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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Green Fairy Quilt Charity Update

9:00 AM

1:30 Thursday
Day One of the garage sale is now over. I asked friends and neighbors to drop off their unwanted belongings so I could add them to my garage sale. I was having a garage sale anyway and thought doing a fundraiser for Green Fairy Quilts at the same time would be an easy way to raise money to help those in Romania. I became interested in helping them fundraise because 100% of the money goes directly to those in need. Nothing is skimmed off to pay for a CEO's salary or for postage to request more funds. I'm kind of funny about that stuff.
So, do you want to know how much was raised in 4 1/2 hours? I knew you did....why did I bother to ask? One Hundred Twenty Four dollars and Seventy Five cents. Why did I write it out and not use numbers???? So those who just want to check the amount would have to work for it!!! LOL....I'm soooo bad.
I have another friend bringing a sofa and some more things tonight. I'll keep everyone posted.

What Is Free Today?


Lots of it too.

Number one: when planning a garage sale:
  • Don't go to the gym and lift weights prior to setting up. That makes carrying tables a bit more challenging!!!

  • Make your signs in advance so you don't have to get up at 6:00 AM.

  • Have plenty of carbs and sugar that morning with a heaping serving of coffee/caffeine of choice. Sugar and Carbs should be called "Rocket Fuel."

Stay tuned for updates. If I had a camera crew....we'd have live feeds from the Green Fairy Charity Garage Sale hosted in Perrysburg, OH. I'd have Dick Clark as my MC too :)

After all, if your going to dream.....dream big right?

Wise Smiles,

PS...back rat your hair to cover the gray that is showing through the hair color. Chrome Dome is not exactly the latest in Couture.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Free Buttons...Get Your Free Buttons

Here it is...thanks to AU Connection....not to be confused with my Mob Connections or the French Bread Connection....this is my own personal AU Connection :)

Khris made this button so I could share it with anyone who would like to take it and use it to let others know about the Roc-Lon Multi-Purpose Cloth Challenge. I know the extra - between Multi and Purpose has been left out....but I bet Rockland Industries forgives us right? Right :)

Thanks a million, trillion, kabaillionzillionmosterlillian Khris :)


Ott Lights Galore

You may ask yourself, so how does one very frugal gal end up with 4 Ott Lights? You know she did not go out and pay full price for 4 Ott Lights. Here is the knew there would be a story right?

Meet Ottra Lotta. She stands to my right when I sew and my machine. Ottra can be moved over my cutting table with a quick lift and twist wrist motion. She came from Needles Quilt Shop in Wellsboro, PA. I won her in a drawing. I was just as shocked as anyone to learn I had won.

Now here is Ott-Owie. I actually bought him (not at full price mind you) while living in South Carolina. He was my first Ott Light. I forget how he got broken but he did. Did I throw him away? No way. I cut off his broken appendages and re-attached his male parts to the base of the light. See close up below.

This is Ott-Clipsondatablea . She she is clipped to my left at my sewing machine. Yes I have a Bendable Bright Light too. If I had a spot light I probably would want more light. Ott-Clipsondatablea had to be purchased when living in PA. Ott-Owie was in storage when we left SC for PA. We had no idea we would be in PA for 11 months. We thought we would be there for 6 weeks. Lucky for many ways....there was a NEED to buy another light so I could see while I stitched. So I convinced my husband a 50% off sale would mean I actually saved money (no mention of the other 50% I spent right?) I bought Ott-Clipsondatablea before I won Ottra-Lotta. Now that makes 3 Ott Lights for one girl. Yes I are probably thinking why on GGE did she not give one away. Well, I needed one next to my sewing machine and one next to where I was doing hand stitching.

