Envelope Project

Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Year . . . New Accomplishments

I got my first run in on New Year's Day.  It was the Commitment Day 5k and my friend, Dona, and I like to get up early on New Year's Day and run!!  This year, the run started at 10 a.m.  What???!!!  So, we slept in a bit - not a bad thing!

I wish I could say that I was able to sleep until my next run on January 18.  But, that was not the case.  I was working 15-17 hour days and not feeling the love at all!  January is the cruelest of months for me.  And then on January 16 family started arriving.  January 17 we all trekked over to the George R. Brown Convention Center and picked up our race day packets.  January 18 we are up at 4 a.m. and out the door at 4:45 a.m.  Somehow I calculated our travel time incorrectly.  Normally we have plenty of time to park and arrive before the masses.  Not so this year.  We barely made it to the Port-A-Potties before it was time to walk to our Corrals for the start of the Houston Half Marathon.

The weather was perfect on this running day.  It was 47 degrees when we started and the temperature rose to the high 50's.  No wind.  Man, it doesn't get better than this.  The run was going smoothly and we were closing in on the finish line, .1 kilometer to go.  And then, WHAM, man down!  Wait, that "man" is me!  Ouchie wawa . . . major calf cramp on left leg and right leg numb.  Thanks to the superb medical volunteers I was uprighted immediately and told to put weight on my legs and walk it out.  They were right.  The finish line was right there and like Julie Moss (triathlete) I crumbled.  But, I was fortunate, I was able to run the final 100 yards to the finish line. 

There are many reasons why I run, but I can tell you that the main reason I run half marathons is to  acquire bling.  Yep, I'm all about the hardware.  Well, guess what??? They ran out of medals about 15 people or so in front of me.  What????!!!!  Are you kidding me?  They assure me I will receive a medal in the mail and send me on my merry way to pick up my finisher's shirt.  So, barely able to walk and about ready to pass out, I make my way to the shirt pickup line and yep, you guessed it . . . out of shirts.   Hmm . . . now that's not funny!  No medal AND no shirt! 

But, the show must go on.  The family and I had another wonderful party.  It warms my heart that my family travels from out of state to join me.  This year there was one brother, nephew, niece and B-guy that ran with me.  Well, okay, they didn't "run" with me . . . they are way faster, but they participated with me.  Afterwards more brothers, cousins, nieces, nephews joined us in celebrating.  So much fun!


It's been almost two weeks since we foolishly ran 13.1 miles and yesterday, the medal and shirt arrived in the mail.  Oh, HAPPY day!



So, here's the lesson:  Do not stop at the Port-A-Potties while waiting for the start of the race.  This stopover put us literally at the back of the line.  We crossed the start line 38 minutes after the gun went off and unfortunately we didn't pass enough people to get to the finish before the medals ran out.  I'm thinking if I hadn't crumpled at the end . . . well maybe . . . No matter, I got my medal; I'm happy. 

And once again in my quest to stop this nonsense of Half Marathon running, B-Guy and I foolishly registered the day early registration closed.  WHAT???!!! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sweet Things

Last month my fabric arrived.  Oh HAPPY day!

 
 And I got busy making . . . 



These dresses are reversible.  Aren't they pretty?  I made a dress in each of the 6 bolts of fabric I purchased.  They are so darn cute.  I am giving them to all the sweet little babies that were born this year that I missed seeing at Thanksgiving time because I was sick, sick, sick.  Ugh!
 
Super simple to make thanks to the pattern in "Modern Patchwork".
 This cute little cherry fabric is from DonnasLavendersNest.  Check out all of her wonderful fabric!
 
What do you guys do with scraps?  It's hard to throw away those random pieces of prettiness, am I right?!  I'm always looking for something to make out of the odds and ends that are left over from my sewing projects.  This little beauty was made from leftover quilted yoga bag scraps.  It got rave reviews from my coworkers. 
 
It's a little clutch perfect for that FUN night out when a purse is just too much! 

 
The inside has a zippered compartment along with space on either side of it.  So much fun to make. 

I also made more bears to match the little dresses shown above.  For some reason I cannot find the rest of the pictures I took of my dresses and bears, but fret not, I'll reveal them at a later date!

I hope everyone is having a very happy holiday season!  Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Shavasana or Savasana??

I hate it when there are two spellings for words like this.  Since I'm relatively new to yoga, I want to use the correct verbiage, but I see both spellings and to me it sounds like people are pronouncing the "sh" sound, so for this post we'll go with Shavasana.  (Maybe I'll try to avoid using the word for the rest of this post!)

On my trip home last month, my SIL asked me to make her a quilted yoga blanket.  She gave me the measurements and she had specific colors and an order to the blanket.


