Saturday, June 6, 2015

Serious and urgent

Friends,  last weekend, my sweet niece, Marley Sunshine, was in a terrible accident.  She has been literally fighting for her life ever since.  She sustained massive head injuries.  Marley is on full life support and in critical condition.  During the week so far, she underwent multiple surgeries to reduce the swelling in her brain and faced other complicating factors.  She has a very serious, difficult road ahead.

So I'm writing today to ask for your help. . . .

Marley with Henry

She is in desperate need of your prayers.
Her father (my brother) and her mother need your prayers.  
Her medical team needs your prayers.  

I know you guys, and you are lovely, warm people with big hearts.  So if you would like to lift her spirits with a card when she awakens from her coma (or perhaps send an encouraging word to her parents, Emily and Freddy,) you can send them to:

Marley Mercer
Trauma ICU Floor
C/O Harris Methodist Hospital Downtown Ft. Worth
1301 Pennsylvania Ave, Ft. Worth, TX  76401

You can follow Marley's progress and get updates on her condition at a facebook page set up for her:  Prayers for Marley Sunshine.  I hope you'll drop by.

If you're so moved, there's also a gofundme account set up to offset what will be their astronomical medical expenses.

So please... 
And above all, PRAY.

St. Jude, pray for us.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A little sewing and my new refabulous shop

Hello, friends!  I have so very much to tell you, but I think I'll start small for now. I haven't been sewing for the past several weeks due to having surgery last month (more on that later.)  I've been released to sew -- yes, I specifically asked my doctor about that -- haha! -- so I'm going to get started on that now.  Like, today!

I'm feeling better now than I have in YEARS, but I only have one chance to recover properly so I'm following doctor's orders to the T, and taking things sloooowww... it's hard sometimes.  I'm impatient.  ;)

In the long weeks leading up to my surgery, I found that sewing was very calming on my nerves.  I couldn't sew for long blocks of time; I had to take frequent breaks due to feeling like absolute hell but the sewing sure helped soothe me.  Some of these projects were gifts, some were custom orders. . . .

First up, a little outfit for my sweet friend Erin's precious bambino. . . .

Next, some uber-frilly-girly pants!  I haven't sewn girl stuff in FOREVER.  My girls were never really girly-girls, so this was fun!  I sewed these for a local businesswoman, and hope to make many more.

A boho sling bag custom order/request.  It was a brand-new style and pattern for me, but in the end, I really enjoyed making it.  My sister (the requester) loves it, too!

And a giant diaper bag. . . .

Bright batiks and sweet prints -- very roomy.  This one was a gift, and I think the mama was pleased.  :)

And refabulous news. . . .

Many of you know I've quit Etsy, and was searching for a replacement platform on which to sell my handmade bags and such.  I've decided to use Big Cartel.  I'm not sure how I'll like it, or if I'll stay with it, so I'm only using the free trial listing set-up -- one photo, five maximum listings, very limited options.  That's fine.  We'll see how it all works out.  I'll probably upgrade soon so I can get a better feel for the platform.

Now, you can find my refabulous handmade bags at this storefront:

Which, by the way, is a work in progress, so please be patient with me as I work on it over the coming weeks.

You can easily navigate there from my blog by clicking on the shop refabulous tab. . .

What's available now?

Just two bags.  More coming soon, hopefully, but for now. . . .

I have this large diaper bag that I constructed from vintage linens, high-quality cotton prints and a designer (out-of-print) Michael Miller cotton print.  Very roomy, practical, and very sturdy!

Vintage linens line the interior, and is also flat-lined and interfaced for extra durability and stability.  This one-of-a-kind bag should last well into toddler-hood!

And I also made this sweet little messenger bag. . . .

It's constructed from vintage raspberry corduroy, pink ticking, and designer Heather Ross cotton berry print.  Sewn for durability and style. . .

I'm also taking some custom orders, so if you have any requests, let's talk!  You can reach me via email -- just click on the "contact me" tab above and go from there!

I'll be in touch soon.  We have so much to catch up on!

Until then, have a beautiful day!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Scrappy: making potholders

I desperately needed potholders.  I can't even show you my old ones, because I didn't have any.  I threw them all away in disgust months ago and have been limping along with dish towels ever since.  Which is sad, because I bake and/or cook almost every single day.  Seeing all the pretty patchwork potholders on pinterest (say that three times fast,) I was finally inspired to scrap-bust and whip some up for my own kitchen!

Now, I really should have looked at some actual patterns, or at least browsed some tutorials first, before I started, but I didn't. I completely winged it and guessed at measurements, and my potholders turned out a little narrow, but they're better than a flimsy dish towel any day!  They still work fine, even if my stitches are a little wonky and imperfect. . . .

And by the way, if you're drooling over those chocolate cookies, you should be. Those are Texas sheet cake cookies and OH MY GOODNESS they taste just like the real thing.  I was a total skeptic and now I'm a total believer.  Go make them.  Now.  I'll wait.

Ahem.  Back to the potholders.  They're cute. . . .

and they'll bust a little fabric scrappy stash. . . .

