Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Gearing up for sewing in 2016

It seems like I am continually looking for "a better way"  a "neater way" to have all of my gizmos and still be "neat".  Crafting in any form is sometimes "messy" so the key is to have places to stash your stuff.... In that being said I have too much "stuff" so I just did a major revamp of my studio and replaced my "cube island" and my "scrapbook cube storage" with 2 Hemne 8 Drawer Dressers from Ikea.. I love Ikea how about you?  In case you are wondering the glass cabinets are also from IKEA they are the Billy System... Love them!  I have also been asked the size of this room, it is 12X14 and that does not include the closets.  For those who have asked the dressers with the board on top is 38 inches tall.

So I have been destashing and keeping what I am currently using....

Oh and all of the bright light coming through the windows is the reflection of snow!  Where was it last week???

I went to Lowes and had them cut a board (it was Birchwood in 3/4 in thick)  the correct size to fit onto the top of both of the dressers (my hubby put a 3/4 inch strip around the outside so it would not shift) and then covered it with batting.  The whole thing can be used for an ironing board when I remove my cutting board.

I also always get asked about the sign above my sewing area "God Is Good all the Time" it came from Hobby Lobby a year ago.

I also get asked about the irons, the black and white is a Euro Steam which I LOVE it is the best iron I have ever had.... the purple and white one is an Olisio I purchased recently on Black Friday at Joann's, I got it for times I did not have a lot of ironing to do.  (The Euro Steam has to be emptied EVERY time you use it!)

In the above picture you can see my sewing closet with my Juki TL2010q, now that machine will sew through about anything!  I love it!

I do not think I properly introduced you to my new friend "Bernie"  I think we will be best of buds!  (I have an embroidery attachment also for her)...  Bernie is a 770QE

Pretty much my wall of shame..... (Because I have way too much yarn,...)

Just to keep this post real this is under my sewing area.... It will soon disappear too!  It is loads of scrapbook paper!

Hope you have a great day today!


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Since we have been in our "new to us" home, we have certainly enjoyed our bird population.  The squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, mice and snakes I could definitely live without!  We are near the Mighty Mississippi which I am sure might help the population!

Here are a few of our most recent visitors....

 I was delighted when my granddaughter spotted this in my trees!  We have rarely seen a Pileated
Woodpecker in our trees!

 I believe the next one to be either a Purple Finch or a House Finch, they are beautiful!

One of my favorite birds is the Tufted Titmouse!  They are so cute!!

We are inundated with Downey Woodpeckers, it may be the bark butter that they love that entices to come back!

We have had a surplus of Goldfinches since spring!  They are not as pretty in their winter plumage but still one of my favorite visitors!!!

So there you have it..... I must be a crazy bird lady!


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Easy Street Patterns

 I have recently finished two Test Patterns for ChriswDesigns,   Christine has launched a new line called Easy Street Patterns, which are simpler but awesome patterns.  The first two in the line up are Brandt's Boulevard (a tote bag) and Abbey's Alley. (an awesome wallet)  Both of these patterns were easy to make!

Abbey's Alley is a really neat tote, in which Christine had a unique way of making the pockets.  I love to try different patterns because each one always challenges me and makes me learn something new! 

The Abbey's Alley would make a nice knitting bag, (because of the size and the pockets), but I plan to use mine to take to swimming at the Y!

Approx. size: 45.7cm W X 31.8cm H X 13.5cm D (18” W X 12 1/2” H X 5 ¼” D)

Two large outer pockets on each side of the bag and also on the inside for a total of 8 pockets!!

Brandt's Boulevard could be described as an awesome wallet that packs a punch!  It has  4 credit card
slots, an ID pocket, slip pocket for notes or bills, zippered coin section, smaller slip pocket and a phone slip pocket that will hold an iPhone 6 Plus or a lot of receipts or coupons.   It also has an optional removable wrist strap.

Once again Christine outdid herself with this creative wallet!

Approx. size when closed: 18.4cm W X 10.8cm H X 2.2cm D (7 ¼” W X 4 1/4” H X 7/8” D)

Hop on over to Christine's Shop and buy yourself a couple of patterns.  ChriswDesigns  is the place to go.  You have plenty of time before Christmas to make some for yourself or for someone else!