So we all know that I have quite the stash of fabric, but of course none of it was right for this quilt!  So off to the store I went.  And this is how it all went down . . .

Before putting it on the longarm, I realized the length was a little short so I added another row of red.  Now I need to trim about 3" off of it.  I knew this going in so I think it'll be okay once it's a bit shorter.

 
 My SIL loves the burnt orange family so I did the back in various oranges.  I hope she likes it.  I wasn't sure if the back needed to follow the rules of the front or not.  After I finished the quilt, I "googled" yoga quilts and did not find a single one that followed the color order (or even used these colors!).   One lady is selling her yoga quilts for $895.  Whoa!  Back the truck up!  I'm curious if she's even sold any because the pictures posted were not "pretty".  But, that's just my opinion.

 
I still need to add the binding and hand sew it down.  The plan is to give the quilt to my SIL in a couple of days.  Small problem . . . B-guy is down with the flu and it's iffy if we're traveling.  So, I'm thinking I'll mail it along with a $750 invoice.  Hey, it's discounted and way prettier than the $895 lady's quilt!!  What a bargain!  I'm kidding, of course . . . I love my SIL!

Her friend has ordered one sight unseen.  Nice!  Maybe she'll pay the $750!!  I crack myself up!

In case I don't make it back before Thursday, Happy Thanksgiving to all!  Gobble! Gobble!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hidden Stories

Sometimes all it takes is a simple Hello and suddenly you are immersed in a person's life.  Yesterday at Target I met a man who was telling me his grandpa would be turning over in his grave if he knew that a box of Kleenex costs more than a beer or two.  His accent was definitely not Texan and sounded more like Boston.  

And sure enough, he was from Cambridge.  His grandparents had a pizza parlor that was a popular hangout for both the Harvard and the MIT crowd.  Since I used to live up there, we discussed numerous local joints that we had in common. 

The conversation continued and I discovered that he had a band and a contract with Capitol Records.  He played (and partied) with Marvin Gaye and numerous other biggies in the 60's and 70's.  Although I don't remember the name of his band, I have no reason to doubt his story.  I wish I had been prepared to know I would be meeting this gentleman as I would have had a ton more questions and I would have paid better attention to the details.  But, we met discussing the price of Kleenex.  Who knew we'd take a stroll down memory lane in Massachusetts!!

These are the moments.  These are the stories that I love.  There are hidden gems in every person we meet, but we seldom take the time to dig deep enough to find them.

As I've mentioned a few times I was at both Quilt Market and Quilt Festival this year.  Last weekend, I was just walking down the aisles and I ran across a booth that was selling dress forms.  I have a love of dress forms and I really want to own one someday.  So, of course I ask the guy running the booth a few questions about the dress forms.  Next thing I know a guy comes up to me and wants to know if I need some help.  So, we chat.  Here's the thing.  This guy is the fitter for the dancers on Dancing with the Stars!! 
Meet Joe Veccherelli
 
 And he confirmed to me that the outfit Emma Slater (I think it was Emma) wore is the same outfit that Cheryl Burke wore in Season 2 when she won the Mirror Ball.  I tried to get my new best friend to get me tickets, but he said they are in hot demand and it's first come, first served.  Like I said, you never know who you're talking to.
 
But, one of the reasons I went back to Festival was to meet this person . . .

 
 
Julie is remarkable!  She's a mixed media artist, but she was at the Festival demonstrating the Brother Scan-N-Cut.  Luckily I got a few minutes of her time to myself before the throngs appeared.  Super nice and knew how to work a crowd.  After listening to her podcast this week, I discovered she was sick while she was in town.  And still, she was on top of her game.  I tried to get her to come to Texas to teach classes, but she said she'd been here once and was kicked out.  Something about language and tears.  Hmm . . . sounds like a country song.  I guess I'll have to travel elsewhere to partake of her classes.  They sound super fun!!
 
So, next time you're contemplating the price, brand, style of your next Kleenex box, take time to say hello to the stranger next to you.  You never know who you'll meet!  Everyone has a story and I'm so glad I got a glimpse of a few of them this past week.

Friday, November 7, 2014

All Kinds of Yumminess!

Quilt Market changed their requirements this year and I had to scramble to get my company's, Ogmo Designs, application ready.  The deadline was October 3 for credentials to be mailed.  My first time on the site trying to register was a bust, but a phone call the next day had me up and running again.  The tickets arrived in the mail (albeit to the wrong address) and I was ready to go.
Donna and I spent Friday at Schoolhouse.  The classes were either 15 or 30 minutes long and usually there were freebies involved.  I have to say, we had quite the success in amassing little things of beauty.

Friday night we went to Sample Spree.  I resisted the urge to buy one of everything and I ended up with a fat quarter pack from Lecien. 