Last but not least....please meet Ott-OhhhhLotteria. I saved the best story for last.
I frequently visit certain dumpsters around town. I get my boxes for shipping and my bubble wrap free. I know where they use the boxes I like/need and where the bubble wrap free haven is located. (That is how I am able to keep my prices low....typically it costs a company up to 3.00 per shipment for packaging alone!!!) One day while visiting my free stations....I noticed a dumpster that looked like it was overflowing with bubble wrap and boxes. So I flipped the lid....and what did I see: This Ott Light in a box in the dumpster. I blinked....blinked....and blinked again. I thought for sure I was seeing things. Quietly I snatched that baby up and put her in my van. I got lots of great bubble wrap too.
When I got home I took her out of her box and plugged her in. Much to my amazement....she worked just fine. The only problem was the threading on the stand was broken. Boo Hoo....guess the store manager has no appreciation for small repairs. I had the handy hubby put a metal rod that we just so happened to have in the basement on that baby and she just glows and glows. Can you imagine Ott OhhhLotteria in a landfill? Me either.

There is her repaired leg. She stands strong and tall....shining when ever I ask her to.
Ya just never know what you will find ay?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Grandparents At Last!!!!

Let me be the first to announce that Rick and I are now Grandparents. I'm so excited. I've wanted to be a Grandmother all of my life. Grandparents are the absolute best. I can now join the glowing Grandparents Club.

Introducing "Fluffy and Funny".....Zach's Twins (his choice of names). He chose the seeds at the store early in spring. He planted them and has taken care of them all summer. This morning they bloomed. Aren't they beautiful? No crying, nighttime diaper changes or baby blankets.

Next, I'd like to introduce "Reddy and Bob the Tomato" (is on the right ...Aaron says it is because it looks like a face). These are Aaron's children. He loves tomatoes and he planted way too many tomato plants this spring. We will be keeping Reddy and Bob....but many of their siblings will be put up for adoption. The rest of the clan will become salsa. Eating one's Grandchildren is cruel....but in this case....we are making an exception.

Meet Rosie. She is my lovely blossom. No bonnets necessary.

This is Rosies friend. They live next door to one another.

Last but not least.....Rick and I have grown another child. This one is the best of the 5 we have. She requires only college wedding back to school whining in the grocery fighting over legos....Why on GGE did we not discover this first?

Please don't send congratulatory gifts at this time. We don't have room for any more belongs. As a matter of fact, we are having a garage sale this weekend in hopes of re-locating lots of our stuff. There will be two sections for our relocation program. The first is our family general re-location. The other is a Green Fairy Quilts re-location project. Many people have contributed unwanted belongings to be re-located. The monies raised (100%) will go to the Green Fairy Quilt Charity to feed and dress children and their families in Romania. For more information check out the Green Fairy Quilt Charity.
Granny Smiles,

Sunday, August 9, 2009

May Arts Ribbon Ohhhhhhhhh Lahhhh Lahhhhh

I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Ellen Highsmith Silver this afternoon. What a lovely woman. We had a fun conversation and I learned a great deal from her. Ellen just so happens to be the author of the tutorial that teaches how to make these lovely headbands pictured above. Can you imagine making some beautiful headbands for back to school?

Many of you don't know I used to own a business that supplied hair bows, headbands, tutu's and aprons to children's boutiques. I worked from sun up until sun down getting my orders filled. I was so successful that I just could not keep up with the orders. I sold the business and miss all my lovely ribbons. I even sold the headbands I wore during my shows. I really miss those headbands.
May Arts has some delicious ribbons and I loved working with their high quality ribbons. The ribbons also make wonderful embellishments on many sewing projects, paper crafts, textile arts....not to mention gift wrapping!!!!
Stop over and see Ellen's tutorial. You won't be disappointed, guaranteed :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Roc-lon Contest..... Are You In?

Need some excitement and fun in your life? I have cooked up a fun contest for every quilter, stitcher, artist and crafter. Everyone is being personally challenging to participate.

What you make is up to you. The only catch? You must use
Roc-Lon Multi-Purpose Cloth and the size is limited to 8 1/2" x 11".

(Photo taken at Quilt Market May 2009 by Kelly Jackson)

Roc-Lon Multi-Purpose Cloth is ideal for painting, sewing, machine embroidery, decoupage, and more. Roc-Lon Multi-Purpose Cloth is reversible, does not fray or curl, is durable, lays flat, holds its shape, does not require primer or gesso, accepts fabric glue/tape, can be sewn or hold punched, and can be cut using household scissors!

