Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Big Savings This Week

I have always been a thrifty person, infact, I can stretch a dollar around the block under the right conditions. As a mom of a large family I have always shopped wisely. When my children were small it was much easier to feed them. Now, I all of the sudden have 5 daughters at home who eat like adults. Add that to the fact that I am now divorced and I don't receive child support on a regular basis and that equals a close to empty pantry and one nervous Momma. I do pretty good at making money from home. I teach sewing and sew for others and hope to soon have my patterns ready for sale. I can't work outside the home for more than teaching a few classes here and there, as I homeschool my girls and one of them has a mood disorder, which prevents me from leaving her for long. Anyway....let me get to the point. I never paid much attention to using coupons. I shop at Aldi and Walmart and places like that, I buy things on sale and buy store brands. Lately, there has been lots of talk about Extreme Couponing and I have been trying to learn more about it. Basically, you use your coupons only when an item is on sale or buy one get one free. BOGO's {buy one get one}are to be used with two coupons, one for each item. Well, I gave it a shot this week and I save a grand total of $106.85!!! I am thrilled. I know it will get even better when I figure it out more and start getting coupons on Sunday. Lots of coupons can be printed, but my printer is still not working. Argghhh! I found a lot of my information at She tells you where the best deals are by store and state and has links to online coupon sites, where you can print your own coupons. She makes it so much quicker and convenient. It is still somewhat time consuming but if you look at as "making money" then it seems to be worth it. I can't wait to see how this progresses and I will keep you updated.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sweet 16 Dessert Pizza

I just finished this year's dessert pizza for the Birthday girl. We are having this and strawberry shortcake. Very unique....just like the birthday girl.

I haven't finished her computer bag or those drapes. (sigh).... I have been running errands with my four younger girls all day. We still have to decorate and then maybe I can breath.

Dessert Pizza for Miss Sweet Sixteen

My baby girl is sixteen years old today. Where does time go? Abby is my second child but my first daughter. She is an amazing girl and I am not just saying that because she is my daughter. She has always been mature beyond her years. When she was younger, she was like a 30 year old in a little body. Abby is an amazing writer and she sings like an angel. She is such a joy to me. During the last few years while I was going through my divorce she has been such a comfort to me. I didn't try to lean on her and I made sure not to discuss things with her that I shouldn't. (I wish her Dad had done that too....anyway) She has helped me with her four younger sisters and she took on jobs without me having to ask, like being in charge of taking out the trash and getting it to the road on trash days. Mind you, Abby is not perfect. She likes to sleep late, she forgets things I ask her to do quickly and she borrows all of my clothes. She is, however, my blessing and I am so very thanful that God gave her to me.

So for her special day, she has decided to spend the day with her boyfriend and his family. I spent last Friday with her, because I remember what it was like to be young with your first boyfriend. We will celebrate this evening when he brings her home. Abby doesn't want a birthday cake, she wants a dessert pizza. I made it for her last year. It is very easy to make and so yummy. I am posting photos of me and Abby last year on her birthday and of the dessert pizza we made last year.

Dessert Pizza

2 rolls of sugar cookie dough
3 packages of cream cheese
1 or 2 teaspoons of vanilla
Sugar to taste

I don't use exact measurements for this recipe, I just kind of throw it all together. Roll cookies dough out on a cookie sheet or a pizza stone. Bake cookie til it is done. Mix cream chesse, vanilla and sugar til it is a creamy icing. Spread over cookie, after it has cooled. Place sliced fruit on top. We like blueberries, strawberries and kiwi.


Monday, March 29, 2010

This Sums it Up

This picture pretty much sums up how I feel about the drapes I am making. Large, large panels, unruly fabric, uneven print, only 6" left to match seams with no wiggle room. Arghhhh. I'm making these drapes for a client. I have worked for her before and she is great and she has more "much needed" work for me when these are done. I am grateful, but I HATE these drapes! I am so glad I charge by the hour. I gotta get in the studio and get these done and out of here.