 
 

and some fabric from ?? (The bag's label says "Quilt Gate".) 

This is the cute little bag that was given out with the purchase of 10 fat quarters.  So sweet.  The bag is lined in gingham check.

Holly from Lakehouse Designs gave us some freebies on Saturday.  Her fabric is so FUN!

So, now it's time to start whipping up some creative magic!  I made this little quilt out of a charm pack.  Those are my go-to items when I want some instant gratification and I'm not up to the challenge of cutting.  This little puppy was made in a few hours.  I think the back takes longer than the front on these small quilts.  I did some simple line quilting and voila, another quilt ready for binding.
 front of quilt
 back of quilt
And these little guys are so much fun to make.  My project for the next couple months is to make as many of these as I can and then I will take them to the hospital for the holidays for the kiddos. 

All in all, I would say Quilt Market was a success.  I'd like to say I spent very little money, but I forgot that I bought fabric and labels.  And best of all, I got the call yesterday that my fabric shipped yesterday!  Yippee!!  I forgot to ask how long it'll take to get here, but I'm ready people.  All kinds of prettiness is coming my way!  Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

To Market . . . To Market

Yay!  Friday was Schoolhouse at the Houston Quilt Market.  Donna from DonnasLavenderNest and I headed out early to the George R. Brown Convention Center.  Since we live here, it's super convenient.  We gathered lots of information and there was lots of laughter.  Can you say "Tula Pink"?  That girl is funny!!  And so, so nice.  Her fabrics, etc. are beautiful.

There were lots of freebies, and really that's why I go.  Maybe my agenda will change when I'm a serious marketeer!  But for now, I'm all about the goodies.  (Pics to come later.)

Actually, I was on an information mission and in my quest to figure out how to buy fabric, labels, specialized zippers, etc., I met a man whose company prints fabric.  I was super excited and I can't wait to design my fabric and have it printed.  Almost all conversations had the sentence "what's your minimum order?" in there somewhere.  And therein lies the rub.  In this business, it's go big or go home.  A 2-color cotton printing is only $4.50/yard, but the catch is the minimum order is $750; 3-color is $1,200.  That's a boatload of fabric, my friends.

So after Schoolhouse on Friday, Donna and I headed over to Pappasito's for some Mexican food ... and maybe there was a beverage or two in the mix.  Then we headed back to the GRB to wait in line for Sample Spree to begin.  This is a big deal.  I think the ticket price to this shindig is $15.  The doors opened at 8 p.m. and the Moda tables were swarmed immediately so I had to stay away.  Too many people.  I walked the room and just couldn't bring myself to get excited about fighting the crowd to try and get a bargain.  It was either that or the fact that I already had two bags hanging from my shoulder that were packed with goodies and the thought of adding more weight to the mix just "weighed" me down!


 
 
 
While we were waiting in line, I started talking to the girl behind me.  Donna and I chatted her up for quite awhile seeing as how we had 1.5 hours to kill.  We found out she was a fabric and pattern designer and she had a booth at market.  We were both super excited to pick her brain on how the process works and she was kind enough to give us lots of information.  She gave us her booth number and we told her we'd visit her on Saturday.

Saturday, Donna and I trot off to the GRB again, only this time not quite as early.  We were exhausted from the night before.  Our plan was to walk each aisle and in the process, we stopped and talked to numerous people.  On Friday we went to the Lakehouse Dry Goods presentation given by Holly Holderman.  On Saturday, we met Holly and Pam from Pam Kitty Morning.  What nice ladies.  Holly and Pam both gave us a lot of their time and answered all of our questions about designing and selling fabric and patterns. 

As we continued walking the aisles, I spied some gorgeous fabrics in the Blend booth.  I was drawn to fabrics designed by Jessica Swift, Amada Murphy and Josephine Kimberling.  I ended up ordering 2 bolts of fabric from each of these designers.  I got the added bonus of meeting "Joe" (the owner of Blend). 

Walking Market took all day and around 5:15 p.m. we realized we hadn't seen our designer friend from the night before.  We looked up her booth number and off we went.  Plus I wanted to get another glimpse of the fabric I had ordered early in the morning.  Imagine my surprise when I saw the Blend displays again and realized I bought fabric from Amanda Murphy who happened to be the girl we were looking for.  She was the designer from the night before.  Wow!  Full circle amazement!  We popped over to her booth and said hello.  I'm sure I was gushing from my recent realization that I bought fabric from the girl I spent an hour talking to the night before.  What a way to end my day.

There were many amazing "famous" people there.  Well, famous in the quilt world.  They're mostly just regular people and most were totally approachable.  It wasn't my first Schoolhouse and Sample Spree, but it was my first "market" day and it was simply glorious.    

