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January 31, 2012

Updates


The last project I finished before maiming myself was this cute little cross stitch number from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. It's going to my beloved sister who started law school in Memphis in the Fall, because she has new digs that need decorating :)

It was already washed and dried, I just needed to cut it down to fit in the frame...which was easier said than done. I've been under the watchful eye of Ray the past two weeks, and nothing gets past him (mostly because he's a master of sneakiness himself). He was sitting across the room at the dining table, and as soon as he spotted me easing myself onto the floor near the mat, both his neck and eyebrows started craning upward, and he called out "Babe...what are you doing?...BABE! ARE YOU CUTTING SOMETHING OVER THERE!? You'd better not be!!!" Followed by my hurried oh-don't-worry-it'll-only-take-two-seconds-and-I'm-wearing-my-neck-brace-so-it's-okay response. So it's not as perfectly centered as I would like, because I had to furiously chop at it like a ninja before Ray could run over and stop me, ha ha!

And in other news, I finally got an official diagnosis today. I had my MRI at 8 am yesterday, which was awesome because they gave me an IV of some glorious drug that allowed me to sleep pain-free for 6 straight hours. Ray enjoyed it as well, because apparently I made for some entertaining conversation on the way home (I don't remember anything past laying down on the MRI slab, and then waking up at 3:30 in the afternoon). My doctor's office called at lunch today with the results, and it seems I have not one, but two herniated disks in my neck - between the C5/C6 vertebrae, and the C6/C7 vertebrae. It really sucks, but at least I finally have a diagnosis and can start on some medication/pain relievers.

There's really no official "cause", but I have a feeling it has something to do with working 8 hour days and then coming home and sewing for 4-5 hours. I'm also wondering if all the migraines I've been having the past couple months are somehow related to this....but who knows. I'm a gal that's constantly on the go, and the past two weeks have been rough because I've had to give up sewing cold turkey, relinquish control of all household duties, and wean myself off of email and Flickr to a certain degree (because it's painful to type). I find myself panicking, thinking I'm going to get behind on everything if I don't check blogs and photostreams as much as I usually do....or that everyone will stop reading my blog if I don't post projects for almost two months. But as rational or irrational those thoughts are, there's only one choice to make: slow down. If this isn't a wake up call that I've been pushing myself too far physically for months, I don't know what is. I wish I was at a point in my life when I could choose my sewing over my day job, but unfortunately, I'm not, and it seems I'm gonna have to scale back on my after-work pursuits for the next year or so. And that sucks. Really sucks. Because it's my passion and my stress-relief from Corporate America.

Logic

So after I got the news today and realized my recovery, realistically, might take a lot longer than 6 weeks, I decided I'd give myself about 5 minutes to wallow in self-pity, walk next door to the bakery and do some emotional eating in the form of Mile High Chocolate Cake, and then get over myself and move on. And truth be told, the cake was delicious, and I feel much better. I just needed to remind myself that I have a lot in my life to be thankful for, and this is nothing but a speed bump :)

January 23, 2012

Bad News Bears

First off, I want to thank everyone for all the well wishes you sent my way after my last post. After a pretty crazy and sleep-deprived weekend, I was starting to feel a lot better the last day or so. I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for this afternoon, and I made a last-minute decision not to cancel just in case my issue was something other than a pinched nerve. Well, I'm seriously glad I went in, because it turns out I have a herniated disk in my neck. Which means I get to wear a stylish neck brace for a while, eat a few packs of steriods, and give up sewing for about 6 weeks. Yeah, you read that last part right. It looks like things will be pretty quiet around here for the next month or two :(

I don't mind the neck brace or the steriods, because the brace reminds me of an Ernest character called Auntie Nelda, which makes me giggle...


But the no-sewing-for-6-weeks thing is a real bummer. And Ray's instituted marshall law. I went to go get something out of my sewing room, and he'd actually locked the door on me! That varmint. I can't say I blame him though, because I'm a bit of a pistol and stubborn as a mule - after 6 years of marriage, he's sure got my number ;)

But back to the giggling, because that part is more fun. Ever since I saw this V-neck sweater in Purl Soho's latest email blast, I can't stop laughing to myself.