I am half way finished with my daughters computer/messenger bag. I think it is going to be cute. Her birthday is tomorrow, so I have a lot to do today. Guess I will quit whining and get busy. It is spring break here, we don't normally follow the public school calendar, since we homeschool. However, it think we definately will take this week off. I have so much to do.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'm Doin the Happy Dance!

The Happy Dance!

That's me.

My new patterns. Yay! Thank you, Cydni!

Yes, I am doing the happy dance. I was notified by Cyndi at Bluebirdswing that I was a winner! Yay! I hardly ever win anything. Guess my luck is changing. She actually increased her giveaway from one winner to six winners. What a sweetie. I won two handbag patterns. I love handbag patterns! I am posting pics so you can see what I won.

I have been cutting out drapes for a client today. Large, very large drapes. My knees are sore from crawling on the floor and cutting them out. I hate cutting out. I am going to be running very close on yardage and I have to match seams. What a pain. But, atleast there is a paycheck in the end. My girls all like to eat, so any work is a good thing. I thank God everyday for meeting our needs. I will probaby work another hour on these drapes today. Then I am going to start making my oldest daughter a messenger bag/computer bag for her birthday this coming Tuesday. She is turning 16 and I am feeling very old. Her boyfriend actually gave her a laptop for her birthday. She dual enrolls at the local community college (where she met the boyfriend) and she wants to take her laptop to school with her. She has picked out the fabric, but I will have to design the pattern cause she couldn't find one she likes. Lucky for me I am a pattern designer. (snile) I will post pics of the finished project and maby add it to my list of patterns to publish. Ok...enough chatting...back to the studio.

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Shhhhh...It's a Surprise

I finished my potholders for the Potholders Pass 2. I can't tell you who they are for yet. I am mailing them tomorrow. I love, love, love these colors. I almost wish my kitchen was this color. I had so much that I made her a matching dish towel too. I loved making the appliqued bird too. The entire project was really fun. I hope she likes them.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My First 3 Squares

I have joined the 39 Squares Stitch Along. The idea is to embroider a one inch square once a day. The creator of this stitch along chose the number 39 because she was turning 39. I think I will end up with 40 squares....I wish I could tell you I was 40 but that would be fibbing. I am thinking about having my daughters stitch one of these too. I think it will be cool for them.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My First Eight Strings Blocks

I finally got started on my Strings Quilt. I am using scraps of fabric and all those scraps of batting that I have accumutlated. I am using the quilt as you go method. I am really excited about this quilt. I think it is going to be really cute. I think I will give this quilt to my youngest daughter.

I have also been working on my 39 Squares Stitch along embroidery. I think it is going to be alot of fun. And....I have finished embroidering five blocks for the Free Seasons Quilt Along.

Have I done anything I had on my sewing "to do" list, iike make drapes or Easter dresss? That would be a big fat NO. I will, however, get to it tomorrow...hopefully.

Happy Sewing!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

SewNso Sewing Journal Give Away

I found another great give away. Laurie's blog is beautiful. If you love heirloom sewing, like I do, you will love her blog. Take a visit there and enjoy.

An Awesome Bag Pattern Give Away

Cyndi at Blue Bird Swing is having a very generous give away. She is giving 12 bag patterns to one lucky winner. While you are there, check out her amazing blog. I am so glad I found it.

Also, I am planning a giveaway of my own, very soon. It will be to celebrate my 75th post. Be sure and check back often for details.

Happy Sewing!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Planning my Easter Sewing

This photo reminds of me of Me and five daughters.

I am feeling a little better now and I am anxious to get back in my studio. I have quite a bit of homeschooling to catch up on, as well. I have a set of drapes that I have to make. My client has been very understanding, while I have undergone this 'root canal nightmare'. However, I want to get these finished and out of my studio. Of course, receiving a paycheck will be quite helpful also. I have been planning my list what to start after the drapes. My girls need Easter dresses. Our church is pretty casual so I don't have need for frilly dresses. My girls are getting to that age, where they don't like those kind of dresses anyway. I have one daughter who will only where skirts and not dresses (don't ask why?). Fortunately, my resource center aka stash is full of little girl dress fabric and my pattern cabinet is full of dress patters. I anticipate a "shopinng trip" in my studio today.

