the Truth of the matter

This year I had to break down and tell my 11 year old the truth about Father Christmas.  I am always sad when I have to take this step, but I fear my kids will be taunted and teased if they "Believe" when others clearly know the truth.   Being a fifth grader is hard enough.  I was terribly anxious about telling him the truth.  I worried that somehow he will feel betrayed, lied to or even hurt that we kept this secret from him for so long.  Mark was easy.  He took the news well and was quite excited to be able to help keep the secret.  With the thought that Mark took the news well in the back of my mind, I set out to tell Jack.

It just so happens that on Tuesdays Jack has band.  During this drive to practice it is usually just Jack and I.  The perfect time to have a heart to heart. I started out easy, talking about the Holidays and who was coming to visit and who we would see.  I then transitioned quickly to Santa, presents and The TRUTH.  I have to say he took it as well as I could have hoped.  His only response was, "REALLY? How about that,"  and that was it!  Just like that it was over.  With this first Truth over, I decided I would move onto other magical creatures.  I said, "You know, the Easter Bunny isn't really either."  I got an eye roll first.  Then with all the sarcasm of middle schooler he said, "Seriously,  A Giant Bunny that delivers baskets full of candy isn't real?!"  Okay, it appeared he had that one figured out.


Jack Turns 11

Today is Jack's 11th Birthday!  Thanks for all of you who sent him well wishes and phone calls.  It was a wonderful day for him.
Jack Age 11
Oh!  How he has grown!
Jack age 20 months


The arrival of The Ellen Bag

Many of you know that I designed a sling bag this past summer.  I had it posted on Scribd.com until they started trying to make money off of what was originally a free posting.  I was, along with about 100,000 other people slightly annoyed that they were intending on making money off of others patterns, designs and such, when the designer got nothing. Needless to say I pulled the pattern off when several people emailed me wondering why they had to pay to access the pattern.
The pattern can be made with coordinating fabric and embellished on the front with the name of your favorite girl.

I have since updated, revised and composed a new Ellen Bag.  I am happy to report the pattern is now for sale in my etsy shop!  Check it out.

This bag pattern is an eight page pattern that I will mail to the buyer.  Can also be bought as a PDF, at the purchaser requests.


Candle Mat

I'm a few days behind on my blog post.  I received my candle mat a few days ago and I wanted to share it will all of you.  It was sent from a wonderful woman in Seattle!

She embroidered the cutest little holly leaves and used buttons for the berries.  Unfortunately the picture doesn't even begin to do it justice!

As a bonus Charlotte added these two beautiful cards.  A woman in her Quilt Guild makes a new watercolor poster every year for their group!   Can you believe that!  Check out there quilt website here That is one talented woman.  I am happy with my mat, I cannot wait to use it this Christmas!  thanks Charlotte!


The scoop

Well, I believe I am sufficiently recovered not only from my Upper Respiratory Infection & Bronchitis, but also from the craft show I have been building towards.  For the last 8 weeks I have been sewing and quilting almost non stop.  So much so that I believe I worked myself sick.  Not a wise move.  Never fear as of today I am much improved and almost back to normal, as if there were such a thing.

The Craft show was an interesting experience.  I am glad that I tried it.  However, I will not be attending any in the near future.  This particular show was held at the Elementary School.  Every year they have a big Veteran's Day program and follow it up with the Holiday Extravaganza.  This year was no exception.  The School had about 35 vendors selling, jewelry, candles, bags, wreaths and of course quilts.  The set up was done on Wednesday evening and went quite smoothly considering  I had 3 kids helping me.  Here is what we ended up with.

Thursday was just slow.  All of the vendors I talked with had poor sales and it seemed like the only people who were buying were the vendors.  With the few people we had most of the vendors had ample opportunity to wander and look at each others wares.  I gave out lots of cards and fliers.  Which in hind sight was my ultimate goal, Get my name out there.  I didn't sell any quilts but I really didn't expect much.
As a result my Etsy shop is full of beautiful quilts!  Stop on over and take a look.

In other news:  I finished and shipped my candle mat for my quilt blogger's swap.  I was pleased with how well the mat turned out.  I must admit when my swap partner gave me her color choices I was unsure how the mat would look.  Would you believe I liked the look so much I made two others!

I embellished the corners of the mat with glass beads hoping they would sparkle in the candle light.  I dug out my old white and free motion quilted a poinsettia in the center of the mat.

