Thursday, May 28, 2009

Books and Babushkas

I love books. I especially love filling my shelves with great, inspiring creative books like this latest stack borrowed from the library. Some are new to me, and some are titles that I keep checking out, over and over again. Are you looking for some creative inspiration? Have a look at the titles in this collection. You won't be disappointed.

I had to show you my multi-national collection of babushka dolls (it started with the ones Suzie sent me from Germany). Here they are with the newest members from the Netherlands (thanks Nicolette!). My little doll family look very happy together.
Creative, inspiring books and sweet babushka dolls make me happy. Hope you're having a happy and creative day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back to the kitchen...

to get my baking done before heading off to work for the next 4 days in a row. With any luck I will have enough made to get us through until my next day off! (I've found that "hiding" baking in the freezer keeps the hollow legged teens from devouring it all too quickly. Out of sight, out of mind?) Besides buns, I'm making more pita bread. It's just lovely to have for my lunches. Homemade pitas and hummus. Delicious!
Too bad you couldn't be here to share some with me. I'm baking lots! ;o)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One of a kind

I'm excited to show you this gift I made for my friend, Nicolette. I met her here in blogland and got to know her through her first blog, devliegendekoe (flying cow). It seemed to make sense that I should make her something with a cow on it, right? This design is what I came up with. She said she loves the combination of aqua blue and brown together....
My favourite feature to this bag design (besides the cow applique I made), is the "secret compartment" in the flap closure. It's just the right place to store little things that might get lost in the bottom of a larger space. The flap stays secure using push snaps.
A one-of-a-kind little bag, made for a special one-of-a-kind friend.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The swap that made my jaw drop...

and left me completely overwhelmed came all the way from the sweet and talented, Nicolette. Nothing could properly prepare me for the box full of goodness - much of it handmade - that she sent me.
Here's what I saw when I opened the package...

This is a close-up of just a part of what was in that package.

Are these not the sweetest hand embroidered babushka dolls? These sweet dolls are now making friends with the ones I have from Suzie and the ones I made myself. I love how each doll is unique!

Next up is the loveliest patchwork basket using yummy reds and plenty of polka dots with plaids and stripes ( I heart patchwork!).

Nicolette continued to spoil me with gifts of pretty fabrics,

sewing essentials including the cutest containers (check out that button tin!), some Dutch candies and the best smelling soap and lip balm from Cath Kidson.

Okay, now that's a lot of wonderful things to receive, right? Yet, there's still more!
Look at what else she made for me: a pincushion with a key fob, a matching needle book and an stitchery organizer pouch! All in the prettiest pink fabric with chocolate brown coordinating dotty fabric.

Here's the close-up of the organizer. See all those pockets that will keep me organized?

Now I saved the biggest gift of all for last. (I know you must be in shock by now after seeing everything the talented Nicolette so generously made and gave me - I'm overwhelmed myself!)
She made me a beautiful table runner in the most gorgeous spring fabrics.

It fits my dining room table perfectly! Now, who is a spoiled girl??? ;o)

When I turn the table runner over, you can see all the different machine stitches Nicolette used to quilt this beauty. Wow. The final delight with this table runner is that the back is linen and more gorgeous fabric. I'm in love.

Now, isn't this the most amazing swap package ever?!?

Thank you Nicolette for sending me all this bounty. I'm in awe and over the moon with every single thing you sent.

* (I've been considering pinching myself to see if I'm dreaming - but if I am dreaming, I certainly don't want to wake up! ;o)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Better Model

The first time I posted this apron, I didn't have the right model to let you see how it fit (my sewing chair was the best I could come up with at the time). Here I have the right model, one willing to wear the apron. The challenge was in getting her to hold still for photos! ;o)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sew Together

Recently, I picked up a contract sewing job. It's another way besides my working at the garden shop that I hope to contribute to our bank account. ;o) The best part with this new job is that I work from home, but it meant converting the room I had been using for basting my quilts into a sewing/cutting room for upholstery.

My husband put together the cutting table for us and drew the pattern template of the restaurant cushions for the new job. I was at our industrial machine stitching up the sample and then
once our work got the thumbs up from the company we're subcontracting for, my husband took his turn at the machine. He's a trained upholsterer, but hasn't plied this trade for many a year. This job allowed us to put our skills to work as well as being a reminder of when we were dating. I taught my husband how to sew way back when we were college students. He took to it like a duck to water and we discovered just how well we can work together.

I'm pleased to say that we still work well together. This upholstery job most likely won't be our last. It's good to be back in the work room together involved in an area we both love - creating with fabric.
*The above photo is a peek at the first double set of cushions I stitched up from the pattern my husband drew up. We're almost finished with this first contract and I hope to show you photos of the cushion covers filled out with their foam inserts. It's hard to give you the idea of what the finished product looks like when all I have is the empty covers to show at this point.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What I do on my day off...

The past five days in a row have been spent earning my daily bread working in the garden shop and today I spent part of my day, making our daily bread.
Two teen aged boys in the household means that my homemade bread disappears rather quickly.

I'm rather old-fashioned. I don't use a bread machine or a mixer. I make my bread completely by hand. Whole wheat flour, oatmeal and molasses. It's our favourite bread recipe and I enjoy the process (not to mention how delicious it smells when it's baking).
Fresh bread, anyone? You better be quick! Once my sons smell it from their room on the second story, they will madly dash down the stairs to have a fresh, hot slice (or two or three...) a moment after the bread is out of the bread pan. ;o) Mmmmmm....
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