Each person who enters the contest will receive the 8 1/2" x 11" piece of cloth for your creation(it will be mailed to you on 8/18/09). You will have until Friday, September 4th at 9AM to send me a photo or photos of your finished work.

Please don't allow the photos I have posted here to limit your creativity. What ever you create with the cloth (8 1/2" x 11") is your expression of creativity. I just took these photos at Quilt Market and thought you would like to see what other folks have done with Multi-Purpose cloth.

The winner will be selected by Rockland Industries, Kelly Jackson and by votes posted in the comment section of this blog. The winners work will be displayed by Rockland Industries at International Quilt Market in Houston & CHA in Anaheim and will be returned to the winner in Feb.

What will you win?

5 yards of 54" Roc-Lon Multi-Purpose Cloth (a $38.60 value), 3 yards of 107/108" Roc-Lon Star Pattern Cheater Cloth, 2 yards 44/45" Roc-Lon Light Tea-dyed Muslin, and 2 yds Roc-Lon 108" Solid Brown - 100% Cotton, and a Surprise Gift Package from

Sound exciting?

E-mail your name, phone number and address to All e-mail commitment entries must be received by Sunday Aug. 16th at midnight. It is important to make your commitment so the cloth can be sent to you.

I got interested in the Multi-Purpose cloth after seeing this floor cloth at Quilt Market.

Floorquilts by Ellen Highsmith Silver

I thought making floor cloths for gifts would be an excellent way to use lots of my scraps. I also thought my kids would love making placemats too.

Again...if I have not been totally clear....I don't expect you to use these examples as a jumping off point for you. I just thought I would share how and why I got excited about the Multi-Purpose cloth.

I expect my e-mail to be completely full when I check it!!! Please invite/challenge all of your creative friends to join in the contest.

Excited Smiles,


Friday, August 7, 2009

Giveaway Alert

One of my favorite websites, Two Creative Studios, is hosting a giveaway!!! Can you imagine winning these beautiful fabrics, book, picture and they are even giving away an online class!!! Don't miss this opportunity :)

My First Quilt "Many Hands"

This is my first quilt. I took a sampler class in Columbia, South Carolina. I chose the fabric completely based on one element and built the other pieces around it. This tiny elephant. I love elephants and I saw the little elephant and began gathering other fabrics that coordinated. Since it was my first quilt I had no idea you might consider making a quilt in colors that go with other things in your home. This matches nothing :)

Beautiful hand quilting, ay?

I titled this piece "Many Hands" because so many people were involved in the making of this quilt. Each of my step-daughters, my husband, my 15 year old half sister (now 22) and I all selected one of the blocks and decided which fabrics would go where. I pieced all of the blocks by machine. It went into a box until I moved to PA. Then it came out and many other hands got involved. Katie Mader, from Needles Quilt Shop in Wellsboro, PA taught me how to bind a quilt. Pat Loux helped me decide how to piece the backing. Lastly, Mary Jane Ehlich hand quilted it for me as a gift. If it takes a town to raise a takes a few states and many hands to make a quilt :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Jackpot Scissors by Simplicity Comments and Curb Alert

This is too funny not to share. My husband purchased this hose gizmo when we lived in South Carolina 5 years ago. He paid over 20.00 for it and it did not fit onto the place where he wanted it to go. So it sat in our garage. It went into storage for a year when we moved. It has now been in our garage for 3 1/2 years. Twice he has attempted to throw it away and I've seen it in the trash and picked it back out. He finds it back in the garage and we have the same conversation.
Yesterday morning I wake up early. I'm happy the boys are still sleeping and I quietly come down the stairs. I look out the front window to welcome the day and what do I see? You guessed it!!! This is his third attempt. I go outside in my PJ's and rescue this gizmo again. This is really like the show The Odd Couple. He comes down the stairs for coffee and to go to work. I gently mention I found a wonderful perfectly good item in the trash. Rick says, "How did you find it?"
Married life....can be a comedy!!! This would not be too unexpected except for the fact that I've told him the last two attempts that my girlfriend Rachel is moving into a brand new house and she can use it. Should we run a bookie joint and take bets on how many more times he will attempt this feat? I can see my henchmen now, collecting the money. Instead of dark restaurants and bars (like in the movies)....middle-aged women would be shaking down other women while quietly sitting at their sewing machines. Now that is a good visual!!! ROFL
On to more serious matters:
I get great comments all the time that are left on my website. I want others to be able to view these comments. So I'm working on getting a gadget on my blog where others can read and see the comments and leave questions etc. This is one I got this morning:
Name: Lois
Comments: I have to tell you
how pleased I am with my jackpot scissors. I took apart a twin sized quilt using them instead of my seam ripper and it was so much easier. The scissors are sharper and the needle nose gets right in there so the stitches can be cut.
Great product !!
PS...the swiffer in the trash was mine before I got the new one out of someone's trash. The velcro on the bottom was ripped I'm off the hook.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wendy Jenkins' Work

