Thursday, February 26, 2009

Playdates for Momme and Me

Three of Little A's friends came over to play. Then the school nurse called and had me pick Big A up from school because he had a tummy ache. It was fun and they played well together. I wanted to show you how little boys clean up. The two drawers are supposed to roll under the train table. 

Thought I'd show you Joanne's tote. We made the same tote but she put the ties on the ends. Much too much effort for me because I can be lazy about certain things. [Note her perfectly matched stripes. She makes me look bad!] Isn't her bag pretty? I love the color combinations that she choose.

While she was here, she worked on some applique. So pretty and again look at the workmanship. She takes care in basting the edges. It is amazing work considering she only started a few weeks ago. 

Look at that teeny, tiny stem!

I didn't get much work done because I was too busy trying to get these Flingers off of my ceiling. Thankfully, we quilters are resourceful and we have the right equipment! My 36" ruler came in handy in getting those suckers off of my ceiling.

The Flingers [rubbery sticky frogs that you fling like an elastic] were a big hit but they were really sticky. I'm sure that I will be finding them around the house all night or they might fall down from the ceiling onto my head.

I tried to get into a project while they were here so I worked on this snake scarf for the boys. Brainless and easy to put down.

See you later! xo, L

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hello Kitty

Both of my Berninas broke down this week. I couldn't believe it. They probably need a major servicing. I love them but I bought them used and have worked them hard the last few years. 

Thankfully, I bought this machine last fall for the kids to use. I hadn't even opened the box. Isn't it cute? The machine is very basic but it did the job in a pinch. Thanks for saving my day, Hello Kitty.
xo, L

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Facebook Anyone?

As if I need another thing to do! I've finally posted something on my Facebook account after a year and a half! Be my friend! [Yes, I am still fooling around with Photoshop! Help me, it's addictive!]

xo, L

Your Favorite Tools?

The current issue of American Patchwork and Quilting is focused on tips by designers.  I am finishing a project and thinking about my most essential quilting tools. I've discovered that I don't use much fancy gear! 

1. I love my Gingher shears. I can't live without them. I have smaller Gingher scissors in various sizes but I use the shears a lot.

2. My Olfa Rotary Cutter is so fab. The blade is easy to remove in this model.

3. Fiskars. It really doesn't matter which brand that you buy, but you should have a pair of scissors for snipping fabric/thread ONLY, another for snipping fabric with fusible paper together and a separate pair of scissors with teflon blades for cutting the fusible web. 

4. Clover Seam Ripper. I absolutely love this seam ripper. I've had many others but this one is not bulky and is very sharp. Don't ask me how I know how sharp the end is.

5. Reducing Lens. I can't live without this teeny tiny viewer. It gives me great perspective whenever I'm designing.

What do use when quilting?
xo, L

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rooting For Slumdog Millionaire

I'm rooting for this movie. Have you seen it? I loved it. Check out the Slumdog Millionaire trailer if you haven't seen the movie.
xo, L

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Talent In The House

[All photographs, copyright 2009 by Little A.]

We were at a tae kwon do tournament this Friday and Little A wanted to use the video camera.  He's always loved taking photos but he's had limited time with my camera because he puts his little fingers on the lens. Reno let him have a go at it. Wow, his video coverage was terrific. [Plus, Big A won one second place ribbon and two third place medals. Little A got a spirit medal in his Pee Wee Division. Awesome! Congrats!]

Today I went to get my haircut. I thought that the hair looked good so I wanted Reno to snap a couple of photos that I could use on my blog or new website. Let's hope that there isn't some theory about the correlation between how one perceives you and how he takes your photo. If there is, then we're in big trouble. There will never be a public display of his said photos.

Little A wanted to give it a go. I must say that they're not bad at all. Some are a bit fuzzy because he doesn't have full control.  I did crop them and applied the Seventies Action courtesy of Pioneer Woman and that was it.

Funky, edgy and cute. What a great job and he's only five. xo, L

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Afternoon Talks

Little A: "Mommy, when I become a Daddy can I have kids?"
Me: [wondering where this conversation started] "Yes, but only when you're finished school and get a job."
Little A: "Ok, is that when I'm a big boy and all growed up?"
Me: "That's right."
Little A:  "Will I find a wife like you? That would be nice."
Me: "Sure and I love you."
Little A: [smiling] "Since I can't get married, can I learn how to drive the car then?"
Me:  "Sorry, you can't drive until you're 19."
Little A:  "Wow, I can't wait!" [excited as if it was going to happen tomorrow]

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Finding Inspiration

When people ask me how I design, I am sometimes shy about explaining my thought processes and little things that make me tick as a designer. I don't usually sketch in an artist's sketchbook. I tried that for a while and it was ok but it didn't completely do it for me. I make quick sketches to keep ideas but I usually like grid or lined sheets and a pen to scribble.

I do most of the thinking in my head and it doesn't come out unless I have the entire book/project envisioned in my noggin. It hurts my brain.  So I need to get into the car, drive off somewhere and process. I usually try to go somewhere pretty or cool so that I can distract myself. 

I did one small trip last week. We'd been sick for about a month with colds and other illnesses. I was desperate to just get out so I drove down to Pennington. There's a shopping plaza with a knitting shop, quilt shop and a bead shop. Don't tell your better half because he or she won't want to know about it. You won't fail to find something in this block. Pennington Quilt Works is a wonderful and inspiring place. After you're done shopping, you may need to curl up in this lovely bed of theirs.

The yarn shop and bead shops are terrific too. Look at the beading in the piece above.

