Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sling Purse ready for Christmas

I love this little purse and have been using it for several years. 25+ years ago I came up with this system for my Christmas shopping. I found it very hard to keep the money 'even' among the kids. I'd go shopping and then come home and add up all the different items for the kids (checking several receipts) and realizing the I had spent $20 more on one child than the others. So, I'd go out to find MORE things to balance it out. And so it goes... It's kind of like trimming bangs, first you straighten the left side, then take a little more off the right side until you end up with 2" bangs! LOL So, I decided from then on, I was only paying cash for my Christmas gifts and had to find a way to keep it in check. I joined the Christmas Club (I know, not the highest paid interest account) and when I got the check in November, I would make envelopes for everyone on my list
and put the corresponding money, according to my budget, in each envelope with their name on it. When I would go shopping, I would put all the envelopes in this little purse, along with my checkbook and a credit card, just in case. When I checked out, I separated each person's items and paid for them out of 'their' envelopes. I then put the change and receipt in their envelope. When the money was gone, I was done with them! And after Christmas, I gave them 'their' envelope with any extra change left over and all the receipts for their gifts in case they had to return anything.
Well, finances are a little less strained from what they used to be, but I love this system and probably will continue to use it until I die. :) This little sling purse is PERFECT for my system and all I have to do is grab that during the Christmas shopping season. No bulky purses to manage and it goes over the shoulder, so it doesn't slip off. I've made several over the years and love them all. I used tapestry for several of mine, but it seems to be a bit more difficult to find. So, now I am quilting a Christmas fabric, batting and backing, then cutting out my purses. 1/2 yard will yield 6 purses, 7 if you are lucky and the fabric is wide enough.

I'm co-President for a ladies group I'm in and the Executive Board decided for Christmas we would make these for each of them (25!). It took 3 of us about 4 hours to make 25 purses. And we have enough money in our small budget to fill them with some goodies. They make great gifts for the women on your list.
I have posted the tutorial on my website....
And you know who donated the fabric so she could bust some more stash!! 4 yards worth! Plus I donated more fabric and 4 quilts to: 'My Very Own Blanket'
And so here's my Stash busting report THIS WEEK:
Stash IN: 0 yards
Stash OUT: 8 yards
Stash IN YTD: 39.5 yards
Stash OUT YTD: 380 yards
I'm less than 15 yards away from busting 350 YARDS from my stash this year--think I can do it? Yep I do...I have to finish my in-laws quilt and the backing on that one will be 9 yards alone! I sure hope I can find some nice enough stuff out of my stash...she doesn't quite get the 'pieced from different fabrics look.' :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stash busting--LATE

I can't seem to get a handle on doing my report on Sunday OR Monday OR Tuesday! Then I think, oh well, I'll wait until next week and do them together. Well, here I am and I haven't reported since...Oct. 25 or something like that! Yikes! But I do keep a tally of what I use and what I bring in and then cross it off when I report it, so the YTD totals are's just what I'm reporting is not just week, just so ya know...

Stash IN: (since last post) 1/4 yard (yes I did buy one on a Shop Hop)
Stash OUT: (since last post) 34 1/2 yards
Stash IN YTD: 39.50 yards
Stash OUT YTD: 372 YARDS!!!
Net Total OUT: 332.50

I finished one quilt (added two more rows and cut backing), started two more from stash! I did have to buy a border and background fabric to go with the one report--but it's for a gift, so I didn't count that buy in OR out. I also cut another backing for a quilt--those backings sure add up!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Las Vegas Shop Hop

Isn't that a neat license plate?? Spotted on a car at you guessed it, a quilt shop!

I did it....I did it!! I went on the Shop Hop of the Las Vegas quilt shops and bought only two FQ's!! One for a block exchange that I'm doing...totally legal..and the other to go into another quilt that I'm working on and truly do not have many aquas to go in it. So, it could be questionable as to how 'legal' it was for this gal that signed onto a NoBuy Challenge for a year. But it's okay--I SO wanted to buy two kits within 2 minutes of walking into my first store! I love this store!! Quiltique is in Henderson, east of Vegas by about 15 minutes tops. So bright and roomy, lots of great samples and goodies to stop the eye and wonderful contemporary fabrics that made my heart flutter! I thought maybe I might have made a mistake by doing this Shop Hop--but then, how often am I in Las Vegas during their Shop Hop--once every 8 years! I bought a cute oversized Pincushion Pattern and another scrappy pattern and that's it! I really hated to leave those yummy kits, but after wandering around the store and reminding myself that I have lots of pretty fabrics at home, I remembered that I had actually BOTH of the patterns. I just needed to rethink the fabric I originally thought I was going to use. Onto my next store... Fiddlesticks in the historic Boulder City, just another 15 minutes on the way to Hoover Dam.

Another friendly store, very homey and welcoming. Their flavor is a bit more folk arty/country but a delight to check out their displays. The fabric wasn't really enticing to me (don't get me wrong, it was all nice..just not the flavor of the month for me), but I did have to buy several wooden spools with pink and green threads. They had beautiful displays of color related items in each color fabric section. Hmmm, they had some neat ideas. I stopped and enjoyed lunch across the street and then headed back out, this time to the far west end of Las Vegas to The Christmas Goose, (oops--forgot to take their picture) that had moved since the last time I had been here.

