Monday, June 29, 2009

Finally -- a rainy day! And another tote

I am so, SO thankful for this cooler, rainy day! The temps stayed in the 80's all day -- what a welcome break from the 100+ temperatures of late. And a funny coincidence. . . my little red umbrella pincushion was featured on Etsy's front page this evening! YAY!

And another tote. . . .

I just love this print by Alexander Henry! This tote is made from new birdy fabric, reclaimed jeans and a reclaimed skirt for the lining.


I'm really enjoying plowing through my stack of fabrics and turning them into totes. I had to scrap my plans for a beach/pool bag design for this year. I think it's too late in the summer to make them now. Maybe next year. I am planning to start work on some messenger bags, and those lunch kit bags I designed -- just in time for back-to-school. I also have some exciting news to share in a bit, so be sure to drop by again soon!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Same post, different day... well, and different totes

Again today, it was too hot to do anything -- 105!!! That's just obscene. Even the water at the pool is like warm bath water. Really gross.

So, what else is there to do right now, other than sew more totes?

Aloha! This tote was made from reclaimed khakis and pillow shams. The pillow sham fabric is an Alexander Henry print, too! I couldn't believe the pillow shams when I saw them at the thrift store -- brand new!

And a neat-O word-garden-y tote. . . .

It's made from reclaimed denim jeans and a skirt, and the lining is some really pretty Amy Butler Honeycomb fabric.

I've got another tote started, and I'll be finishing up on some swappy stuff tomorrow. I'm praying for a couple of cooler days, and maybe some rain, so we can go outside again without roasting!

How about a Christine update?

She's doing fantastic! Praise God! No infections, no inflammation. She is tolerating her methotrexate injections pretty well. She did have one day of nausea and discomfort after her first injection, but this week -- zero side effects! The vision in her right eye is still blurry, and she's still colorblind, so no real changes either way there. One of her specialists is tapering her steroids down again, starting tomorrow, so we'll have a wait-and-see period to go through now. . . . please keep praying that the swelling and inflammation does not return. Thanks, once again, for your prayers, support and encouragement.

God bless!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

FINALLY another tote

I've finally, finally finished another tote. . . .


This one is made from reclaimed pants and some new dotty 100% cotton fabric. It sold right away! Boy, I sure miss making these.


I started another tote yesterday, and hope to finish it this afternoon. . . . . it's too hot to do much else!

Monday, June 22, 2009

My first zine is finally finished!

I FINALLY finished my first zine last week. . . only 2 weeks past due. This is for a Zine Swap on Craftster. (Most of the other swappers are at least as late as I was in sending out the zines, so I don't feel quite so bad.)


There's quite a bit of work that goes in to making these little books. A lot more work than I had anticipated. But then again, I didn't anticipate my printer acting insane by shrinking all my pages down to about 2 inches tall, either. So it was really the formatting/cutting/pasting that took so darn long. I'm glad I'm finished, but I already have ideas for Volume 2!

(I have a few extra copies if anyone would like one!)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Maybe almost finished. . . .

I recently finished up on the Sacred Heart piece I was working on. . . .

I think I'm finished. I'm not sure. I am planning to frame this small piece -- it's 4.5" X 3.5" -- but I am unsure if I should leave the background plain and simple (white), or if I should go on and really embellish it with swirls, line drawings, etc. What do you think?

Friday, June 19, 2009

A recent thrift store find, and a giant pincushion

I bought this solely for the packaging. The marketing people knew there must be a few suckers out there, and they were right.


Imagine my surprise when I opened the box to find these cutters in pristine condition! I don't imagine myself attending any luncheons or garden parties any time soon, but I'll be ready with fancy cucumber sandwiches when I do!

A jumbo pincushion I finally finished this morning. . . .


It's huge compared to its original size -- it's about 3" in diameter, and 2.5" tall. It's also weighted with a little core of lentils inside.



Next, I have some sachets to make up this weekend for the Etsy Texas Crafters' promo swap, and then I have some new designs planned for totes and such. I've said that before, many times, I know, but I do hope I can get started on some more fun sewing soon!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's time to pledge! And a gorgeous baby blanket


Time to take the Wardrobe Refashion Pledge! I know you're all signing up with me, right? And for those of you who have already taken the pledge, how are you holding up? I'm really looking forward to this pledge, and hope you'll join me! (Psst.... The pledge starts July 1st.)

And this is just gorgeous. . . .

This beautiful baby blanket is called Jungle Fever, and was made by a very sweet and talented lady. . . .


See the little lily pads in the left-hand corner? Vicki had asked me to make these for her, and I am honored that my little felt creations were included on this creative and beautiful piece.


Please visit her blog to see closeups of the rest of this unique baby blanket! (Thanks, Vicki!)