Why? Well, because all I could think about after I saw it was this HILARIOUS Saturday Night Live skit featuring Ben Stiller and Andy Sanberg. Seriously...you need to watch it!

January 20, 2012

Un-Adulterated Pity Party

Warning: be prepared for no small amount of whining. It's 3:00 in the morning, and I'm up on the sofa ready to start crying like a small disturbed child...again (the first breakdown was at 10pm). I have a pinched nerve in my neck/back again (this happened to me previously in the fall), except that it's waaaay worse this time. I'm no pansy, but this is seriously the most pain I've ever been in. No position is comfortable, my left arm is constantly half-numb (I'm typing with one hand right now), and even worse, I don't think I'll be able to get in to see a doctor any time soon, so I'm probably going to have to ride it out with no pain meds or muscle relaxers because I refuse to go to the Emergency Room and fork over a $200 copay. We recently switched over to Ray's health insurance from mine, and since the gym he works for is owned by a hospital, we have to change primary physicians to one within the hospital network because they only pay for in-network benefits. So yeah, wish me luck trying to get an appointment as a new patient, on the very day I'm calling. Before the weekend is over, I may convince Ray to club me over the head like a caveman so I can be unconscious until this is all over, lol!

To add insult to injury, I had the flu earlier this week, so the only bright spots of my week have been some seriously awesome packages I've received from friends. Kristie sent me a lovely winter package full of my favorite things - cookies, scottie dogs, and witty crafts :)



And there's no real reason for the following picture, but I'm in a lot of pain and wanted to look at something cute. Whiskers has taken to perching on top of the sofa cushions like a cat...because apparently it's not good enough to sit on a pile of quilts on the sofa cushions like a normal person. Life is hard. And yes, that is a giant pile of clothes he's laying on. Ray likes to use the corner of our sectional as a laundry basket. And in case you were wondering, those are Iron Man pajama pants you see. After 6 years, I've learned that married life is about picking your battles, and this is one I gave up a long time ago in favor of more important things, lol ;) Besides, it was 2 against one because Whiskers voted for the clothes to stay since he likes using them as a pillow.


And now back to awesome packages....

Got these in the mail from my friend Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics today...yesterday? Yeah, yesterday. It's 3 am.


Yum! I could eat these Ruby Sundae Stripes with a spoon!


And these are a few little ditties that tripped and fell into my Etsy shopping basket like that cruise ship captain...


Looking at these little trims makes me so happy *sigh*


And that's not all! Here in the Telschow family, we don't mess around when it comes to interfacing. I always wait to buy it until Joann puts it on sale for 50% off, because then I can get an additional 10% off with my VIP Card. I scored an entire 20 yd bolt of my favorite interfacing for $29 (including tax)...which breaks down to $1.45/yard.


So wish me luck on the shoulder this weekend (and feel free to mail me any controlled substances you have lying around, lol!) In a moment of pure weakness, I almost took some pain pills I found in the medicine cabinet leftover from Ray's wisdom tooth extraction back in 2008!!! My better judgement kicked in before I did anything rash though...

January 16, 2012

Round Two


Since I made my first attempt at cross stitching last week with the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's dessert of the month club, I've officially become addicted! It's the perfect way for me to keep my hands busy while I'm on break at work, or when we're driving around town or crashing on the sofa at night. I've become slightly obsessed, so I might have picked up a few more patterns from their shop recently - Toast Jump (the one pictured above) and the Leaning Tower or Macaroons.

I finished the Jump Toast one last night, and it's going to my sister in Memphis. She started law school last fall and has a new apartment in Memphis, so I thought I'd make something cute for her walls. I finished the stitching last night and plan on picking up a cute frame for it sometime this week- yay!

Not gonna lie, it's really satisfying to be able to finish a project a few days after starting (rather than weeks or months later like quilts!)