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A New Bag From Chris W. Designs

I was thrilled when Christine allowed me test one of her new bags, The Epiphany Bag...  Testing a bag for an awesome designer is something I have wanted to do for  a while.  So I was thankful when Christine of Chris W. Designs let me test her newest pattern!

If you have never sewn a purse I will tell you that one of the very first patterns I ordered and made was the Sugar and Spice Bag from Chris W. Designs  if I can do it, I know you could too!  Her patterns are well written, with more instructions than you could possibly imagine.  She is very detailed in telling you how to make her bags and has an ample supply of pictures that go along with each pattern!

The Epiphany Bag was no different.  A very well written pattern and awesomely designed bag so it is a win, win!  Here is the link for the Blogpost about this new bag!  Chris W. Designs Blog

I enjoyed making this bag and will definitely be making more!  It is just the right size, not too big and not too small and it is stylish to boot!

So go on over to Christine's website and buy this pattern,  you have plenty of time to make several of these up for Christmas gifts!  Here is the link to Christine's website....  Chris W. Designs

Don't look at the strange legs on my  model, her legs broke and she is sitting on a plant stand!

I love the sleek look of this bag!

The roomy interior has plenty of pockets!

I love how the bottom of this bag is designed!

Okay so what is stopping you?  Go on over and order your pattern now!!

Happy Wednesday!!


Sunday, September 27, 2015

sewing, sewing, sewing

Oh and in between all of our adventures this summer, I have been busy sewing!

A diaper  bag for a sweet new Mom at church.

The Seneca Bag pattern by Betz White, was one of the Bag of the Month patterns.  I still have two I did not do,  one is cut out and ready to go!

I have a goal of making 10  twin size quilts for gifts (before Christmas) we will see if they get done!

This Diaper Bag out of the Professional Tote Pattern was made right before we left for Alaska for my sister in law's niece.

and these clutches..... I found out two nights before we were leaving for our two week trip that someone special wanted them for a wedding to take place two weeks after we got back from Alaska.  Knowing that I was also going to be gone for a week to babysit when we got home and that I didn't even have hardware to do this... I did stress a little.  I ordered the hardware from my favorite supplier and no worries about that they were home waiting for me when I returned.  That only left me a week to get them done,  My stepdaughter and her hubby came over one night and along with my hubby we got them cut out and they helped get some of the hardware on for me, and I had them done a day and a half later. :) 

This Diaper Bag out of the Professional Tote pattern actually was for a friend's daughter in law who lives in Italy!

This bag is for an order from a friend, from The Wavy Top Tote one of my all time favorite bags to make by Sweet Bee Buzzings, (it is  a free pattern)  I have lost count how many of these I have made!

A Strip and Flip quilt, free pattern from Cluck, Cluck Sew.  Awesome quick baby quilt!  Made it in a day and a half and I love quilting it in circles on my machine with my walking foot!!

Have a Great Sunday where ever you might be!   Nancy

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A summer's end....

This has been a very busy summer to say the very least.  Much of our time was spent redoing the Old House In New Liberty, and finally.... we are near completion....  The house is now in the hands of our realtors!

Let's see The House in New Liberty (Which we just put on the market! YEAH) , An Alaskan Cruise, Nikolai coming home (what a Blessing to meet this beautiful little boy who is my newest grandson) and last but not least my stepson got married.  I think pretty much finishes off my summer!

We were went on an 13 day trip to Alaska, 11 of those days were spent with Princess Cruises 4 day on land and 7 days at Sea.  My sister and brother in law went with us (he was the official cruise guide)  We had a marvelous time to say the very least.

One of our many ship shots....  haha They were there with a camera at every turn!

Beautiful, beautiful Mount McKinley.. (yes this was before it was renamed by Mr. President)   We were among the 30% who actually got to see this view!

This picture was taken in Anchorage!  We were blessed that Mark's cousin Gary and his lovely wife Aileen have lived there for a number of years and took us on a sight seeing adventure!

Beautiful scenery ... Everywhere!

Lots of glacier waterfalls!

The Glaciers were absolutely amazing!!  The sounds they make were unreal!!

At one of our ports the ships look so big!!

