Friday, July 29, 2011

My Blogger Friend

"I ka '├┤lelo no ke ola"

Translation:  In the language or word is life

Our last night on the island....what a sight!

In June, I mentioned that I had a very "WOW" experience.

We had travelled to the East Coast to witness our nephew (my husband's sister's oldest son) graduating from high school.  He is the first of the youngest generation of our family.

I have known my sister-in-law and her husband for 17 years now.  
I always remembered that her husband's family was of Hawaiian descent. It always interested me because I grew up looking at the uli-uli's and my mother's ukulele from the time when she lived on Hawaii and took Hula dance classes.

The Hula Dancers at the Luau

  My grandfather was stationed there in the early sixties and my uncle was born there.  

I would dream of what a life on a island far away would be like.

Waterfall on the Road to Hana

For the past 17 years, I also have heard about Roni.  
My brother-in-law's sister.  Most of the conversations involved the amount of boys in our family (her 3, my sister-in-law 4, and now myself 4...WHO HAS THAT MANY BOYS IN THEIR FAMILY!)  
Other conversations included how much my sister-in-law loved her!

What I didn't know? 

Oh, so much!  I didn't know that we were, in many ways, kindred spirits!

I remember talking during the visit about how I really was practicing my photography skills with the new book I purchased.  I, of course, do not pretend to be a professional.
Of course, Roni's husband mentioned that Roni is a photographer.  It came out that I was just trying to improve for my blog.  My sister-in-law is a bit of a follower and said she enjoyed my blog.

Then it came out...Roni is a blogger too!  We started discussing blogger speak.  What do you use?  Have you thought of switching? How long have you had it?  Summertime being a slower blog time.  It was like blogger heaven!!

Then, of course, blog spot URLs exchanged.  Off to our perspective hotels, and of course, checking each others blogs, right?

I was flabbergasted and ashamed. 

Her blog is about taking photographs using Macro.  I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY.  Her photos are absolutely gorgeous.  What a joke my photos are! Ha!!

You have to check out her blog HERE.

FROM HER COLLECTION....This is with her camera....HER CAMERA!!!!!
  Better yet?  She is an unbelievable writer!
 Her style is so smooth and enjoyable and DEEP!

And I particularly enjoy her choices of music that she finds inspiration from.

And to make the world a bit more smaller?

She is a babyloss mom.  There was a huge hug between us as we bid each other goodbye at the end of the weekend.  If ever I am her way again, I would love to hang out with her for awhile!

For my baby loss moms, the post HERE is her story.

Please go visit her....

After our trip to Maui, I have to believe that the spirit of Pele has gifted her with an amazing talent!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Quilt Story

Remember A Quilt for a Button?


Of course, I do because I am a bit attached to the quilt and it's owner!
But I guess others like it too!
It's being featured today over on Quilt Story

I am tickled pink!

Please go and visit over to Heather and Megan's incredible, amazing blog and check it out!  

I love their blog and their quilt patterns!  I have my eye on a few!

And stay tuned!  I had plans for some more posts on my Hawaiian inspirations! 

This was a bit unexpected yesterday and had to share!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Even Maui...

has a quilt shop!

From Maui Quilt shop Website.

Here is there website!  The ladies were the sweetest ever and so helpful.  She even has a class, but I didn't have time to fit it in between road trips to Hana, Volcano craters, snorkeling, beach bumming, canoeing, and spending time with the boys!

The whole LONG flight home, I wish I had my computer to write out my future blogs. 

I have so much to share!

Inspiration, Hawaiian quilting, fabric, and photos!

And I finally have a perfect segue into a fellow blogger meet I had in Boston.  Can't wait to share about her.

I promise...more to come sooner than later!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fifteen Years Ago

Fifteen Years

Five Babies

Four Boys

Four Homes 
and countless apartments

Four States

Five Dogs

And one happy family........

All together playing on the beach today!!!

I cannot believe that we have been married for fifteen years.  It has been an absolute whirlwind of happiness, craziness, sadness, and just plain wonderfulness. 

I hope the next fifteen years are just as crazy and fun as the last!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Five Months old..