Wendy Jenkins is a member of my quilt guild, Black Swamp Quilters in Wood County, OH. I was hopping around today and saw this beautiful Sunflower.
" Growing Wild"
"Woven Wonder"

"South by Southwestern"
These three pieces really grabbed my eye. She sells her work on Etsy. Lovely work Wendy!!!

Behind the Scenes at I Have A Notion

After talking with a customer last night at 8:30pm, I realized many people who shop in my store don't really know me. They seem to be surprised by my occasional phone calls on to verify their order or ask a question. Many sales people are surprised when I say my business phone is in my kitchen. That is the truth. I've had people e-mail me and say they really liked my hand written note in the package with their purchase.

I am a Mother first and a business owner second. I did not have them until I was 38 and 40 years old so I really want to enjoy them. Screaming and hearing "Mommy....Mommy.....Mommy (louder and louder) when I'm on a business call is customary. I usually say, please don't mind my co-workers, they are a bit fussy. Then I move excuses or apologies. If you should find an interesting sticker or crayon mark on your box....consider it a gift from my co-workers :)

So I thought I would take you behind the scenes at I Have A Notion. You might know my co-workers, Aaron and Zachary, from reading my blog.

Zach is on the left and Aaron is on the right. Aug. 3rd was a huge day here at I Have A Notion. No I did not get 10,000 dollars in orders that day. Both Aaron and Zachary learned to ride two wheelers Sunday night. (That is why I was rambling a bit in my blog post Monday morning.....I was writing it at 1:30AM)
The price of poker.

Working here is soooo much fun :)

I took this picture before I had my first cup of coffee. Zach, wearing his Daddy's t-shirt as PJ's, is ready to go on a bike ride. There is not one stitch under the t-shirt. I had him turn around and I snapped a booty shot (illegal to upload) but precious for Mommy's to look at later in life.
After riding around the neighborhood for 45 minutes (he had changed into clothes Grandma....honestly :) we came in and had breakfast. I checked my e-mail and then got a box for the boys to load with toys. We are having a garage sale in a week or so and I want them to choose which "office supplies" they think we can do without.
Fortification is necessary so we took a trip to Giant Eagle for groceries. My co-workers like Giant Eagle because they have "The Eagles Nest." They improve on hand and eye coordination skills (play video games) while the Boss gets something to heat up (I don't like to cook).
A 75% off sign caught my eye at Giant Eagle. No I did not buy this.....but I did love it. "Housework Makes Me Croak." Honestly I did not buy it because I would have had to dust it....and I don't want to Croak!!!
Yes this is a picture of the coils on the bottom of my fridge. This is way, way, way behind the scenes at IHAN. You may be asking yourself, why on GGE (Gods green earth) is she taking a photo of the bottom of her fridge? No, well you should be. I can fit the regular vac hose under to clean the first set of coils but not the second. I need a VST (very special tool) for that job.
"Self, why are you on your hands and knees in the middle of the afternoon looking under your fridge?" Self answers, "because I can't control my co-workers but I can control the dust under the fridge."
Zach was experimenting with putting Lego's up his nose. (I wonder if they have this much fun at Microsoft? ) Often I find it difficult to get my monkeys to walk the straight and narrow. I need to feel I am in I find something I can it was the dust puppies!!! I grabbed one of my favorite things....the Vacuum Attachment Kit (I use it for my dryer vent, cleaning small spaces in my van (co-workers get crumbs everywhere) , my computer, my serger and sewing machine.
I think I like to vacuum (suck small things into a container and trap them) because I feel really powerful and in control. It sure beats running for President ay?
Sew, now you all know how IHAN operates. When the going gets tough....I get the vacuum. I am the Owner, Operator, Dietitian, Nurse, Head Chef (heater upper), Gardener, Chauffeur, Secretary, Janitor, by profession a Psychologist and on occasion....I get to stitch :)
I didn't mention my husband.....because.....well......because.....OK...I'll tell you.....he thinks he's the Boss....shhhhh don't tell him....what is said here....stays here (confidentiality agreement in force now).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Accuquilt Go Now at

