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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Featured Etsy Blogger

This month's featured Etsy Blogger is Nora of Design by Nora. She is a California girl that loves to make jewelry. Right now you'll find these adorable polymer clay earrings in her shop. They are perfect for spring!

Nora also lists leather and faux leather handbags made by her uncle, Naz. These are fabulous, and here is just one of them:

If you want to learn even more about Nora, you'll have to read her blog! Until the end of March you can click on the big featured Etsy Blogger link in the right column to get there. After March, you'll find her blog here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Needle vs. Safety Pin

Have you ever been backing up and heard a sickening crunch? The sound that makes you curse... out loud unless there are kids in the car. I heard it today while I was sewing! Immediately everything came to a screeching halt. I had been quilting with my BSR (Bernina stitch regulator foot) on, and was blithely meandering along when the crunch happened. The quilt in question had been basted with safety pins.

The needle was pulled out of the machine, and I could see that I had hit the safety pin. As I disentangled the thread and metal, I realized that the needle had won! It had gone cleanly and completely through the head of the safety pin!

Here's a peek at the quilt. It's lap size, and has been a lot of fun quilting in spite of the needle/safety pin battle. And now, I've run out of thread. This is the largest quilt I've made in the long time, and the largest one I've ever machine quilted, and I'm pretty pleased with the way it's turning out. I hope to have it in the shop by the end of the weekend.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Did you know....

that it's time for an Etsybloggers blog carnival post again? The topic I've chosen this time is a "did you know... that March is:

* Irish American Month
* Music in Our Schools Month
* National Craft Month
* National Frozen Food Month
* National Irish American Heritage Month- designated by Congress in 1995.
* National Nutrition Month
* National Peanut Month
* National Women's History Month

* Poetry Month
* Red Cross Month
* Social Workers Month

and we're being asked which one means the most to us, why, and how do we celebrate.

I'm going to tackle a few here, in no particular order.

Music in the Schools Month means so much to me because both my children were active participants in music. Kyle played the piano and the trumpet, keeping up with trumpet until he graduated from high school. Laura played the piano in elementary school, and has played the clarinet since 6th grade. She is graduating in August from the University of Georgia, after having played in the marching band for 4 years, and in concert bands every spring. AND, she's not a music major, but has found that music has enriched her life in so many ways, including introducing her to her boyfriend.

She's somewhere in this picture!

National Peanut Month means a lot to me because
I live in the state of Georgia, and the recent salmonella tragedy that originated in a peanut processing plant here, has hurt so many of the other Georgia peanut farmers and peanut plants. Shame on the Peanut Corp. of America.

National Nutrition Month also means a lot to me because I'm a Weight Watchers leader, and encourage healthy eating as a part of my job. I am going to mention it next week at my meetings when we discuss making eating out fit in our lives.

And finally, National Craft Month means so much because it is a part of my identity. That is what I do, and I celebrate that everyday, all year long, and encourage others to find their artistic selves through arts
and crafts. Today, March 21, is also National Quilting Day, and currently, I am focusing on making quilts. There is just something about putting scraps of fabric together in a pattern that is so satisfying, and I find I'm enjoying it more and more.

A quilt made by my Mom (available in my shop, click on the picture)

Almost forgot, National Women's History Month because, well, I AM a woman.

March is especially rich in honoring things that mean a lot to me, but I have a sneaking suspicion that every month has something or someone to honor.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

Food can fill our stomachs.
It cannot fill our souls.

Food can nourish our bodies.
It cannot nourish our hearts and minds.

Food can make our taste buds happy.
It cannot make us happy.

Food can give momentary pleasure.
It cannot give lasting pleasure.

Food can distract us from our pain.
It cannot take away our pain.

Food can be controlled.
It does not control us.

Food serves a purpose.
It does not give us purpose.
~Author Unknown

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's Finished!

The Sunburst quilt is finished and I opted for the wall hanging. It's about 45" square and has a hanging sleeve on the back to make it easy to hang.

What's a hanging sleeve you ask? That's a fancy term for a pocket on the back. Slide a dowel through the sleeve/pocket and rest it on nails or a screw in the wall or even a hook. The dowel supports the weight of the quilt so over time, you don't end up with odd stretched places. The larger the quilt, the more important a hanging device like the sleeve becomes. If possible, it is even advisable to rotate a quilt, though not all designs allow for that.