Here's how I structured my potholders:
-- top: patchwork (scrappy) layer
-- fusible fleece (fused to patchwork)
-- Insul-Bright
-- fleece
-- bottom: plain scrap fabric

NO heat is going to break that barrier!  :)

fusible fleece remnants

I sandwiched Insul-Bright between the fusible fleece and some regular fleece for the bottom layer.  I don't think the Insul-Bright is necessary, but I had some on hand left over from a project from years ago, so why not use it?

I used thrifted bias tape for the edges.  I buy brand new packages of bias tape at the thrift store for literally pennies.  I'll never, ever run out of bias tape.

These work great for me, and used up a tiny bit of stash, but next time, I'll try one of these cute patterns.  You should give one a try, too!  Perfect for a weekend project or a quick gift!

by Felicity Quilts

by Stumbles and Stitches

by Jenny Ryan

by Miss Mary Sewing Classes

by Nancy Zieman

by My Girl Thursday

by Martha Stewart

And one more. . . no picture, but be sure to check out this really cute, really good tutorial for simple quilted potholders with binding.

Have fun, and talk to you soon!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Loving my lashes

I didn't mean to be gone so long.  We have major issues with our internet provider (as in they cap our data usage at 10 GB per month -- yes, we have more data on our phones!) so I had to wait until mid-month to have internet juice to post again.  *sigh*

But here I am, and don't my lashes look AMAZING?!  Here's what happened. . . .

I kept seeing something about 3D mascara pop up in my facebook feed, so I messaged my friend, Amy, about it.  She offered to send me some Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara to try, in exchange for a review.  **This, my friends, is my full disclosure.  You also have my promise to be completely honest about my thoughts on this product.**

You guys, you know me.  I don't normally get worked up about makeup.  Lipstick, sure.  Especially red lipstick.  But mascara?  C'mon.  I'm usually too lazy to bother with it, and regular mascara doesn't seem to make much of a difference on my thin, short lashes anyway.  (scroll down to see my embarrassingly skinny lashes.)

I was dubious that this mascara, or any mascara, would make much of a difference.  And you want me to do TWO WHOLE STEPS?!  I can barely handle one-step mascara!  But once I tried the Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes. . . .

I was a believer!  It was actually a pretty quick process -- unscrew both tubes, swipe on the transplant gel to one eye, then apply the fibers to the tips of the lashes, then seal with the transplant gel.  Repeat for the other eye, of course.  That's it!  You can then comb out with an eyebrow comb (I don't) or curl with a quick, low-heat, low-air blast from your hair dryer (I sometimes do.)  You can wear it over your favorite mascara, but I don't.  I think they look great without it!  (whoooaaa... three steps?  are you crazy?!)

And it's actually pretty fun.  I don't know (nor do I care) how it works, but it does, as you can see. . . .

I've been wearing this mascara for six weeks now, and I've had no flaking, no smearing, no smudging, no breakage.  It washes off with soap and water, and my natural lashes are in soft, perfect condition -- not brittle or damaged in any way.

The ONLY negative thing I experienced wearing this mascara was the very first time I applied it, and it resulted from my own haste in not reading the directions:  I applied the fibers from root to tip, so I kept getting some of the fibers in my eyes throughout the day.  Not fun, but again, my own fault.  You don't want to apply the fibers to your entire lash.  It's just not necessary.  Only apply fibers to the tips.

It's all-natural (beeswax and green tea fibers and such) and was recently featured on The Doctors.  :)  Anyway, this commercial is now coming to a close.  I promised an honest review, so here you have it:  I love, love, love this mascara, and will continue to purchase this for myself and for my girls.  I've purchased two for my daughters so far. . . .

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below!  If you'd like to try some of this mascara (or other Younique products,) please give my sweet friend, Amy, a holler.

** PLEASE NOTE... MORE DISCLOSURE **  Amy did not ask me to share her link, info, or any other stuff here.  She only asked for an honest review.  I'm sharing this info with you because A.  Amy is super-sweet and awesome and you guys would love her, and B. the mascara is super-awesome.  :)

Crafty stuff. . . .

It seems the exercise and sewing has flip flopped, as opposed to my last post, as I've been able to sew a lot and exercise a little due to feeling pretty awful lately (more on that later.)  

I've also been able to write up some blog posts, even a tutorial -- offline, naturally (stupid ISP) -- so I'll have some posts scheduled to pop up here and there over the next couple of weeks.

Shop announcement. . . .

I will not be reopening my Etsy shop.  I'm utterly fed up and disgusted with Etsy.  I cannot say it any better than April Winchell did in this article.  I have loved and appreciated every one of my Etsy customers, and I thank each and every one of you for supporting me and my work, and for supporting true handmade.  I simply cannot support Etsy's greasy ethics any longer.

I will, however, continue to make and sell my eco-friendly totes and bags on a custom order basis, and soon, I am launching a blog-based shopping cart. You will be able to order ready-to-ship items right from this blog!  Easy!  You'll be the first to know when it's ready!

Talk to you soon!