At the end of our trip my daughter and son in law headed to Bulgaria to get my new grandson and bring him home!  So upon my returning home I traveled 5 1/2 hours to babysit my grandchildren and relieve their other Grandma.  We had a great time together and on our last day together we drove to Indianapolis picked up my hubby who flew in from Chicago and we spent the day at the Children's Museum.... and at the end of the day we drove to the Airport to meet Mommy and Daddy as they came home with Nikolai... what a joyous reunion.  I was absolutely thrilled to be a part of it!  Nikolai is  2 1/2 and is adjusting well to his forever home! Then upon arriving home from babysitting I had Wedding Project to do for Robert and his bride Michelle!  I made 11 clutches....  and then got ready for the Rehearsal Dinner.  The wedding was the middle of August and it was just beautiful!  We are so happy for them!

I will bore you with more pictures in my next post... What?  you thought I had disappeared?

Wishing you a Wonderful Wednesday!!!


Saturday, June 13, 2015

An Unwanted Task....

Sometimes when you think you are doing the "right thing" it comes back and bites you in the hind end....

Well that is what happened to us.  You know our "This Old House"?  Well we made the huge mistake in the fall of 2013 of selling it "contract for deed".  What this means is you have a legal contract drawn up and you become the bank for someone to make payments to.... We had our reservations about doing this for many reasons.... One of the biggest was WE ALREADY KNEW THAT THEIR CREDIT WAS NOT GOOD..... AND what if the "new owners" do not take care of the home and default on the loan and you are left with a mess to clean up and are out LOTS OF MONEY financially?  Well that is exactly what happened.....  The "family" stopped making their payments last October by December we started legal proceedings to have them evicted from the home (that alone cost us $1800.00)... in other words we were in the process of foreclosing on them.  Of course this family never bothered to pick up their mail and wouldn't sign for the certified letter from the lawyer, which only extended the process... WE finally got them out of the house and regained possession of our home April 1 only to discover what a disgusting life these people had led.  Now mind you they had 6 children, 4 dogs and God only knows how many cats.   To say the least they left a disgusting mess.  Here we are over two  months later and we are still painting/cleaning/repairing what they destroyed.  While I am a Christian and want to show the love of God, it has been very hard to be loving while trying to clean up the filthy mess they left behind.....

The Old House is a huge house..... 3 floors, a basement and an attached apartment and no room was spared the messes they made.

We are making headway and we were blessed to have a crew of people from our church come beside and help us one weekend with a painting party...   It certainly gave us the boost we needed... I  look back at my pictures of all the remodeling we had done to the house and how nice it looked before they moved in and it just sickens me as to what they did.  While our friends were there helping us paint the "Repo Guy" showed up.... he thought they still lived there and he was there to repossess their vehicle for the 4th or 5th time.... I guess I am pretty dumb to things like that, I thought if something was reposessed that was it, you did not get it back... The guy told us that what they do is after being reposessed they go and get paid up to date and get the vehicle back only to do it all over again.....  Goodness gracious what a lousy way to live.

I have pictures of every room and how they left it.   I started to put pictures on this post but decided I did not want to make anyone else sick :(  ...

Why yes, doesn't everyone just use a closet for a litter box?  This is the kind of disgusting messes we have had to clean up......  Oh but wait they used the whole house for a litter box..... DISGUSTING

They left behind unpaid bills and tons of trash.   I find it hard to believe anyone was living like they were. We are on our second construction dumpster.  This family had all the toys you could imagine from go-carts, 4 wheelers to iPhones for themselves and all the older kids, but they were very irresponsible with their lives and their money.  They had no business with children let alone animals.  They had put padlocks on all of the bedroom doors.  Unbelievable has been the word we have used the most.

The first winter they lived in the house they racked up $1500. in unpaid LP Gas bills, so the company came and took the tank away.  This past winter other than space heaters.  The house has hot water heat so we had a big repair bill on that to replace two burst pipes that had frozen and the pump in the boiler because it drained and the pump was ruined.  Did I say ARRRGGGGGGGHQHH

People in town have come out of the woodwork to tell us stories... From them having their power shut off and running extension cords across the street to the neighbors house and plugging it in on his enclosed porch while he was at work without permission to the little 4 year old driving down the highway on a go cart.   Most of the stories I have heard are unprintable....... :(

So I have had to take a back seat to most the things I love to do and spend about 3-4 days a week cleaning up the mess we have been left with!

Just think, they are now living somewhere else and destroying someone else's home, really sad... let alone how they are raising their children!

We have literally gone room to room and have painted every.single.inch in my mind I am trying to cover their ugliness.  The carpet has all been ripped out and thrown away, whatever needed replaced we have done.  This has been an expensive adventure.

