell you, they complement my previous woodland ornament series.

I have also been working on a huge pile of Stitch Start Ruler Sleeves - the last couple weeks have wiped out pretty much all of the stock in my Etsy if you have contacted me or have been waiting, I should have a good assortment listed in the next week.

Between client special orders, I have been working on a mini heart quilt and I'm in the process of basting it for quilting. I used a layer cake from the "Lovely" Collection by Sandy Gervais for Moda - isn't it adorable?? I can't wait to get it quilted and makes me smile!

I also have a couple fun cross stitch photos to share with you. Even though I cancelled Christmas this year, I still received a few heartwarming packages in the mail from a couple very dear friends. Check out these cute, unique ornaments...and several AMAZING squirrel gifts...each one of these pieces fills me with joy!

Finally today - for those who have asked, here are some recent photos of Garin. He is growing leaps and bounds...and believe it or not, he will be old enough to leave for his formal training at the end of February. We sent Miss Schatzi through this exact same training when she was a puppy and it was worth every penny and the time we were apart. As you can see from these photos, Schatzi and Garin have become best friends - they play hard, but every once in a while, they rest long enough to get a photo...

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Outstanding Ornaments

It's another frigidly cold day and I have been in my stitching nest working on a couple cross stitch magazine models this afternoon. Before the day gets completely away from me and while Garin is in the kennel taking his afternoon nap, I thought I would share a few more needlework finishes. These ornaments were all stitched by the same fabulous stitcher - and each was a joy to finish (lucky me - this incredible needleworker gives me minimal direction and lets me be creative!). I am sharing photos of the fronts and the backs, so you can see the fabrics I chose to coordinate with these flat finishes. All of the cording is made with DMC Six-Strand Embroidery Floss and my Kreinik Custom Corder....and it is hand-stitched in place (I don't use glue on any pieces I finish - just my personal preference) - I also hand sew ribbons, trims and embellishments in place. Another large package of needlework arrived from the same stitcher yesterday and has been added to my to-do list, so I will get to start picking fabrics, colors and trims again soon!

For now, it is time to let the puppy out of the kennel (and yes, for those asking, I will post a new photo of him soon - he is oh so adorable, but oh so mischievous!). Later tonight I will be working on more needlework finishing...and if time allows, quilting a small patchwork wall studio tables are full of projects, so there will be A LOT of creative finishes to share in the future....