I love this lamp. So funky. This is one awesome bead store.  Ahhh, I feel so much better. 
xo, L

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

When I wrote my scrapbooking book, my family and friends commented on the absence of Reno. Why? Well, he's a behind the scenes kind of guy who always manages to pop OUT of the way of where the camera is pointing at. I have very few good photos of him. What matters is that he's there when I need him especially when I am going through my drama [not that I'm that dramatic] or having heart palpitations over deadlines.

We're doing little dances with our kiddos to our favorite songs, Collide by Howie Day and The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson. I hope that you're having a great day cuddling and dancing to your fav tunes.

Happy Valentine's Day!
xo, L

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Life Cont'd

Following the excitement that I had on Saturday, Sunday was a busy, busy day. At 10 a.m., Adam has his tae kwon do testing. [Congrats!] Then, from 1:30 on, we were going non-stop until 8p.m. with Chinese school, and their New Year's concert and banquet. It was fun and we were tired. We did win a bagful of Trader Joe's goodies. Yummy!

It has been gorgeous outside. I love it and I can't wait for spring. Meanwhile, I have photos of these beautiful arrangements on my inspiration wall. I love these arrangements by Saipua and the rest of her site is filled with beauty.

On top of all of the events going on this past weekend, I have been up to my eyeballs in finishing up a project. So, my work area looks like a disaster. It is a bright, happy and fun disaster though. I'm not complaining, just sayin'. When you work, are you neat or is it all over the place? I like to stack all of my fabrics in piles [see my other tips here and in the latest issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.] so that I can pull from them easily.
xo, L

Monday, February 09, 2009

Interesting Conversation ...

going on here.

I told you that Mark Lipinski interviewed me for the current issue of his magazine, Quilter's Home. Well, Joann's won't carry this particular issue and the reasons are here. Check out the talk on this issue [Jan. 30th post on his blog].

xo, L

Cramming Things.

It has been a crazy week and a crazy weekend. I have some deadlines but this time, they seem to fade in the background compared to everything else. I know that I have been talking a lot about knitting lately. It's been the simplest thing that I have been able to show you while I have been working on quilting stuff that I can't show you!

I've been working on my new website and that had to be pushed back a week as well. While we're on the topic, is there anything that you'd want to see on a quilt designer's website? Do you like tutorials? Patterns for download? Just plain ol' promotional stuff? Just asking because the site is a work in progress. Let me know, I'd love to hear.

On Saturday I needed some inspiration so I headed out to Maplewood, NJ. Reno took both kiddos to a birthday party [Happy b-day, Gavin!]. I'd never been to this city but I was told of a nice yarn shop there. Since I needed color inspiration, I thought that it would fit the bill. The Knit Knack lived up to my expectations. It is a little gem in the middle of a little town that I don't think I'll ever visit any time soon. Why? I will explain later.

Her samples are lovely and tempting. The colors, textures and yarns are oh so luscious.

Even their little lamb is well-dressed!

Check out the gorgeous sweater on the left. That's Wrenna from the new French Girl Knits book knit in Twinkle's Soft Chunky yarn. Yummy!

Take a look at the super cool yarn winder. We all need one of these for sure.

Come closer and take a peek. No cranking. Just press a button on the front and away you go. Wheeeee!

Oh yeah, why won't I come back any time soon? As I was leaving, there were 5 police cars attending to some emergency in the block where I parked. So, I went around the block to head back home. As I waited for the light to change, there was a suspect just at the right side of the front of my car talking to a police officer. Suddenly, the suspect turned and ran with the officer in hot pursuit.

That's too much excitement for me and this little trip was only the beginning of my weekend. I need to rest before the next installment of my weekend. Whew!
xo, L

Thursday, February 05, 2009


As I was sitting at my desk trying hard not to think about the cold and all of the work that I have ahead of me in the next week, I started playing with Picnik.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the site, it is a photo-editing website where you load up your photos and have some fun [for free!]. Well, you can buy into the premium package but the free one is just as fun.  There's lots to do. There are greeting cards and collages like the one above and you can add text and stickers to your photos.  Try the Polaroid frame like I did below. [How sad that Polaroid film is no longer being made. However, some enthusiasts are trying to make new film fit for the old cameras. I digress. Read about it here.]

A simple drop shadow frame is cool enough.
Wait a minute, what does this have to do with quilting/sewing? Pick any or all answers below.
a) Not a lot.
b) I did buy 7 Polaroid instant cameras from a lady who was having a garage sale as I was driving back from a quilt shop in Pennsylvania a few years ago.
c) You can print these cool pics onto photo transfer fabric paper and make wee gifts for Valentine's or any other special occasion.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Where, Oh Where Have I Been?

Well, I've been coughing up a storm with cold number "gumungus" [newly made up word by 5-year old scholar]. I didn't want to whine about another cold and scare away all of my readers.

So, I couldn't focus on much but I did manage to make this purse from a Quilter's Illustrated pattern. It was fast and fun. Plus, I needed a diversion so someone else's pattern suit the bill. Now, I need to buckle down and work on some designs of my own.

In the meantime, I made these little photo books. One was for my Mom because she wanted one of her grandkids. She wanted to be able to whip it out of her purse whenever she wanted to show them off to her friends. The other book was for our dear friend, Emily who moved away this past weekend.  I thought that an album of some of the photos that I have taken of her for the past few years would be a great gift. She loved it!

Here's the cover of the two books:

My nephew and Alex:

My boys:

Back to regular programming soon. xo, L