Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year and a Vintage Sheet Quilt Top!

It's that time of the year again...a few days late! Lots of goals for this year...it just feels good.  I have lots of quilts to FINISH and more projects in my head than I know what to do with.  I have weight to lose (so original, I know!) and plans for a healthier life-style.

So, first up!  I finally got my vintage quilt top put together!!  I used this tutorial for assembly and I was very surprised by how easy it ended up being.



This quilt was inspired by Jane Austen's quilt my all-time fave author.  When I found out she also quilted, it just made me love her more!  I have to admit I was a little bit afraid of piecing all those diamonds (with all that bias), but I actually think I will make another one!  Anyway, I know I still need to square it up, put the back together, and finish quilting it....but this is progress for me.  One of my many goals for this year is to FINISH the quilt tops that are pieced and laying around, and to finish piecing the ones that are cut out and stored in baskets waiting for my time. So....here's to 2012!!!

Vintage Linens Quilt Top Stats:

# of Diamonds - 103
Lap Size - 50 x 65
Time Piecing - the length of New Moon, Eclipse, and Sense and Sensibility (hehe!)

Linking up to Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Girls snug in their beds...cookies out for Santa...birthday cake for baby Jesus frosted...we are ready for Christmas!!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



Friday, December 23, 2011

Geeky Gifts--Comic and Superhero Etched Glasses

I saw this tutorial on Pinterest the other day, and knew I HAD to try it myself!!  I have some wonderful geeky men in my life...my husband and my bro-in-law but they are not the easiest to buy for.  I don't have a Silhouette machine so I had to go old school and print the logos onto paper, then cut them out of shelf-covering contact paper I got for a dollar at the dollar store.  That was the most time consuming of the whole project!

Here are the materials I used:

Set of 4 Glasses--$5.99 from Marshalls
Etching Cream--small bottle was $12.99 from Michaels so take a coupon!
Paint brush
stencil--I used the shelf-contact paper for $1 from the dollar store


I only made 3 so far because some of the other stencils I want to use will take me while to cut out.  Lesson learned is cut out all the stencils you want to use BEFORE you start this project!  These first 3 were pretty easy to cut out.  This was my first time using etching cream...so easy!!  Paint on up/down then across, thick coat.  Wait 5 minutes and rinse.  Doesn't really get any easier!


This would be great for sports logos, names, honestly, just about anything!

For my non-geeky friends...these are Thundercats, Batman, and Captain Marvel (aka Shamam)

This one is my fave so far!

So, off to make the rest!  I've got 5 more to do!  The small bottle of the etching cream seems to go a long way, so I will have to see what else I can etch :o)  I have a feeling I will be making more for my nephews, too!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wave Quilting Pattern and a Finish!


This is definitely my go-to machine quilting pattern.  It goes quickly, covering a lot of the quilt in a short amount of time, it's easy, and it looks pretty :o)  This is what it looks like on paper...it's a pretty fun quilting pattern.  I practiced a lot on paper before attempting the pattern on my quilts!  But I have to say...I am kind of in a machine quilting rut.  I need to branch out into other quilting techniques...but it's so easy to do what you already know!  What is your go-to quilting pattern?

This quilt top was made by a sweet student of mine a few years ago when I used to teach high school.  She was in 9th grade at the time, and was dying to make a quilt...perhaps I had something to do with that :o)  Anyway, we would take time each week in study hall to work on the quilt top.  That was almost 5 years ago now...and she never finished it.  Well, she finished the quilt top.  So her mom asked for me to finish it for her to give her as a Christmas present this year.  I am so excited to finish this for her!



close up of the back...I love the backs!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

California Girl

This month is blurring by...again.  I want it to slow down!  Saturday we took the girls to Disney on Ice...oh my word, so much fun!!  This week, I had to go to San Francisco for some training for work. When I told my girls I was going, they cried....a lot.  Emma's first thoughts were, "but who's gonna check my homework??" So cute!  I'm from California, so I feel like I am totally at home.  I love it here!!  Watching the sun set on the ocean is just awesome!!  I am definitely a California girl :o)

Anyway, here I am at 5:30 in the morning, pacific time, wide awake.  The jet lag always kicks my tail, especially coming back home to the east coast. Not looking forward to that one!  When I went through airport security yesterday, I had to go through the big x-ray machine.  I really thought at any moment I was going to teleport to another dimension!  It's circular shaped, and the x-ray thingy spins around...very sci-fi.  Then after I got x-rayed, I had to get a pat down.  It was a little disturbing...especially when they started squeezing my hair and patting my head.  Really?  I have huge hair, but hello, really??  What exactly am I going to p up there?  I guess you can't be too careful, but I thought it was a little over the top!  The flight yesterday was pretty uneventful, except I am pretty sure airplanes just keep getting smaller and smaller!  I sat on the aisle and got brushed by every larger bottom that came my way.  So much fun!