You can now buy Accuquilt Go and Accessories at my store!!! So if you are considering purchasing one...or several....(you have to take care of those friends....and have great giveaways on your blog, right?) please think about buying it from I Have A Notion. At least you know the customer service is excellent....a bit nuts....but friendly none the less :)



Rotary Cutting Machine Test Results

I have finally tried the Simplicity Rotary Cutting Machine myself. Yes, it was tested by me personally. I have been asked many questions about the machine and I could only tell folks what I had read or been told by those who have demonstrated the machine. Now I have first hand knowledge and I'm about to share it with you. But before I do, I want to say that I also did a video of the test with the fabrics I will talk about here. It is in the process of being uploaded to our computer so it can be put on YouTube and then on my blog. So stay tuned :)

These are two tools you will need if you get or have a Rotary Cutting Machine. A flat head screwdriver and a cross tip screwdriver (Philips head). Why? Well because the tension on the cutter needs to be adjusted with a flat head and the blade is changed with a cross head. You are now prepared :)
I am holding the Rotary Cutter up at an angle so you can see both screws that I just spoke/typed about.

This is a top view of the cutter. You adjust the width of the strip you want to cut by moving this sliding bar. It has two holes so you can adjust it smaller or larger depending on what you need. The "lip" to the right is where you put your fabric. You slip it under the lip and guide it straight toward the blade. I found all of this to be fairly straightforward and simple to do.

This is the pinking cutter. Hopefully you can see just how tightly I'm holding this rotary cutter blade. Are you expecting blood? Lots and lots of blood? Perhaps plastic surgery to have my fingers put back on? Well you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn this is all that happened:

Just a squiggly indent in my finger. I was gripping it very firmly so it would leave a crease.

Now I'm changing the blade to the straight edge cutting blade. I just used the cross tip screwdriver to loosen and remove the screw. The little cover comes right off. Then you need to turn the black dial to the Right (not left...lefty loosey righty tighty does not apply here...just the opposite!!).

Same thing....tempting fate I hold the rotary cutter very tightly between my fingers.

No blood....just an indent. I'm sorry to disappoint those of you who like the gory'll have to go back to your TV for that.

