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February 25, 2012

The Cripple Surprise Group


I love my online quilty friends. They are about the kindest, funniest, and most fantastic group of gals I know.

Last week was about the worst week I've ever had in my adult life. Aside from the neck issues & sewing hiatus, there's just been a whole host of utter crap going on in my life (don't worry - me and the hubs are cool...we're an unstoppable team that competes against other teams...sorry, totally stole that line from an episode of The Office), and last week was the apex of it all. So after all was said and done, I put on my pj's Friday night, settled in on the sofa, and prepared to spend my 4-day Mardi Gras weekend wallowing in a fresh batch of eBooks and self-pity (Jacey was sweet enough to have sent me a hilarious Salt & Pepper themed Amazon giftcard). But come Saturday morning, there was a knock at my door and my mailman handed me what would turn out to be a complete ray of sunshine. My good friend (and ringleader) Kelly had secretly organized a "Cripple Surprise Group" for me on Flickr, and a big group of my crafty friends banded together to send a giant box of happiness.

I can't tell you how completely happy it makes me to have such an amazing group of friends in my life, and I feel blessed to know every single one of them. It gives me such a wonderful feeling of contentment to have caring friends like Angela, Jacey, Michelle, Kelly, Cherie, Elena and Kristie in my life. I'd had such a rotten week, and was so blown away by my coordinated box of crafty fun that I honestly burst into tears while I was opening it. Ray thought I was a complete lunatic because he walked in the living room and found me sitting on the sofa covered in tissue paper and crafts, crying my eyes out, and then I looked up at him and said in my snotty, puffy-faced cry voice (while gripping my new goods in my hands and gesturing wildly) "they made a cripple package Ray! my friends sent me a cripple package! they all wrote me notes and sewed things! look it's a handicapped quilter!"...therein commencing a new batch of crying...and he had that terrified husband look like oh god...i'm cornered and this could go either way....so then after a few seconds he cautiously asked me "sooooo....is that a good or a bad thing???" LOL.  I'm sure it wasn't a pretty picture to behold, because I'm a hideously ugly crier...my face gets all red and blotchy and I look like Mad Madam Mim in Sword in the Stone after she catches germy Merlin. 


My package contained all manner of beautiful things, and they even coordinated the colors to match my newest obsession - pink & navy. You ladies didn't miss a trick! :)
Let's take a tour of my new get-well goodies, shall we?


First there's a 20" Granny Square Pillow from Elena (which has already been claimed by Sir Whiskers - see above), and she was even sweet enough to include some money and a coupon to Joann's in my card so I could buy a pillow form. I also found a super cute sewing necklace from Forever 21 tucked in her package, which I proudly wore to our MQG meeting today :) Stylin' and profilin'...

Angela made me this adorable Scottie pincushion/voodoo doll. I'm leaning more toward voodoo doll, because Whiskers managed to snatch it out of the box and attempt to eat it within the hour *sigh*


Jacey - my movie-quoting partner in crime - made me about the darned cutest wall quilt on the planet. Her quilting is fabulous and gives it really a cool texture - wish you could feel it for yourselves because words don't do it justice :)




And Kelly - ohhhhh Kelly - she made me a coaster that nearly made me wet myself. I texted a picture of it to most of my family, and then took it in to work and showed nearly everyone in my office, lol!


And here's a picture of the rest of my haul. Jacey sent the pink & navy scraps, Kelly the nail polish, and Cherie and Michelle coordinated on embroidery items! Cherie got me a book that I absolutely love! I'd never seen it before, but it's filled with the sweetest patterns for all manner of critters, holidays, and day-to-day items. Michelle rounded out the fun by sending me tons of new needles and thread, which I desperately needed because my local store has a crappy selection of colors, plus all my needles are older than dirt and getting blunt.




And what are those other mystery items, you ask? Well my crazy other half in Canada, Kristie, put together a hilarious gag box filled with candy and irreverent humor. That journal is a scream (I censored it lest innocent eyes be offended), but I doubt Ray will let me out in public with it, because knowing me I'll make some kind of accidental scene by dropping it in church right in front of our pastor or some sweet white-haired grandma. But jealous journals aside, wanna hear something else that's hilarious? After I opened up that journal, moose pencil, and umbrella hat (which, according to Kristie, is to help shade my face from the scorching New Orleans sun), I found the pouch pictured below. After reading the note, feeling the shape of the contents, and taking into account the nature of the package (and Kristie)...hand to God...I thought she'd stuffed a bunch of condoms in there. I laughed for a good 2-3 minutes before I was even able to open the darn thing. 


...only to shake out the contents and realize I was the pervy one who thought a bunch of innocent square needle holders were condoms. My bad...guess I've been living in New Orleans for too long, lol ;)



I heart you my dear, dear friends. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and friendship :) And a big friendly squeeze as well to all my lovely readers - thanks for caring, and for checking in on me each week...it means a lot and makes the crappy days easier to bear whenever they come along :)

February 21, 2012

Happy Mardi Gras!

Happy Mardi Gras! Make sure you eat something rich and decadent today in celebration ;)

P.S. Check out who was King of the Baccus parade this year - Will Ferrell! How awesome is that?! Step Brothers is pretty much one of my favorite movies ever (it's soooo underrated). I love Mardi Gras.