In crafty news, I started a new hand-piecing project so that I could take it with me on the flight, not an easy task when you have to keep elbows inside your little seat. I haven't gotten very far...but I love this project!!  It's pretty much going to take me forever to finish, but that's okay.  The fabrics are a random assortment...the quilt shop was having a great sale on fat quarters!!  I am hoping to work on it a lot on this trip!!




Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kitchenaid Makeover

I can't believe I've been out of the blogging loop for almost a month...sheesh!  To say it's been busy is an understatement!!  Things are finally starting to slow down a bit and this month is going to be awesome :o)

Thanksgiving was perfect!  I started cooking Wednesday night and finished on Thursday...I LOVE cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  It is just my favorite!  Last year, my husband gave me a Kitchenaid mixer for Christmas.  I use it often, and it just makes everything easier.  It's plain white, and rather large, so it's a little boring looking.  It's exactly what I wanted, but it needed a little makeover.

I think I may be the last person to decorate using vinyl, but now I am in love with how easy it is!  I found a great little etsy shop Mellow Yellow Decor Vinyl that designed a custom swirl pattern for me.  She was just awesome to work with!

Here she is....plain Jane :o)

Placing vinyl, and rubbing, rubbing, rubbing...this is where Dayna got involved in the rubbing process


my favorite part...peeling off the backing!

so pretty!

detail on the base

from the top

Now I cannot wait to make my next batch of cookies...just in time for Christmas!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Craft Fair ~ Tips From an Amateur

This Friday, I participated in a Holiday Shopping Spree/Craft Fair.....and I am exhausted!!  I'm pretty sure my anxiety levels were thru the roof all week, but I had some amazing support from my family and friends...they are awesome!! It took me about 3 weeks to prepare, but honestly, next time I will take much more time.  This is my 4th show in the past 2 years and I am learning some things!






My "table" ended up being 2 square-ish tables pushed together so my tablecloths just barely covered, but that's okay!  I made my banner, which I am very proud of :o)  My sister was a total graphic design rock star and made all of my order forms, business cards, price tags, etc.   She makes everything about Sweet and Sassy look good...and she's my biggest fan.  LOVE that girl!!


Close pic of the left side of my table. I found these great teal damask boxes in the dollar section at Target...love Target!!




Tips from the Craft Show Experience:

1.  Bring and assortment of items ~ It's hard to know what kind of products to make and bring...every show is different and will have a different set of clientele.  You can always take orders.

2. Come prepared ~ Bring scissors, tape (masking and clear packing tape), several pens, tablecloths, paper, cash/change box, clipboards for order forms, markers (I totally used this, too!), shopping bags

3.  Price things evenly unless you are able to take debit/charge cards and checks ~ neither you nor your customers will want to hassle with change so make it simple and keep prices even

4.  Bring $50 in change ~ 20 ones, 2 fives, and 1 ten

5.  Brand yourself ~ this is one I learned from my sister.  Everything needs to have your name or logo on it, if at all possible.  Everything about your table should scream your brand...that means the colors of the items you use for display, order forms, business cards, display cards, banner, price list, logo on the table (which I had but my frame broke).  I had so many people come up to my table and read my banner out loud.  I am going to add "Boutique" for my next show.  Of course, some people don't read at all...one man came by and misread it Sweet and Sexy...lol!!  Yeah, hairbows and headbands, very fitting!  Anyway, some of my display cards were too large so I made my own with my cricut, but all were in my colors of red and teal.  If I didn't have to sing in a wedding after, I would've worn red or teal just to match my table!  This may sound nuts, but it's what works!

6.  Be Friendly ~ I know this should be an easy one, but greet every person who looks your way, even if they just keep walking.  Smile and be genuine. Your product should "sell itself" but you will have so many more customers if you talk to them!  I had 2 girls that kept coming to my table to look and I talked to them about everything...what grade they were in, what they liked about school, what they were asking Santa for, all that good stuff.  They probably came back 5 times, and finally bought a headband.  

7.  Price your items and then hold firm ~ this isn't a yard sale, so stick with your prices!!  People might balk at spending $8 on a headband and walk away, but don't sell yourself short just to make a couple dollars. Offer items in all prices...my items went from $2 to $10...something for everyone!

8.  Don't spend all your money on display items ~ think outside the box here and utilize the Dollar Store!  I made my hairbow displays out of $1 frames, got $1 glass jars for little hairbows, found my teal damask display boxes for $1 at Target, and my headband display for $15 from Ross.  It was the most expensive display at my table but had 4 "shelves" to house the different headband types!  My riser in the middle was a cardboard box full of stuff to keep it stable.

9.  Sketch out your table ahead of time ~ this is just the best way to play with where you will put everything and how it will sit on your table...if you need risers, baskets, etc.