January 15, 2012

Giveaway Winners

I'm pretty bummed the Saints lost last night, but at least they went out with their boots on. The Telschow clan was all together and we were screaming like banshees during those last few minutes. Man! What a game! The 49ers definitely earned every bit of that win.

So, on to the good news! Here are the winners of the giveaway items...

The winner of the Amy Butler Keyka Lou clutch is Comment #105 by James-Linda

"THANKS FOR SHARING! LOVE ALL FABRIC SCRAPS ♥ "


And the winner of the mega pile of scraps is Comment #113 by Kritta22

"Please, please oh please let me win!!

That is quite the fabric area! Who do you even keep track? Do you ever just sit back and look at it?? Do you remember where you got most of it??"


I just emailed both of the winners, and if I don't hear back from them within 5 days, I'll redraw for new winners. Thanks to everyone that participated!

January 14, 2012

Playing Catch-Up

Due to the massive number of Christmas presents I had to sew, I kind of unofficially took a break from blogging back in December, so there are a ton of things I never posted on here.

For starters, I received an adorable mug rug and an awesome bundle of scraps from Ulrike! She has the best fabric, and I love the charming little details she puts into everything she makes. I won a pillow in one of her blog giveaways a few years ago, and it's one of my favorite holiday items (the hubby loves it too).


And my favorite part? The hilariously accurate portrayal of me reaching for cookies, and Whiskers making off with a stocking. Both of those things happened numerous times over the holidays ;)


I honestly made out like a bandit this year, because my friend Kristy made me a lovely holiday item as well! She wanted to get her husband a special Kindle for Christmas that was only available in the U.S., so she had her purchase mailed to me and I forwarded it to Aussieland. As a thank you gift, she sent me this pillowcase and some chocolate treats. I was dumbfounded when I opened it because of all the intricate piecing and quilting - it must have taken her forever to do all that circular quilting!


And she even included one of my favorite holiday prints - the snowflake print from Happy Zombie's Holiday Happy line! I've been debating buying those prints for a while, but hadn't taken the plunge because I need more Christmas fabric like a hole in the head. But after seeing how cute they were sewn up in a project, I found some on clearance (for $5/yard) and bought 1/2 yards of the snowflake and triangle santa prints. Yay!


Since her package didn't arrive until after Christmas, I'm thinking about sneaking it onto the sofa because it's too lovely to put in storage for a whole year. I think I can get away with people not realizing it's a Christmas pillow, so long as they don't turn it over and expose the trees on the back!


Oh. And I have one more thing to show you. It's more of a confession, really. I went on a bit of a bender during the pre/post holiday sales...


But I'd like to officially blame Angela for the Safety Pin prints, because she posted about a shop that had them on clearance for $3.99/yard. I can't be held responsible for my decisions when informed about fabric that cheap.

My other splurge was in my friend Ayumi's shop. I bought those adorable laundry and baking fat quarters on the left, and because she's a sweetheart, she added all those cute scraps you see on the right! She is so, so nice and I love having email chats with her :) Isn't it wonderful when you get the chance to "meet" one of your crafting heros, and they're even nicer than you imagined?


That being said, you guys probably know what's coming next. The great post-Christmas fabric purge of 2012. I just put up a bunch of new listings in my Etsy shop including some cheap fat quarter bundles, an It's a Hoot Layer cake, and various cuts of fabric. I also put together about 5 scrap bundles because my bins are overflowing from all my recent sewing. They're organized by color, and what you see is what you get - I'm pretty generous with my scrap packs, and everything shown in the photo will be included in the bundle.



As always, you can use the code PLAIDSCOTTIE10 for 10% off anything in my shop :)


January 13, 2012

Featured Follower Friday


Hey everyone! I had the pleasure of meeting Anne Marie at the Sewing Summit this past October when she helped out with the Fat Quarter Swap, and she's every bit as nice as she seems on her blog! (she's the one with the gray stripe shirt and adorable baby bump)


She asked me to answer a few questions for her Featured Follower Friday series, so skip on over Gen X Quilters to check it out :)

January 12, 2012

High Fives All Around

Yesterday was a pretty awesome day.