Wow-their new store is awesome! Lots of variety here and again, lots of great samples. By this time, I'm on a roll of knowing to not even bothering to look at fabric, but rather looking at the samples and getting ideas of what to do with MY fabric at home! I bought a book here on Advent Calendars. I would like to make one for my girls..maybe next year! LOL Quick potty break and then onto Nancy's Quilt Shop, who was featured this Spring in Quilt Sampler. Congratulations! Again, loaded with samples and enticing displays. They had a lot of wool and yarns for those who love to knit and crochet. Saw another pattern I had at home made out of brights instead of traditional fabrics and knew it would go on my to do list as soon as I got home! Bought another book and this is where I found my FQ and one for my friend's block. By this time I've been clear east of the city, south, west and north and it was late afternoon and thought I'd better head back to the hotel. I saved the closet quilt shop to the Strip for last. Our flight didn't leave until late afternoon, so I knew I had time in the morning.

The last quilt shop on the Shop Hop (by the way--last time I went on their official Shop Hop, there were 10 stores--some were kind of far away--like Death Valley and then Utah!. when I asked where they were, the farthest ones away dropped out and all the other shops in Vegas closed. But I could understand, they got dropped from my list after the last time.) anyway, I went to Fabric Boutique the last morning. Their store was cut in half, but I didn't feel like it was missing anything or was cramped. I'm sure the economy had them looking at their space more efficiently. I was dismayed at first when I walked in, but after perusing the store, found it to be just as charming and inspiring as before. I think their sewing machine display area was the most affected. I was inspired by a few samples to keep in mind and bought a pattern for one quilt.

So, I did it. I managed to go to 5 stores and support them but yet stayed on my No Buy Challenge. Okay, one FQ--but what an improvement for me! LOL Those who know me know what I'm saying. Shop Hops are a great way to see a city or area's quilt shops at their best. And as busy as they all were, they were very friendly. I guess there's a reason why these quilt shops are still around. And I found I can walk by the buffet and still be in control.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Las Vegas

I'm in Las Vegas with my hubby who's on business and I get the days for me! Being from Denver originally, I'm so navigational challenged here! When I was growing up, all you had to do was look for the mountains and you knew exactly which way was north, etc. Here in Vegas, there are mountains no matter where you look! Although these mountains look so much more desolate and barren compared to the Rockies in Colorado or even the Appalachians on my side of the country. On my second day here, I had to go to a Walmart or Target for so many things I forgot or ran out of already. I got in the car, thought I'd head away from the Strip and try to find something out of the main hubbub. The mountains were looking quite inviting and I thought I'd just go up into the foothills to see what they were like up close. Ran into a deadend at the start of the foothills on my first try and then the next road I took, I found myself in Red Rock Canyon! I took the first turn off I found, and look where I was! I thought it was apropos for me as a quilter to end up in Calico Basin! I took the short 1/2 mile trek to get up close and personal with the unusual type rock formations, petrogliphs? and flora. It was a beautiful day to be outside. The sky is SO blue here. I hate to admit it, but Ohio has some pretty gray skies. A lot. It sure makes me appreciate blue skies and lots of sun when I get it. :) What a different site than the nights on the strip--manmade beauty (and yes, it's quite striking with all the glitz and glam. Not the best picture to show off all the lights, but I have a new camera and am not quite adept at taking great pictures yet! LOL ) vs. God's natural beauty. If I had to choose one, I'd go for the natural beauty.

I'm sure I'll have more to report later this week. I happen to be here during the Las Vegas Quilt Shop Hop! Fun, but a dilemma for those who are Stashbusting and joined the No Buy rule, for fabric that is. Join me as you follow my quest to be good, but yet want to see all the new stuff!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Using stash

no stash report this week--I did use a lot, but forgot to add it up and now I'm out of town, (thanks to blogger, I can post in the future!), so will do that next week.

I am working on some new classes and always thinking how I can use my stash to get it done and make something that's been on my list and kill two birds with one stone type of thing. I have a rather large collection of batiks and have made a few quilts with them, so when I came across this pattern in Hawaii, I thought it would be great to use UP my batiks! HA! Didn't even put a DENT in them. I'm still working on it and it has a zig zag border, using HST's and then a plain border and then a piano key border. I'm almost done cutting and am so disappointed I didn't see that pile go down much. I did a blanket stitch around the pineapple with a variagated thread, but I decided not to do the leaves.

close up of the leaves. I decided not to blanket stitch them--it just seemed odd, so I free motioned on them on the block to nail down the appliques. This will probably never be washed, so I really don't have to worry about the edges fraying. Happy Quilting!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy 27th Birthday She-She

I cannot believe She-She (as she is affectionally known by her nieces/nephews) is 27 years old! She corrects us and reminds us that she is YOUNG--that her older sister, T, is OLD! "I'm 27 years YOUNG" she keeps telling us. Okay, whatever you say. And just for your information, she NO longer has Down's Syndrome... here's our recent conversation after I said something about Down's:
S: I'm over it Mom. I don't have it anymore.
me: you don't? well, then what are you now?
S: Mom, I'm French now
me: oh.. what makes you think that?

S: because....bon jour, sil vous plais (okay, my French spelling isn't so good...but she pronounces it pretty well), bon nuit (good night), see I speak French
me: so, no more Down's Syndrome
S: Mom, don't say that anymore..I'm French OR I'm Indian (and does the woowoo sound with her hand/mouth)
me: I give up
She-She with K and K at her party
Onery Mr. L
Divine Miss M
and the most precious of all......Awesome A with her GG --I didn't take the picture and feel bad that GG's face is partly chopped off, but you sure get the essence of it.
And speaking of taking photos, I sure love the fact you can correct the red eye, but how do you clean the kids faces (including the 27 year young French girl?) LOL I'm terrible about that when taking photos, including not thinking about what's in the background--like dirty counters, open cupboards, etc. Do you think of those things when you are taking pictures? Sure glad we can crop most of it out of there.
PS..did you check out my new recipe blog? I posted another new one today...