Here is my sewing "to do" list:

* Make drapes for a client

* Add grommets to my pot holders for swap

* Make dress for youngest daughter

* Make skirt for one of the twins

* Make dresses or skirts for 11 year old and 12

* Make Easter table runner

* Make matching fabric basket

Whew.....I'd better get busy. Happy Sewing!!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Neat Blog and Give away

I was cruising blogs last night and I found a really neat blog mainly about thrifting. They are also having a nice give away. Go check them out.

Monday, March 15, 2010

We Interupt This Life For......

I had my root canal today and it was the worst experience of my life. I never felt numb and it was awful! To make matters worse, it took TWO hours to get my pain killer rx filled. I have given birth to 6 children and had Spinal Menangitis and I can honestly say I have never endured as much pain as I did today. sewing, no cleaning, no living at all for now. I am praying I feel much better by tomorrow. I have lots of creativity running through my mind and I can't wait to share it with my online friends.

Susan, who is in bed dreaming of quilting

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Organizing my Sewing Studio

I love my label maker!

I am rearranging my studio again. I still haven't made the new curtains or the curtain for the cutting table but I moving things around trying to get it more user friendly. I am trying to add supplies from my small sewing room without making the studio look cluttered. I have decided to make the small room the designated scrapbooking space and keep the scrapbooking supplies out of the sewing studio. Both hobbies use a lot of stuff! Anway, I have been using my label maker all day and lableling my plastic drawers. I think we sewers should buy stock in rubbermaid and the other makers of these drawers. I have never seen a sewing room that didn't have atleast one of these contraptions.

Happy Sewing!!

35 Pillowcases for Conkerr Cancer

Yay! We have finished our pillowcases! They are so cute and we had so much fun making them. I am posting pictures of them, neatly folded in my Studio and the last photo of the "Serger Droppings". (Smile) I have decided that I am going to use them to stuff a dog bed for my dog Bobbin. He will love it.

I am so excited about how my potholders turned out for the Potholder Pass 2. I love them! I just have to add grommets and then they will be finished. Today, I am looking for my grommets and the setter tool. I think my studio ate them. I will post pictures of my potholders when the recipient has received them.

I am heading to the studio. Happy Sewing!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Need a Real Camera

I have had my iphone for about 3 years and I love it. In fact, since my divorce it is the one splurge that I have kept. I have cut down on everything else but I have been spoiled by the iphone. Most of the photos on my blog are actually taken with my iphone and some of them are pretty good (for a phone). My last post about the "wedding" had photos taken by one of my little girls with my iphone. They are dark and pretty fuzzy. I just love to look at other blogs with gorgeous photos. So, I have added to the top of my 'wish list' a real camera.

On another note, I have scheduled a root canal for next Monday. I am shaking in my boots (ok my barefeet). I am a real chicken when it comes to dental procedures. However, the pain of this tooth has convinced me to get over it. I need to get back to my old self. My kids and my studio miss me.

I have taken a handful of over the counter pain relievers and I will be in the studio today. The girls are with their Dad today and I refuse to lose an uninterupted day of sewing. So on the agenda today:

* Wash and press our last 5 Conkerr Cancer pillow cases.

* Make some more Dresden Plates (my new charm pack arrived yesterday)

* Cut out some drapes that I was commissioned to make

* Fix a quiting boo boo in a baby quilt

* Make atleast one string block (I have been dying to start one of these quilts)

I'm off to the studio. Happy Sewing!!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Wedding at our House

Teddy, the groom and the lovely bride saying their vow with the minister/wedding planner

The beautiful bride.

My girls are so creative and busy. My youngest is especially busy. She is always into something and continually making "projects". When I tuck her in her bed at night, I have to uncover projects and more projects. Let me just say that we cannot keep glue, paper or crayons at our house.

