Handsewn Holiday

 I had some fun with sewing for a few of my 2014 Christmas gifts. Pictured above is a Social Tote that I made for my mom. It's a pattern by Carolyn Friedlander and Anna Graham of Noodlehead. Follow the links to find their posts about the pattern, as well as info in case you'd like to make one yourself! I made one for myself a couple years ago and I love using it!

Next up, the very exciting Sew Together Bag by SewDemented. One of my New Year's resolutions last year was simply to sew a zipper, and I ended up sewing 16 before the year was over. The most thrilling thing about sewing zippers is that it's not as difficult as it seems... not even difficult at all. My sewing machine came with a zipper foot (which is crucial), and before I made my first attempt I watched a bunch of YouTube tutorials and read through instructions. I followed Noodlehead directions for my very first zipper, and it was a cinch! 

One of the main reasons I put "sew a zipper" on my to-do list for the year was because I wanted to make this delightful bag! I made one for myself and decided to make a couple for gifts. The purple and blue bag above was for my sister in law, and the one below, featuring a Cotton & Steel exterior, was for my friend, Lisa.

 I used the same colorful fabric for the exterior of mine, I love those colors and am very fond of postage stamps, so when I first saw the print I couldn't leave the store without it!

The last project was a trio of kindle cases! I followed Atkinson's Designs' Reader Wrap pattern. One was for my Dad and the other two were for Josh and myself! It's so nice to have a case, and extra nice that it's so cute and cozy! I'm sure that's why the boys like it. I haven't used the little pocket on the left yet, but I imagine that it will come in handy. Our kindles are the small original style, so I shortened the cover by an inch and also shortened the pocket on the right so we can read the whole page without taking the kindle out! We all happened to have the same kindle, but the pattern has instructions that can be adapted for any e-reader.

Anniversary Book

This morning I spent about ten minutes watching a heart warming and tear jerking video of soldiers reuniting with their children. It made me want to put Return to Me in the dvd player, turn the air conditioning up, cuddle under a warm blanket and let the tears flow! However, it's only 9am and these books don't bind themselves, so instead I'm reminiscing about a book bound for a sweet and thoughtful wife to give to her husband on their 10th anniversary earlier this year.

My client wanted a small 5" x 5" blank book full of deckled edge watercolor pages. She provided the beautiful piece of fabric for the cover as well as some of the silk from her wedding dress for the doublures.

The blank pages were filled with a letter from wife to husband. It's an honor to make books like these that will end up being keepsakes for years to come.

Here's to a day full of sweet things and happy tears!

Carnival of Love: Stationery Box

On Wednesday I joined Sarah of Orange Blossom Ink at the Carnival of Love at planIT! boutique. I got to see some great friends, like Grace Edmands, and also meet a lot of neat new people. It was a themed bridal event for local brides and grooms so they could get an idea of what area vendors have to offer. I didn't get a chance to visit with everyone, but one of my favorite vendors was Big City Catering, because they had carnival themed food stations set up all over the lovely boutique.  A popcorn station, where guests had their choice of toppings from garlic to chocolate powder, a hot dog station, again with a wide array of toppings, and my favorite, the snow cone station! I lingered for a while with the snow cones because I had a great time talking to the Big City Intern who was manning the station. She is actually preparing for her own wedding!

The box in these photos was my contribution for a joint take-home prize! Lisa and Sarah designed and printed some cute cards that matched the decorative paper on the box. I didn't stay for the whole evening so I'm not sure who ended up with it,  but I might request some of the cards myself,  because they were so cute!

Here is a list of all of the great vendors who were present:

Some Embroidery & One Year Down!

I started this blog a year ago yesterday, and I'm pleased as punch to say that I stuck with my 2009 resolution of posting at least once a month! Almost fifty posts later, dare I resolve to post at least twice month next year? Seems to be a safe plan... we'll see! I have a couple weeks to decide!

It has been a very busy month. I'm working hard to finish up projects for clients, as well as my own holiday projects. The photo above shows two embroidery projects that I finished a couple months ago. One was a gift for my mom's birthday, and the other was a "congrats on your engagement" present for my brother and his fabulous fiance. It was my first try with embroidery and it was so much fun! My friend Lisa and I had seen the lovely embroidery by Jessica of MiniatureRhino on Etsy, and thought we'd like to give it a try. Lisa has embroidering in her blood, and takes part in her family tradition of embroidering quilt squares for the family quilt each year. She kindly taught me a couple stitches, after which I had a hard time putting my needle down! I even embroidered a book cover for the BEST Halloween Challenge!

Rosewood Folder & Walnut Box

Today was an exceptional start to the week! I'm having fun getting prepared for our trip to San Francisco for the Guild of Book Workers Seminar. It was a productive day in the bindery. My friend Glenn brought some pumpkin bread over, which made for a wonderful fall feeling that is otherwise amiss here in warm Orlando. And now I get to watch the top 20 on So You Think You Can Dance!

All of the above are so wonderful, but the very best thing was something special that came in the mail. On Friday I got a notice that I had a package to pick up at the office which wouldn't be open again until Monday. I had all weekend to wonder what sort of mail was in store for me.

Last month, when I called Randy Arnold for his interview, I got more than than I requested and made a new friend! In these photos you can see the beautiful folder that I received from my friend. It was a delight to see that the package was from him, and a thrill to see what was inside. First of all, look at that great packaging! The earth tones compliment his work perfectly. Pictures don't quite capture how nice it is to hold this rosewood folder, and how perfectly it fits into its handsome walnut box. You can see more photos of this folder on Randy's blog, and visit his shop to add some tools to your wish list!

Thanks a million, Randy, for my new prized possession! If any of you happen to be headed to the Guild meeting this week, I'll plan to bring my new folder along. Let me know if you'd like to get your hands on it, and I will have a show & tell!