And one more thanks. . . .

To Anne -- for featuring my sports jersey diaper bag on Craft Gossip! Awesome! Be sure to drop by casserole blog, too -- it's going right onto my regular reading list!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A blue post

I've been a bit blue lately. I think all this stress has caught up with me. And I'm super-duper tired. Just plain exhausted. But I've managed to do a bit of sewing. . . .

A blue diaper bag. . . .

A couple of months ago, my sweet husband asked me to make a diaper bag for a friend of his that recently welcomed a beautiful baby boy into their family. His friend also happens to be a huge fan of the Dallas Mavericks. So, my hubby bought a Dirk Nowitzki jersey, and asked me to make a bag from it. (It's not really lopsided like in the photo!)

I was leery about sewing the stretchy jersey, so I procrastinated. Finally, I decided to fuse the jersey to a dark fabric, and treat the fused fabrics as one piece. After that, it all fell together pretty easily. It's pretty large, too -- 18" wide, 16" high, 7" deep.

I used a sturdy pair of capri pants for the sides, bottom and handles. I really liked the pockets on these!

I used a large shirt for the lining, and a skirt for the pockets on the inside (there are two -- a bottle holder and a large one for diapers and a travel wipes case.) The top button is missing in the pic below, to make room for sewing the top seam; I re-attached it after the photos, though!


The recipient liked his new diaper bag (YAY!) I have to say that I actually enjoyed making this bag, too. . . even though the colors, fabrics and patterns weren't in my comfort zone!

And the update. . . .

Christine is doing better, thank God. Her vision is still poor, and we found out Friday that it will likely remain that way. (But it's better than some of the alternatives, right?) She visited her rheumatologists yesterday and they are fabulous. They helped us understand more what we are dealing with (an autoimmune disorder -- still no official "name" or diagnosis.) They are helping us manage her current medications well, and the bothersome side effects that are starting to crop up. She also just started methotrexate, and lucky me, I learned how to give injections. We both survived the first injection just fine, so I'm thinking this must get easier. She's being weaned from the steroids, so the methotrexate will take over where the steroids leave off. Hopefully the two will balance each other during the transition -- otherwise, the scleritis will flare up again. They are projecting her treatment to last at least a year, but more likely two years.

Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all the prayers, support and encouragement. Please know that this has meant more to our family than you can imagine.

Blessings to you all.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Posting from the infirmary

I took a break from posting for a few weeks, as it seemed that all I could post about was doctor visits, tests, medications, symptoms. Really, that's all I thought about for weeks! So, I'll get the quick update out of the way, and then we'll get to some awesome thrifty finds, and an in-progress shot from a project I finished recently.

Christine had a set-back last week -- another sinus infection on the left side of her head, above her eye. (This is on the opposite side of the first sinus infection/eye problem.)

This is particularly scary, as she shouldn't be having any infections of any kind, with all the medications she is taking, and this is how her right eye problem began -- with a simple sinus infection. Doctors are puzzled, and very concerned, and now more tests, more specialists are in order. There will be a CT scan of her sinuses some time this week, and a trip to her retina specialist on Friday.

She was in a great deal of pain for a few days, and could not take over-the-counter medications, as each one had dangerous interactions with her other medications. She is feeling better now; just waking up with a headache that soon dissipates after being up awhile.

Oh, I forgot to post that my daughter's retina has reattached! (The scan on the right is a photo of the layers of her retina. . . all is where it should be!)

All the fluid is gone. Praise God! However, there is some possibly permanent damage to her eye, which can be seen in the left photo. The white speckles show areas of damage. She is still colorblind and has poor vision in that eye. Her specialist says time will tell if this will heal.

We truly appreciate all of your prayers, and the kind words of encouragement and support. You have no idea how much this has blessed our family. I pray for many blessings for you and yours.

Now, onto the thrifty finds!

I had stayed out of the thrift stores for about a month, and was going through intense withdrawals! I lucked out, as some of the items I had been stalking (and waiting to go on sale) were marked down to just above a dollar, some less than that! I loaded up two garbage bags full of awesomeness. Here is a tiny sample. . . .

This was a MEN'S shirt! It's 100% silk and it still had the tags on it. . . check out that embroidery! Only $2. . . .


And more fabrics. . . I was stalking that bottom one for a couple of months. The brown polka dot just above it is an adorable vintage-looking dress -- that just so happens to fit me! I may have to keep it.

I just love the black and white gingham with the rick rack, and I scored a large red linen skirt -- lots of fabric to work with!

A couple of in-progress shots from a project I recently finished. . . .

I haven't had time to work on any big projects lately, although I have stacks and stacks of them to do. This embroidery really relaxes me. I can't wait to show you the finished project!

Thanks for reading this far. . . . and please keep the prayers coming. :)