I came home to a fun little package on my doorstep yesterday. More good things to come *wink*...


And even better, last night we found the Flight of the Concords box set on sale for $16.99 at the Best Buy down the street!!! I freaking love that show. I hear Ray walking around the house humming "Business Time" to himself all the time...."cuz you know when I'm down to my socks it's business time, that's why they're called business socks!"


I don't think I've ever confessed my other addiction (besides fabric) on here before, so here goes. My name is Kaelin, and my husband and I are movie addicts. We have over 600 DVDs/Blu-Rays (that don't all fit in this gigantic case anymore), and that number is slowly growing...eek!


We're pretty eclectic in our tastes. We have everything from Thor to Chocolat to Heavyweights to The Sound of Music, and whenever I'm not sewing, I can usually be found lounging around with Ray watching movies. We're about the most content married couple you'll ever meet. Most people would probably find us boring, but we're happiest when we get to lay on the sofa together on the weekends and have movie marathons under a pile of quilts with Whiskers (with some intermittent napping mixed in - click here for visual). One of our weekly rituals is to come home from church, put in The Fellowship of the Ring, and take a "Baptist Nap". Ray always looks over at me as the movie is starting and says, "I'm gonna try to make it to Moria this time, but I probably won't". And 10 minutes later he's passed out, snoring quietly with his mouth open. Life is good :)

January 11, 2012

Mega Scrap Giveaway!

I haven't done a giveaway on here in a loooooong time, so how's 'bout we take care of that today? And to make up for it, I'm gonna do a HUGE scrap giveaway. Like Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus big. I know, that's a whole lotta shark scraps.

First up, my friend Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics is offering the lovely scraps you see pictured above. There's lots of Michael Miller and Moda prints in there (that charcoal Dumb Dot is one of my favs...it goes with just about anything), and the pack weighs 1 lb 7.4 oz, which is almost 4 yards! by weight.

AND

As if that's not enough, I'm going to toss is a giant heap o' scraps from my stash too! You see those fabric bins and plastic drawers at the top of the photo below? Yeah, all 8 of them are stuffed to the brim with various scraps assorted by color. I'm gonna yank out an indecent amount of scraps from them once we pull a winner. You can choose to have me include scraps that coordinate with the bundle above, or you can take the rainbow road and give me free reign to toss in whatever I want ;) Your call.




And because I always like to include a handmade item in every giveaway, there's a second prize up for grabs. It's a small clutch/wallet I made using Keyka Lou's Pocket Clutch pattern.



So. What must you do to enter? Good question.

1) Leave a comment.
2) For a second entry, blog about this giveaway, and leave a comment telling me so :)

The winner will be announced Sunday evening (Jan. 15). The pocket clutch is open to Internationals, but unfortunately due to the weight of the scrap package, I have to limit that one to U.S. residents only.

GOOD LUCK!!!

P.S. A good way to use your current scraps is to join Brenda's Bust Yo Stash! Quilt Along!


January 5, 2012

Lookit! I cross-stitched!

 

I'd like to say a big thank you to the talented ladies at the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, because they have single-handedly made me interested in cross-stitching.  Before I stumbled across their adorable designs last year, my interest in cross-stitching was zero. zilch. nada. But since I first laid eyes upon their illegally cute PB&J pattern (which never fails to make me sing the Peanut Butter Jelly Time song), I've been toying with the idea of picking up a new hobby. The final nail in the coffin was when I read Kelly's post about these adorable macaroons and their new Dessert of the Month club. Ten bucks for a year's worth of precious wee dessert patterns that smile back at me? Sold.

I had my fingers crossed they would email the new pattern before my lunch break today, and sure enough, the crafting gods were smiling upon me because it appeared in my inbox right before noon, so I was able to run to Joann's and pick up the necessary supplies. I was crazy excited to find my store had the metallic embroidery floss they mentioned on their site, because I love the sparkle it added to my little champagne truffle! It was a lot harder to work with than the regular floss, but well worth the effort. The only thing I was disappointed about is that I couldn't find dark aida, which the ladies at FPS recommended because many of the patterns will contain white. This Oatmeal one was the darkest I could find, and I was too lazy (with a splash of impatience mixed in) to attempt tea-dying, so I'll have to come to grips with the fact that my patterns might be a little muted.