I have been under the weather the last week or so. I have had a terrible toothache and found out today that I need a root canal. That is bad news to me in many ways, mainly the financial sort of way. Anyway...back to the point. I was in a lot of pain and really didn't feel like dealing with any of my girl's antics. I had already called off our homeschool for today, except for our Jump Start computer programs. As most moms know, the day you feel least like 'joining in' is the day they want you to join in the most. So it was today. The younger girls came fluttering in my room to tell me that there was going to be a wedding at noon. Yes, my seven year old was to marry one very big teddy bear. It seems that Teddy proposed to my daughter last night at bed time. She said yes, and informed her sister that Teddy would have to sleep in her bed because she was not yet married. (YAY!!) So, for more than an hour. I heard giggling and fussing and running around. One of the other girls was the wedding planner, decorator and the minister. She is a real take charge type of girl. The bride dressed herself and one of my lace curtains became a veil. I attended the wedding at noon, reluctantly due to pain, but I am so glad I did. It was so adorable. They set up a wedding isle and chairs in the living room and the minister lead them in beautiful vows. It was so sweet and funny. It was also a reminder that these precious moments are flying by so fast. My oldest is 19 and no longer at home and it seems like yesterday that I was watching him play with Thomas the Train. My little bride is my youngest and she will be 8 years old in June. Soon, the wedding will be for real, with no teddy bears for grooms. Everyday, I close my eyes and say to myself "remember this...remember the way they look, the way they sound, the way it feels to have their little arms wrapped around me. Life is precious, but life is short.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Serger Droppings

My boyfriend, George, is one of those people who cleans as you go. I love that about him. He is always picking up a broom in the middle of cooking a meal or the time he had to help me with a huge drapery order I was working on. Lately, we have been working on 35 pillow cases for Conkerr Cancer. We have been using the serger to add the cuffs quickly. For some reason I was keeping the scraps that fall from the serger in one pile on the table beside me. I'm not sure why, I just wanted to see how big the pile would get. So, George-the cleaner, came up behind me and asked me what that pile was. I was quiet for a minute, not sure how to explain my strange obsession I had with keeping these pillow case scraps all together. I looked at the scraps and back at him and said, "That is serger poop." We both cracked up and I have cleaned it up a little for you by calling it Serger Droppings. I am posting a picture of the pile, but keep in mind there are five more pillow case droppings to add. I may have to make my dog, Bobbin, a pillow with the droppings, as I have grown quite fond of them. you also know that I am nuts!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Family that Sews Together......

The girls and I have been in the studio quite a bit this week. We are making pillow cases for Conkerr Cancer. We were already planning on participating in this program, but then a local store where I teach, Fabric Warehouse, had worked it out to get credit for "Disney's Give a Day, Get a Day program". This is really cool for us. My boyfriend, George, has never been to Disney World and most of my girls don't remember going, since they were so young the last time we went. With money being as tight as it is, Disney is not in our budget. So, all of us, including George have been making pillow cases. We each have make 5 pillow cases. We only have five more to have our 35 pillow cases finished.

Talk about stashbusting...this has really helped in that area too. I only bought 6 yards of fabric for this project. All the rest came from my stash...I mean my resource center. I am so happy to see the bright and cheerful fabrics go to the sweet children who are battling cancer. I have been praying for each child who may receive our pillow cases. I pray they find comfort and healing.

I am posting pics of some of my girls who worked on this project. We will post pics of all of our pillow cases later.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gotta love the Mail Man

Yesterday I received my package from Fabric Worm (pictured in an earlier post). Today I got my Moda Swell that got from ebay. This was a must-have as one of my "not quite finished" quilts for one of my pattern covers was started in these fabrics. Since these are discontinued fabrics, I started panicking that I may not have enough. I was able to find this bundle of remnants on ebay, but I had to pay a not so good price for them. I wasn't gonna lose, though. I needed these....not just wanted them. I was so excited to get my packages. I always feel like a kid at Christmas when I get mail.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Thoughts for the Day

"Embrace the negative. How can we appreciate the small things, like feeling healthy unless we have first been ill? How can we appreciate being loved unconditionally and unselfishly unless we have first been in a selfish, one-sided relationship? God allows the peaks and valleys for a reason. Our job is to realize the negative is temporary and for a purpose and to be thankful for every second of the good.
-Susan Fullington"