I also added these coasters to my care package as a "bonus" gift.  These I am definitely going to make again! Check out the tutorial at The Sometimes Crafter.


Plating a Turkey-November Wreath

I was so sure that I would make a pumpkin quilt block to represent November.  I was so sure, I already had my stash of orange scraps sitting out.  I was so sure I was going to do a pumpkin, that eventually I got sick of the idea and scrapped it.  This explains why it is now November 5th and the wreath is just getting hung up.  That and this seriously wicked cold my children (and their friends) were nice enough to share with me.

As I lost intrest in the pumpkin, I began to investigate other traditional Thanksgiving themed quilts or quilt blocks that I could use for my wreath.  I found, much to my horror, that many if not all of them required applique.  Don't get me wrong, I don't mind applique, in fact on long car trips it is sometimes the only way I know to maintain my sanity.  However, on a day to day basis I would rather not applique.  I am just not that good at it.  Okay, I am getting better.  I am really not comfortable enough with my skills to hang my applique on my FRONT DOOR and announce it to the world.  "Look at what a shitty job she did with her applique!" That being said, I was really getting discouraged.  I started to printed out several applique patterns just to "look" at.  

That is when it happened!  I was watching a pattern come out of the printer when it dawned on me.

This looks a lot like a dresden plate pattern!  Hey!  Why not make a turkey block out of a dresden plate!
Don't these little pieces look like the feathers we used to cut out of construction paper!  It does.  I asked the experts. They agree.

Here is what didn't dawn on me until much later. You still have to applique a dresden plate. (a little slow on the uptake.  I blame it on the decongestant)

Fortunately, I already had gone through my orange fabric stash for the pumpkins.  I selected a few and added them to my turkey feather stash.  After more digging I came up with my background, the body and a red for, um what ever that red thing is called. .. a waddle? or is that what penguins do?  Perhaps I am getting my birds confused.  Regardless, I chose a lovely red fabric.  I also chose to add trapunto to the feathers.  And they totally ROCK.   (In my humble opinion.)

I was slightly disappointed in, not only my applique abilities, but on my color choices.  I wanted the "Plate"  to stand out so I purposely picked a neutral color for the body.  However, my body and background colors are too close to the same hue.  

I heavily quilted the background, again, to show off the feathers.  
I think he turned out pretty cute.  Maybe he needs an eye or some feet?  What do you think?

I am definitely going to use this little guy in some future projects!  I am adding this post to Sew and tell fridays, HERE at amylouwho.  Stop in and see the other awesome projects!



I am a strong supporter of any Random act of Kindness.  As a result I feel that a lot of goodness comes my way.  Recently a post on the etsy blog caught my eye and I wanted to share it with you.

The two women in the blog post are trying to establish a non-profit organization to support and promote the handmade community.
 "We want to help independent artists in the handmade community achieve their dreams by awarding micro-grants to polish off their businesses."
What a wonderful Idea!  Check out their video for yourself at the link above.



Once again Amy's Creative Side is hosting a Blogger's Quilt Festival.

 I entered a quilt in the Spring Quilt Festival and had a great time looking at all of the beautiful and amazing quilts that are entered.  Seriously once you start browsing through the blogs you start to really get inspired to break out and do something new and different.  

I am entering Here's Looking at you! You may remember it from my post here.  This really is one of my favorites from this past year.  Not only is it the first quilt I designed, and was able to assemble, I also love the new quilting designs I was inspired to try.  I was way out of my comfort zone on this one!  

I also wanted to share my new quilt rack with all of you.  You may recall that I am entering my first every craft show this Month.  (OH, my is it this month already! EEK!)  I was faced with the problem of how to display the quilts I was bringing.  I have never been a fan of stacked quilts.  They just don't get the traffic they deserve.  I thought of tables to lay them out, and possibly shelves to lay them on but nothing seemed right.  Then I stumbled upon the idea of hanging them, but the question remained HOW?  I drew up several plans and finally landed on this.  

John and I, ok mostly John, have been working on implementing my design into a concrete piece that would be easy to assemble.  

I have to say I am very excited with how it turned out and HOPE that it works well.  We may have to make modifications at some time but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.  

To be honest I am a little skeptical over how the craft fair will turn out. If anyone has had success at a craft fair I would love to hear your suggestions!