And already got Lei'd?

What an angel, hunh?

  We are proud to say that he woke up at 3 am CT 
and is still up 5:30 pm Maui time (11:30 Houston time).

NOT A PEEP the whole nine hour flight.

  Slept, ate, played, smiled.

The boys eyes are falling out of their heads.
  They want to live here now!

Hawaii has never been on my bucket list.

It was always just a "that would be nice" destination for me.



So Much Inspiration!  

I can't wait to share!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

French Seam Tutorial

As I was working on the Patchwork Princess Skirt, I realized that I didn't want this dear little girl to be too itchy from overcast stitches.  There is NOTHING worse than being itchy when you are at the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH, right?

Since there were a million and one seams from it being patchwork, I hatched up a plan.

French Seams!

Risky? Yes! Considering that I have never done them before.  Heard of them, but never have figured it out in my sewing books.  I went on a hunt and found that there isn't much out there or some of it was conflicting or just plain old confusing.  I think it is so much easier to follow pictures!

So I decided to compile all that I found and share my new found knowledge with you!


Fabric, Thread, Iron, and Sewing Machine


This is going to go against EVERYTHING you have learned about seams!

I wanted to show you what my right sides looked like. 
I also have marked the right and wrong sides throughout to make it constantly clear.

Step One
You are going to place the WRONG sides of your two pieces of fabric together. 

I pulled the blue back so just so you understood that, yes, the wrong sides will be facing each other.

Step Two

Sew your two fabrics together.

I used less than 1/4 inch seam.

Remember, wrong sides facing together.

You can see here that I spread out the two fabrics, right side up.

The raw seam is facing out.

Goes against your natural sewing instincts, doesn't it!

Step Three

Iron your seam to the side. 

Because of my quilting background, I always tend to iron the lighter fabric over to the darker fabric side.

Step Four

Time to make it right!

Fold over your fabric.  Your right sides will NOW be facing each other.

Step Five

Finger press at the seam.  It is important to make sure it is nice and flat. If you want to iron, by all means do so, but it isn't necessary.

Looks a little bit familiar now, doesn't it!

Wrong sides are facing out!

Step Six

Time to make your second seam.  Again, the wrong sides are facing out now, the right side in.  

I did my stitch about 1/4 in away from the edge.  I made sure that it was just far away enough to not get the inside seam caught or sticking out in my new seam. 

Note:  If you are worried about the extra fabric and want to keep the second seam really thin, you could trim the extra fabric on the inside down to 1/8 of an inch between Step Two and Three.  
I didn't because it didn't matter for my patchwork skirt.  I had plenty of volume to work with and didn't think 2-3 inches overall made a difference.

If you can see on this photo,  the seam is just a hair away from the first seam on the inside.

When you open up your right sides, you have a nice clean seam.

An important note!

This will change your seam allowances!!  

Instead of finished squares of 8 inches from 8 1/2 cuts,  I ended up with 7 1/2 inch squares.

So suggestion...add 1/4 inch to each side you plan to do a french seam on!

And on the inside?

A nice clean seam that won't scratch like overcasting will!

Hope you are able to try this sometime!  

Not only does it feel good on the skin, it certainly gives your handmade items a professional look.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Who wouldn't want to be a Princess?

I know I always have!

But since I can't,  I tried to make a little girl feel like one for her upcoming Disney trip.

Her mom picked the fabric for a simple patchwork skirt.

 I designed the crown applique.

Making sure that this special princess won't be ignored, a little personalization.

And since her mom asked me to do this back in the springtime with no due date other than "before we leave for Disney".  I thought I would throw in an accessory.

A headband with fabric flowers, ribbon, and a felt heart button with a bit of beading. 

And the best part? 

I made a French Seam Tutorial for my sewing friends!  

Be sure to look for it later in the week. 

I promise!  It is already drafted and waiting to be published!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Windows, windows, windows!

I am in a window treatment kind of mood this week!

 Too bad I have a Disney outfit project to do for a friend/client, 

 Button's window treatment idea is dancing in my head!

Yes...another sneak peak of his nursery! 
I have a tutorial in the works for you on the paint treatment!