The entire machine is apx 8 1/2 inches long. Nice and compact.
Now you have seen the pictures and know a little about the machine, I'll share my experience with you. I will also share why I think (guessing really) a few people are having difficulty with the machine.
I got my fabric jammed and had some experiences with it going wobbly. These are all on the video. I also had it go over fabric and paper without cutting.
I noticed after I practiced with the machine I got better and then I had no problems cutting with it. I think it was the way I was holding the fabric when it jammed. I did have a few times when the fabric went around the roller and I had to use tweezers to pull it out. I kept trying and it cut just fine. I had to keep the fabric under the guide and against the machine evenly. When I moved my hands or arms I noticed I would get a wobbly cut if I was not paying attention. I think there is a learning curve just like with a new sewing machine.
A few things to note about the cutter. The cord that goes from the pedal to the wall is only 36 inches long. More than likely you will need an extension cord. You will need screwdrivers. You will have to play with the tension to get it right for the fabric you are using. It will take time and practice. You will jam your fabric so don't start with the good stuff. You may get frustrated (a few glasses of wine will cure that quickly). If you are like me, you will only read the directions if you can't get it to work right. Before being patient, you'll complain and say negative things....if you are like me (a few glasses of wine will cure that too).
Note: The blades are rotary (•circular: describing a circle; moving in a circle; "the circular motion of the wheel). They are not razor rotary cutting wheels. I think/guess most people think these are razor edge and the sharp blade cuts the fabric/paper. It is the pressure that cuts the fabric or paper. So don't be surprised when you have to adjust the tension to get a good clean cut. I know I was surprised by this and thought perhaps others would be too. I like the fact that they are not razor edge because they won't dull as easily as the others do.
I hope this helps some folks. I think the machine does exactly what it says it will do and I was satisfied once I learned what I was doing. It does take some getting used to and you will be using your screwdriver to adjust the tension. I had no idea it would require these things. Somehow I just figured you put your fabric in and out it came.
To those who have had difficulty I know what you are talking about. The same things happened to me. I made the adjustments and I got it to cut even strips. I even used Best Press to starch the 100% cotton fabric to see if it would make a difference. I really did not notice a difference.
I used 100% cotton quilting fabric, duck cloth, corduroy, linen, felted wool, sweatshirt fabric and upholstery fabric in the cutting machine. The machine cut all of these fabrics and I got the size of strip I had set the machine for. I used card stock paper with both blades and it cut evenly and well. I even put two layers of 100% cotton and got it to cut evenly. When I put three layers under the blade it did cut but the machine slowed down considerably.
I think knowing these things about the machine will help people make informed decisions when making a purchase. I recommend using scraps to practice and go in having the expectation that you will need to get comfortable with the machine. Make sure your scraps are squared up and have a straight edge. Then you'll know just when you get the hang of it .... your strips will be even.

Kelly the Cutting Machine Tester :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Accuquilt Go and SewCalGal's blog

When I saw the Accuquilt Go at the Quilt Market in Pittsburgh I was very impressed. I understood the concept because I had used a machine similar to this for scrapbooking. I enjoyed the demo and thought it would be great for quilt shops, classes and for very ambitious quilters.

I have recently been asked if I am going to carry the Accuquilt Go. I guess I'm interested in knowing how many people would be interested in purchasing one.
SewCalGal's blog has a review of the Accuquilt Go and I thought I would share that with you. If you are so not here....there.....and check out her review. Let me know what you think.
Some of you may have also noticed that I follow SewCalGal's blog. She has a great blog and gives lots of information that I have found useful. Just by chance she was one of the winners of my giveaway last month. Then I get an e-mail asking me a little more about my business and how I started into business etc. Well, she was writing a post about me. How nice is that? In case you missed it, just click here :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Curb Alert

Ok, call me crazy (you would not be far from the truth) but throwing away perfectly good usable new items turns me into a "curb shopper."
My girlfriend Rachel took me to see her new house on Thursday. The house is in the process of being finished and the cement was being poured. I begged her to let her two little girls put their hand prints into the cement near the garage door. After a call to her husband (why?...forgiveness beats permission every day) she let the girls make hand prints. We wiped them off with wet wipes and I was looking everywhere for a garbage can to put the wipes into. No go. But then I notice across the way the trash is out in front of another house. So I go walking my booty down there to throw them away and what do I notice?
You guessed it (quick study ay?) all of these items in the trash. The tag was still on the dust pan and the scrub brush in the bucket. So I am the proud owner of a brand new bucket, scrub brush, dustpan and some gently used garbage cans and a Wet Swiffer (batteries work and all).
I think my husband would crawl under a rock if he saw Rachel and I rustling through someones trash can.
There was a pile of sweatshirts on top too. Can anyone tell me why on Gods Green Earth (GGE) anyone on this planet would throw away perfectly good things and not put them on FreeCycle dot com or give them to Goodwill?
To maintain my sanity I have told myself, "self...yes I'm listening.....the woman who lived there had had enough cleaning and decided to rid herself of all cleaning instruments and all of her husbands clothes too". She must be one happy woman so I will forgive her this transgression.

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