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Late Night Musings

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and have ideas on things to make.  Then I realize I have to go to work.  Ugh!  Does anyone else hate (in my case) the 8-6 drudgery?  Don't they realize that's peak creating time.  Yikes! 

But, a girl does what a girl's gotta do and so it is at night that I attempt to put my ideas into motion.  The other day I was thinking I should make a wallet with a zippered compartment.  So last night I sat down and whipped out this little gem.  I'm using the leftover quilted material I have from my yoga and "etc" bags.  I like the way it turned out so I think I'll make some more.  Anyone need a special quilted wallet?

 I also made a couple little wristlets out of material from Donna's Lavender Nest
Wallet has a zippered pocket and 2 other pockets. 
 
Lots of babies were born this past year and I'm behind in giving gifts.  Uh, oh.  So, this morning I quilted up this little gem.  Now I need to make some binding, sew it on the quilt and put it in the pile for Thanksgiving delivery.  Yay!
 
 front - Creative Thursday prints
 back
I love trying to use up all the scraps when I piece the back and also when making binding.
 
Well, the afternoon is here and I guess it's as good a time as any to go make that binding.  Or . . . maybe a nap??!!  Hmm . . .


Blast From the Past

A year ago this week my Mom passed away.  It's still hard to believe that she is gone.  I wish it weren't so. . .

All but two of my siblings gathered at her farm this past weekend to help clean out the basement.  It was a group effort and much progress was made.  There was mostly laughter.  We found things Mom had collected and we had to shake our heads in wonderment.  How many used bread bags and twist ties does a person need?  I'm sure a lot of it had to do with growing up on a farm in the Great Depression.  Everything was recycled.  My parents' generation was the original generation of recyclers.  I found a few gems:

 I guess we ate a lot of cherry pies???!!!
 50 lbs of onions - whoa!
powdered milk - do they still make this brand?
 
We were a family of 10 so everything was bought in bulk and even milk was stretched for a 50/50 mix of milk and powdered milk.  Um . . . yum!! . . . she says facetiously!!

It was a good weekend with lots of time for visiting family and meeting the new little ones.

The cycle of life continues . . . we miss you Mom.





Monday, October 13, 2014

Time Passes

and life goes on.  It's been a busy year this year.  But mainly, the "real" job just sucked the life out of my creative spirit!!  "No more", I say in protest!!

Luckily I still managed to find snippets of time to produce some sewing projects.  Lots of babies were born in the past year and I'm behind in making quilts.  The goal is to have most of them completed by Thanksgiving when I will hand deliver them.  I have 5 or 6 quilt tops ready to be quilted so I think I can achieve this objective.  Cross your fingers.

I finished this little jewel for one of my nieces.  Shh . . . it's a Christmas present.


 
The binding has been hand sewn to the backside and is now ready for gifting.  Yay!  I love its vibrant colors and hopefully she will too.

As most of you know, I opened "Ogmo Designs" this year where I featured my yoga bags and various other quilted bags.  Again, my "real" job has impeded progress on the website, but rest assured, yoga bags are being sold.  Recently I had a request to make a chair bag.  I know, I had to ask also, but yes, she wanted a bag for a folding chair.  So, I put the fabric on the longarm and produced this beauty for the client.

The goal for the rest of the year is to spend less time stressing about a job that isn't fun anymore and spending more time on the beautiful fabrics and paints and other fun goodies that are in my studio.  Yes, it's time to focus on the FUN!!  That's the plan. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

As Promised

Well, okay, perhaps my meaning of "posthaste" was a little bit more liberal than I meant it to be!  But, as promised I give you some pictures of the wonderful quilting my friend, Donna, did for me.



 






 
Now, I just need to find some time to bind these quilts.  Anyone??!!
 
I have the sweetest new great niece that blessed us with her presence in April.  I'm not sure how she feels about polka dots, but here's the first of many quilts (I'm sure) that I'll make for her.
 

I bought a new die cut for the GO machine and thought I'd give it a "go" with this quilt!
  
Tonight's project is hand sewing the binding to the back of this quilt.  Not to ruin the theme of the quilt, the backside is all polka dots and the binding is made of the scrap polka dot material.  Too much??  Hopefully it'll be cute.  If not, I'll start working on the next one soon.  And yes, I may be using that word liberally also.  Unfortunately I have a "real" job.  Ugh!  I've been threatening to take one of my sewing machines to work and set it up in the back conference room.  Do you think anyone would mind?!!

And last, but not least . . . another apron.  It's a perfect project for when there is very little time, but instant gratification is a must.  Again, this material is from the "Scrumptious" line of fabrics that my friend, Donna sells in her store.