Since I can't share his yet, because I don't have any pictures, I CAN share the boys room!

You might remember that I did the boys room (Bean and Bunny's) in January.  


If you recall, I hadn't quite finished it.
I couldn't climb the ladder, so had to wait for the other half to help me.

We finally did get their window treatment up!

Hubby was very impressed that I lined up the stripe so well.  

I was a bit offended...I mean, really?
  He didn't know I was so talented?

One of my favorite additions were the lap desks.  There are two that stack, perfect for some Lego projects or (in my mind) homework!   

Bean boy was the one who spotted them at Hobby Lobby.  

My favorite part? 

He exclaimed REALLY loudly..."Mom, look, lap desks.  They are the most PERFECT color for our room."  

Wait, it get's better.

He approached them and said,
"Mom, they are on sale!  40% off".

Oh, no, it doesn't end there, 

as we walk out of Hobby Lobby with our bags he exclaims,
"Mom, we had a really successful trip today.  Things we needed and good deals!"

Be still, my heart.


Did I mention that he said the same thing about these little guys we picked up?

(I think at Target?)

And I apologize for the photos...I am just not very good at dealing with the light in their rooms!!

And the magnets I promised?

We are almost done with them.  

When it is a "group" project with the boys, I have to squeeze in time into their busy schedule.  

You know, swimming, basketball in the driveway, play station, Wii, not to mention their sports camps this summer!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

No Fireworks For Me!

Not only were there no fireworks in our immediate area due to the drought.

I didn't make many fireworks this weekend in my studio either!

I can say that I pulled out some fabric.

 A needlepoint that I finished three years ago and hadn't made it into a pillow like I wanted.

And a quilt pattern that would be great for some fat quarter bundles I have had squirreled away.


I didn't do anything with any of it.

I may just do it in the coming days so they are ready for next year?

But don't hold your breathe!


I AM excited to say that I have made some progress with my embroidery problem. 

If you don't recall, I switched to a Mac and was unable to use my software on it.

Thanks to this:

 I was able to design the applique a friend is waiting for.  

This goes on a t-shirt and the momma had some Disney princess fabric to make a cute patchwork skirt.  

When it is finished...I will certainly show you the results.

As for the fireworks this weekend?

I guess maybe this will count?

My very first applique and embroidery design made ALL by myself using my new Adobe Illustrator program and Amazing Designs embroidery software.

The green/yellow/purple stars just indicate where the appliques are...not the finished color!  

Too bad I didn't actually make a project with it!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Baby Bucket Hat

I know, I know, two posts in one day.  They really didn't go together, but I didn't want to wait to share this.

I also want some feedback from some of my sewing friends/followers!

We were off to an Astro baseball game and I hunted high and low for a bucket hat for Button. 

No luck for infants.  

The hats I found were more for toddlers.

I decided to just make one.

I whipped this out in an lie....and it looks it!

I quickly digitized the Astro logo on my editing software.

I drew out a pattern from a hat he already had.  I couldn't find a pattern or tutorial for INFANT bucket hats anywhere!

Pulled out some scrap black fabric and used some grey knit scraps (would you cringe if I told you the knit was from my favorite pair of yoga/pajama pants that were all ripped up?

So here is my question.....

Do you think it is worth my time to make a tutorial for an infant bucket hat?

  I am planning to make some more (and spend a wee bit more time to perfect it).  

Let me know!

Nothing Special


I don't have anything special to show or anything profound to say today. 

I whipped up a gift card holder late Wednesday night.  No particular reason other than the fact that I was tired of them cluttering up my wallet.  

Yes, I know, I should just be using them. 

The problem? 

I just haven't been in vicinity of these particular establishments recently. 

And I think it will be pretty handy come Christmas time.  There usually are a lot of gift cards to wrangle up. 

If that doesn't seem to be the case, I might just stick store loyalty cards in it.  

Or maybe when I am sending someone a gift card, I just might whip one up for them and tuck their card in it?

But I will leave you with this little nugget:

"Remember, the greatest gift is not found in a store nor under a tree, but in the hearts of true friends.”


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