February 11, 2012

Bundles o' Love

The bundles are up! My sewing room is total disaster area now because I was yanking fabrics like a lunatic (lol!), but I seriously had a lot of fun putting these together last night! It kinda killed two birds with one stone, because I was able to get my creative juices flowing again without sewing, and it was a great way for me to pair down some of my larger cuts of fabric. Plus Ray left for a men's retreat yesterday and I was moping around the house like a lost lamb without him last night, so this served as a much-needed distration :)

I've managed to list 9 bundles so far, and I hope to get the other two cut and photographed later today. There are a few palettes of my choosing, one warm palette bundle, one cool palette bundle (the two of them look FAB together!), and several rainbow bundles because c'mon, who doesn't love a pretty rainbow of fabric?

There's a link to my Etsy shop at the top right of my blog, or you can click here. Oh - one more thing - I set international shipping higher than normal because I'm afraid mailing 2 yards might get a little pricey, but I'll refund any overages once I mail your package.

Oops - almost forgot! You can use the code PLAIDSCOTTIE10 for 10% off in my shop!


If this is something that you all find helpful in your quilting endeavors, please let me know, because I might start listing bundles on a more regular basis as part of my destashing!

P.S. This is a message for Bearpawquilter. Sorry to single you out on my blog, but I have no other way to contact you! Could you click on the "Email" button on the toolbar, and send me your email address so that I have a way to contact you in the future? You're so faithful about leaving comments, but your Google account is set up as "no reply", and I hate that I don't have a way to respond - don't want you to think I'm ignoring you! Thanks :)

February 9, 2012

Feedback

So, call me crazy, but I had an idea last night. I've bought a good bit of fabric lately, and need to do some serious destashing. The thing is, I don't have very many small cuts of fabric. Usually if I like a print enough to buy it, I buy at least a yard - mostly because I sew a lot of different things, especially quilts and bags, that rarely call for less than a yard of each print (I use more yardage for quilts than normal because I've been designing a lot of my own quilts this past year, and that process uses/wastes a good bit of fabric).

So rather than pulling a bunch of random fabrics, chopping them up, and listing them individually in my Etsy shop, I thought it might be more beneficial for all parties involved if I made custom FQ bundles. I know a lot of you are new-ish quilters, and many of you have told me before in our chats that your biggest struggle is pairing fabrics. 

That being said, here is my idea:  I go through my stash, put together a half dozen or so Fat Quarter bundles, and list them all in my shop. I'm thinking 8 FQ's per bundle will be perfect, because very few quilt patterns call for much more than that, and it's an even 2 yards of fabric. Many of my fabrics are pre-washed, so I thought I'd list each bundle for $14 ($7/yard)...normally I list my prewashed fabric for less than that, but it's going to take me a lot of time to pair and cut all the fabric.

I was thinking about doing one or two rainbow bundles maybe like this one???


And a few random palettes of my choosing. I was in an Easter-y mood after seeing some cute new wreaths in Joann's, so I put this one together and dubbed it "Spring Fling" :)


I also thought that if any of you have specific projects or color palettes in mind, you could email me with custom requests. If you give me an idea of the colors you're looking for (or even a Design Seeds palette), I can pull some fabrics from my stash, snap a photo, and send it to you for approval.

So...whaddya think? Any interest? Circle One:  Yes   No   Maybe

February 5, 2012

Loopholes

Since I can't sew, I've been trying to find other ways to unleash my crafty energy. Loopholes, if you will, to Ray and the medical community's strict "no sewing" policy.

 My solution? Ice cream dish towels.


My brother-in-law is getting married next month, and their wedding shower was yesterday. They've both been out of college and living on their for a few years, so they already have most of the household necessities. And since my future sister-in-law loves ice cream more than any human being I've ever met, I decided to give them a fun "date night" present instead. It included all the tasty fixin's you'd need for a proper ice cream soiree. Sprinkles, hot fudge, caramel, brownies, and I even filled some small glass storage cups with their favorite candies - chocolate covered peanuts, mini Reese's, mini M&M's, and mini Oreos.

And to add a little extra cuteness, I picked up a few kitchen towels (you can never have too many of those) and parfait glasses at Target, and folded them inside to mimic ice cream.

 Yum O!


To round things out, I bought them a gift card to the grocery store down the street (so they can purchase lots of ice cream when the time comes), and a gift card to Best Buy so they can pick up a movie to watch while they munch on their favorite frozen treats. 


Enjoy you crazy kids!  (I know it will probably be eaten within the next few days, rather than after your actual wedding....and that's okay ;) )

February 2, 2012

Props


So, first things first. I feel the need to disclaim that no one is paying me to say any of this, or even asked me to write about it. I just hate when I see a really talented person who's work I think is under-appreciated, plain and simple! I first learned about Mark Cesarik when his wife Cara contacted me about his first fabric line for FreeSpirit, Calypso Swing (remember this post? I also included a lovely gray print she sent me from that line in this bundle).

I've kept an eye on his work ever since, and I hate that I rarely see anything pop up on Flickr that's made with his fabric, because I seriously love the bold, graphic look of his lines, and how they're bright and fun without being super girly. It's nice having male designers out there in the quilting fabric world like Mark Cesarik and Joel Dewberry, because although their lines are produced for the predominantly female quilting world, they have a definite masculine edge to them that I love. Because as much as I obsess over fairy tales and flowers and adorable Japanese fabric, sometimes I want a print that's a bit more grown up so I can feel all cool and edgy walking into a work meeting or strolling down Magazine Street with it, ya know? I was actually talking with some friends about this the other day, and we all agreed that's one of the main reasons we love Anna Maria Horner's fabric, because it's incredibly bold and colorful, yet sophisticated at the same time.

Anywho, his newest line is Cosmic Burst (view swatches here) and it comes out in April. The mosaic I put together up top showcases some of my favorites from the line...wouldn't they make fabulous summer bags and clothing? *swoon*
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