10.  Wear comfortable clothes and shoes (flats are just awesome!) and wear your item if possible ~ obviously if you bake cupcakes, this might be a challenge.  I make silk flowers, so I had one in my hair.  You will be standing most of the time, so be ready...I always take Advil ahead of time just to prevent soreness in my feet, legs, and back.

11.  Buying in ~ Don't pay more for the table than you think you can make back, plus more for your time and efforts.  I know this might sound pretty common sense.  While I was at this show I was invited to another craft show that is pretty exclusive and very tempting...but the table was $75.  That right there turned me off since that is a whole lot of hairbows just to make up the cost of the table.

Okay, those are my tips....I am sure I left out a lot, but I hope it's helpful to someone!  Now, I am going to bed!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Yesterday was awesome!  I love fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas...the holidays!  It is my absolute favorite time of the year.  My mom always made it so special for us when we were kids and I have great memories.  We used to watch the Charlie Brown special "The Great Pumpkin," carve pumpkins, decorate the front porch with hay bales and cob webs.  I remember all of the costumes I wore as a kid and how much fun it was to trick-or-treat!  I remember one Halloween being on a Friday night and we actually slept in our costumes with our candy bags next to us...it was awesome!  Of course there was also the year that our candy became over-run with ants and we had to throw it all away...so sad!












Even thought it was raining last night, we still got the girls all dressed up in their Halloween costumes...Emma was a pirate and Dayna was a Carebear....and went out to have a night of fun!  We went to a local burger place that always has a clown on Monday nights that makes balloon animals and stuff like that for the kids.  Normally I hate clowns...they freak me out and I don't like them at all.  But this guy was super nice to my kids, so what's not to like!!  He made them the best balloon hats and several animals...just went over and above.  After that, we did what every other parent in our town was doing....took our kids to the mall for trick-or-treating.  It was a crowded mess.  We finally decided it was too much of a mad house and left with a single piece of candy for each one.  Oh well!  We had tons from our school's fall festival...it was just fun to be out with the family having a great time together!  There were some seriously cute costumes out there and it was fun watching other little ones.  I miss my girls being that small....sigh.  But we still have several more years of fun in store...and I can't wait!


 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Changes



Wow, 2 weeks has blown by without a post.  I thought about blogging many times, but had nothing of note to blog about...no projects completed, or big events happening.  Just life with my family, which to me is wonderfully big, but is probably pretty boring to everyone else!

I've been stressed...who isn't, though, right??  Since starting Sweet and Sassy Boutique 2 years ago, I have had 2 full time jobs, outside of family and church, and I'm starting to get overwhelmed, actually I started getting overwhelmed about a year and a half ago, but I'm just now admitting it!  So, some changes are in order.  I think the biggest change is going to be to re-structure S&S.  I'm still working on all the details with my husband, but I'm actually pretty excited about the changes and what they will mean for my family!  I read this great post recently, and that is really where I am with my business....it's too big to do alone, but too small to hire regular outside help and I can't quit my M-F job because we absolutely have to have the health benefits.  Maybe this is TMI for most folks reading...and believe me, I'm not complaining.   I am thankful and blessed for the experiences I've had with Sweet and Sassy.  I feel pretty amazing, too, that I've actually been able to start and grow a business to this point.  But, change is a'comin...and it's gonna be hard, but it's gonna be good!  Sooo, stay tuned!

And just to not leave without a picture...this is my gorgeous daughter, who is literally growing up way too fast, right before my eyes.....


Fall Rosette Headband - Orange Plaid, Green, and Yellow - All Sizes Available - Elastic Headband or Plastic and Metal Headbands available

Monday, September 26, 2011

Smurfday Party - Loads of Pics!



This Saturday was my younger daughter's 6th birthday party...she turns 6 this Friday, but I wanted to have her party earlier.  I love planning my girls' birthday parties!  They are always so much fun, for them and for their little friends. We talk about themes and start planning about 2 months in advance.  The best part is hearing your daughter say right before bed, "Mama, this was the BEST day!!"


Banner made by my sweet friend...she sells her banners and other parties goodies on etsy here


Mushroom goody bags


Invites and water bottle labels made by my awesome graphic designer sister :o)


Pin the tail on Azrael...a big hit!





so silly!


Gargamel pinata that we had to make from scratch because there are literally NO affordable Smurf pinatas out there!  It was fun making this though!





After all the kids went (about 10), we had an older friend take a whack and killed Gargamel!  It was great!


Oh the cake...I swear my Kitchenaid mixer made all the difference this year!



Not so thrilled about getting a dress for a present, love that face!

Dayna read each and every card..she's so cute

Papa Smurf got a trim





Awesome hubs who helped make this party so much fun!!

Wonderful friends who love my kids so much!  Boy that just makes all the difference!


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