I've never done any cross stitching in my life, so this was quite the adventure - full of google searches for tutorials and the making up of my own rules like, "and being ignorant, ye shall marketh a grid on the aida using a blue water soluble quilting pen. and it shall be done. and it was good. amen." I was going to take it slow and use it to pass the time in the break room at lunch tomorrow, but once I got started, I quickly became obsessed and finished it in one sitting while watching reruns of Once Upon a Time (LOVE that show!)

So yeah. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited. It probably looks like crap in a handbasket to you seasoned pros, but I'm more than a little giddy about it. I have it draped over the sofa arm next to me, and I keep pausing while I type to reach over and pet it. My precious. *nuzzles against face*


I love how the crafting revolution that's going on amongst our generation is reaching all aspects of handmade items. People like Amanda & Ashleigh are out there breathing new life into other oft-neglected arts besides sewing and quilting, and I think that's pretty freaking cool. 

...and speaking of cool, there's a lady at my office with a globetrotting daughter in college, and she's always bringing me fabric from all over the world to turn into things for her dorm room. Last time it was a printed panel of a scene from the Sahara, which I turned into a wall hanging. This time it was some absolutely stunning fabric from Tanzania. It's typically used as garment fabric, but she wanted me to make it into pillows for her bed. I fussy cut the blue and black print to showcase that fab medallion, and I may have snaked a few of the smaller scraps for myself *wink*  (I warned her I might the day before, just to make sure it was okay)

I forgot to take pictures at home, so they've been lovingly staged in my cubicle chair (ooh! ahh!). My friend Sherie snapped the photos with her iPhone and emailed them to me. She even knew to take one all-inclusive picture + close-ups of each pillow, without me having to say a word. That's true friendship, right there ;)




January 3, 2012

PSA

Hey everyone - just a little public service announcement for you today. I've noticed in the past month or two that I've been getting a lot of comments from people that are "no reply bloggers", and I wanted to post this in case some of you weren't aware of it (I was a "no reply blogger" at one point, and didn't realize it until my friend Cherie posted about it a year or so ago).

I love reading and replying to your comments, and I don't want you to think I'm ignoring you, because it may well be that I can't reply to your comments. 

So, what is a "no reply blogger"? Basically it's when you don't have an email associated with your Google account, so when you leave a comment on someone's blog, they can't reply to it because there isn't an email on file for the response to be directed to.  If you don't like having an email on display for others to see, you can always set up an email specifically for blogger and/or junk email (I have an email address dedicated to promo and junk emails - any time physical or online stores ask for a email where they can send coupons, order receipts, and announcements, I always give them that address).

Jodi at Pleasant Home has instructions in this post, detailing how to make sure you aren't a no reply blogger (and fix it if you are). She also did a much better job describing what a no reply blogger is, in case you still have no idea what I'm talking about, lol!

January 2, 2012

Martini Block Pattern



I designed this block specifically for the back of Amanda's Swanky Squares quilt (because what's a Mad Men themed quilt without a martini?), but I decided to go ahead and make a test block for another project I'm working on right now. The recipient of this mystery gift will probably take one look at this and know it's for her - but maybe not - so I'm still gonna attempt to keep it a secret for now :)


The finished block is 8.5" x 12.5", and I put together a little paper piecing template for you guys! There are three sections in the template (A, B & C) that you'll need to cut out. When piecing & cutting, make sure you leave room for 0.25" seam allowances on each side because the paper templates don't include seam allowances. Also, in addition to the three sections in the pdf, you'll need to cut two 3.5" x 8.5" pieces to sew to the top and bottom of the block. If you're new to paper piecing and need more detailed instructions, Christina at The Sometime's Crafter has a great tutorial with detailed photos.

And if you wanna make it extra fancy, you can quickly free motion applique a little olive & toothpick in the center with some fusible web!

Click here for the downloadable PDF.
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