Click on the picture to head over to the listing on etsy. There you'll see more pictures. I hope you like it.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

What I'm Working On

I'm a member of the Quiltsy Team on Etsy, and though I've been a member for awhile, I've only just really gotten involved. Well, I missed out on the string swap block, but saved the link for the instructions and gave it a try! It's so much fun! The really fun part is there really is no planning, so it's very liberating for a real planner like me! I did plan a little bit, with the color selection, and I gave it a "sunny" theme.

Now all I really have to decide is the borders. I'm leaning toward just a white border all around. My other thought is white all around, plus a couple of pink borders on the bottom to make it a rectangle lap quilt instead of just a square wall hanging. If you have an opinion, please feel free to leave me a comment!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Weight Loss Thursday

My goal of a post every Wednesday, well, you can see that isn't always happening! But, it is on my mind, especially with my two Weight Watcher meetings on Wednesday. Next week's meeting topic is exercise, and I'm getting a jump on it here with a dedication to running. Love it or hate it, it burns a lot of calories, and it's one cardio exercise, that I do kind of like in a perverse sort of way.

I've been pretty consistent with at least twice a week strength training, and it has done wonders for maintaining my weight. The cardio portion was sorely lacking though, and my goal now is to run at least twice a week. Three times would be great, but many weeks, unrealistic for me. To encourage myself, you can peek over to the right column and see the Log My Run gadget. Yep, it's keeping me honest, and encouraging me to speed it up to overcome an embarrassingly slow pace. In my defense, there are some pretty wicked hills in my neighborhood.

The bottom line however, is whether you are maintaining your weight, or trying to lose, exercise is going to be an important tool in making that happen.

To celebrate running, I want to introduce you to First Light Glass over on Etsy. Dawn makes fused glass art and jewelry. Take a look at these adorable pendants. I'm afraid I may look more like the chicken, but I'd love to be as fast as a jackrabbit one of these days.

Free Range Chicken

Easter is on it's way

Happy running!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

March Madness

It's March and time for the madness to begin. And no, I don't mean basketball. I mean it's time for a sale. If you don't read any farther than this, by clicking on the pictures or shop names, you will enter that fabulous shop and the great world of Etsy.

I'm having a sale in both of my shops, Down the Street Creations and Elle Quilts, and basically the sale is the same for both. I'm offering 15% off of everything in each shop. A bonus of free shipping anywhere in the world if you spend more than $10.00. So, for all those destash items, and low cost buttons, buy more and get free shipping! What a deal! The prices are not marked down, but I will refund through paypal, or send a revised invoice if you don't pay right away.

Dogs Saying Take My Picture Wall Hanging Quilt by Down the Street

Red Textured Vintage Buttons at Elle Quilts

Some of my friends have gone mad, too. Check out Once Upon a Rock, jewelry made by fellow Challengette Jessica. Her style might be called quirky romance and you'll find beautiful necklaces, earrings and bracelets. The prices are already marked down 10 to 20% so there is no refund or waiting for an invoice. Shop away!

Invitation -- pearl and lapis lazuli earrings by Once Upon a Rock

You'll also want to visit my friend and fellow Challengette Kristin's shop, Kristria Designs. In her own words, she considers her style "unique and earthy" and I would have to add amazing! Her sale is the same as mine (though I have to confess I got the idea from her), 15% off everything in her shop. Prices are not marked down and she, too, will refund via paypal.

Sunshine in Copper earthy copper necklace by Kristria Designs

Finally, I want to introduce you to my newest friend and fellow member of the Etsy Quiltsy Team. It's Beth, the creator behind Berry Blue Creations. Beth makes one of a kind bags, pillows and cloth art dolls, often recycling fabric from a previous use. When you visit Berry Blue, make sure to read Beth's bio page and learn more about this fascinating artist. For Beth's March sale, celebrating her one year Etsy-versary, everything in her shop is $10! Shipping to all U.S. locations is $3, and if you spend more than $20 you will get a free item as well. Make sure you read her shop announcement carefully to take advantage of that offer.

Meet Lenny Lizard who used to be a Victoria's Secret robe! by Berry Blue Creations

Sunday, March 01, 2009


If I had to guess, a huge percentage of bloggers across the southeast area writing about the snow. We moved to Atlanta 3-1/2 years ago and today was the first time we've had any kind of winter "event". And... it's March!!

So, yes, it Snowed today in Atlanta, and across the southeast. And for me, it was the best kind of snow. The kind that did not involve any shoveling! Here are a couple of pictures, offered as proof.

I wish that the camera would capture the size of the snowflakes, but they were huge... big, fat, wet flakes. Should be lots warmer by the end of the week!