Soon we will have it back in its pristine condition and back on the market to sell.... BUT this time it will be a cash deal only,  (meaning let them go to a real bank to get a loan or pay us cash) no exclusions and after this ordeal we will never rent a home or sell it on contract again.

Through it all I have had to continually remind myself that God loves them just as much as he loves me........

And this too shall pass.......


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April Bag of the Month

Oh, did you think I quit making bags???  NOPE, just been super busy and a quilt or two got in the way!  This months bag was from Janelle at  she is a fabulous pattern writer/designer and I could not be more pleased with the outcome of this purse!  It is the Manhattan Bag and there are actually two sizes the Mamma and the Miss.. The one I just did is the Miss but plan to make the Mamma soon!

Not sure if you can tell but the flap actually has a zipper all around and is a pocket you could put  your sunglasses in!

Hope you have a Blessed Tuesday!! Nancy

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Taking my sewing to a new level....

When I purchased my Janomi 8200QC a year ago it was with the intentions of learning to quilt... I had sewn for many years and had kind of almost given it up.  I first learned of sewing from my dear Late Mom!  Some of my earliest memories of her were her sitting at her Treddle Sewing Machine and sewing for myself and my four siblings as well as herself and anything she could sew for the home.  My Mom could do anything! :)  Her mother (my grandmother) passed away when I was 2 1/2 and really all I know about my Grandmother was that she was pretty crafty too.... she loved to crochet and quilt!  I learned to sew small things as a kid and as I got older I began sewing my own clothes, and then when I had children I sewed clothing for them.

When I bought my machine I never intended to fall in love with Bagmaking, but I sure did!  Please do not think I won't be making bags anymore, because I will!  I finally accomplished what I set out to do a year ago and I do not plan on stopping that either!  I made my first quilt, a twin size from a Craftsy Class by Camille Roskelly.  I made the Piece of Cake into a Twin Size Quilt.  I actually made it with Scrumptious by Moda which is designed by Camille  and her mother Bonnie!

Below shows me free motion quilting on my Juki 2010Q, yes I know I over quilted but it was my first and YES my arms and hands were extremely tired when I finished!

BUT... I do love how it turned out!  I just need to find a good place to take a full picture of it!

SO, I had to try my hand at another.... this time I made a Strip and Flip Baby Quilt  by Cluck Cluck Sew, out of the same fabric as I did my first quilt....  I LOVE IT!  I did circle quilting on it and it was sew much easier and quicker!

 I even tried a Zakka pincushion out of the book Patchwork Please!

Now I need to get busy and get my March Bag of the Month by Noodlehead finished!

Hope the Son is shining wherever you are!!



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Special Purse....

What excitement we have had in our family this past month!  FINALLY my daughter and her husband got the call that the Adoption Agency had a son for them!  The long awaited phone call had finally come and they quickly went about planning their trip to Bulgaria to meet this handsome little 2 year old boy who melted their hearts the first time they saw his picture!  While they were only there a week the bonding was immediate as they welded their hearts together.  It will be anywhere from 3-5 months before everything is complete and they can return to bring him home!  During that time they will be able to Skype with him every two weeks!  God is so Good!  Everything went so well with their trip... While this Momma's heart was a bit anxious, I certainly did a lot of praying for their safety and for a wonderful time with the little guy!  While a lot of people travel abroad frequently so all those long flights are nothing for them, this is something new for our family!  I had the joy of staying with their 3 children for 5 days while they were gone and couldn't ask for sweeter kids ( I shared duties with their other Grandma)!  They are so excited to be getting a little brother!

So what did I do immediately upon finding out they were finally getting to go to Bulgaria?  I ordered some Vintage Old World Map fabric from Mango Tree Creations on Etsy... Tried to figure out which purse pattern I had that would work out to be a great small travel purse and Oooooh Laaaa Laaaaa I picked the Butterfly Sling from Janelle at  and I could not of been more pleased with the outcome and Amber loved it!

The lining you see  below was not what I had planned, but somehow it just seemed perfect!  It is my logo fabric "Wrapped in Love" that I ordered from Spoonflower.  Since my fundraiser had been called Wrapped in Love, I felt like I was sending my love with her to Bulgaria!

 Here is Amber standing in front of the Black Sea!

We have freezing rain here today, with the promise of yet more snow!  I love winter but am looking forward to Spring!

Blessings to you!  Nancy