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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Up The Attic Steps

Pat Smith and Carolyn Snyder, Up The Attic Steps,  have made some absolutely beautiful dolls.  They were kind enough to let me show them  to you.  

I met Pat here in Perrysburg.  She was having a garage sale last summer and we have crossed paths a few times since then.

Their dolls are so much fun.  I love you know the Frog delights me.


(This frog looks like me....really....check out the feet!!)

Their dolls have been been exhibited in the Museum of Folk Art in New York City and in the Toledo Museum of Art.  Can you believe they have over 70 different designs.  I can't even imagine having 70 designs....perhaps 70 Tim Tams but 70 doll designs....these gals are very talented.  Their dolls have been in Doll Crafter Magazine and in the Ann Arbor Travel Host too.

They do custom work as well.  Do you think I should order Aaron and Zachary inspired dolls?  Wouldn't that  just be the best?

Thanks Pat and Carolyn for letting me show my friends your work.  The dolls are just beautiful.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Tickled Pink....and Pinker :)

Today has been one of those wonderful in fact....that I am Tickled Pink!!

It started with a return to the YMCA where I used to exercise 5-6 days a week.  I've been on a "few" month (5)break.  I got to exercise and that felt wonderful.  Some of my workout buddies asked where I had been.  I told them I died.  At the funeral I peeked an eye open and did not see them there....I got pixxed.....and I'm just back to haunt them. 

Then we came home, (my girlfriend from college is still here), and we started a fun project that I've been wanting to do for sometime. 

I'm so excited to show goes:

This is a piece of fleece that I love and have had on my shelf since last winter.  I bought it 1/2 price at Joann's (see I too shop at the J word :) clearance remnants rack.

Then I pulled out this very cool book with fleece patterns and found the sock pattern.....oh yea baby!

I traced the pattern onto some butcher paper.  You see....I really do have a size 12 foot.  I had to add on to the pattern to make it long enough to fit my foot. 

Posted by Picasa

TA DAH!!! 

"Extremely Spanky Fleece Socks" I'm modeling for you, don't you think?

I only have owned one other pair in my life and I've had them for over 8 years.  Rick bought them for me one Christmas.  I treasure those socks.  When I went to the hospital to have Aaron and Zach they told me to wear something warm on my feet.  So there I the middle of labor.....with orange wild fleece socks!!!  I'm sure they still are talking about that one.  So I figure it was time for some new fleece socks to adore.  If I have said, "I love these socks" once, I've said it 25 times today.  I'm so tickled and they feel like warm silk on my feet.  Ahhhhhh.......I'm sooooo happy :)

Then Loren, my mailman, came to the door with my mail and a package.  I was not expecting a this was a fun surprise.

 I must have won a giveaway and forgotten.....because look at what fun fabrics I got in the mail from Jennifer Davis of Woodbridge, VA.  How wonderful.....they are great!

Thank you Jennifer.....these are great :)  I'm so glad I forgot, because it is like winning twice.
What a truly wonderful day.  I'm sure I'll dream of sugar plum fairies when I go to sleep tonight.  Or better yet....I will dream Tim Tams and Swirly Gummy Bears.
Anywhoo.....I'll stop gabbing on and on and on.  I just can't help but say, "I LOVE THESE SOCKS."
Warm Fuzzy Smiles,

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Passacaglia Table Runner Pattern Free :) by Inklingo

Does anyone see the free pattern up in the left hand side of my blog?  Has anyone clicked on it to download their free pattern?  The link was not enabled for some crazy reason (operator error) and no one could have gotten to it if you wanted it.  So....I fixed it.'t walk....and get your free download for this amazing table runner.  You will be thrilled you did. 

And I'm sad no one told me....boooo hoooo....OK, I'm over it :)


A Quick Show and Tell

We have packed up most of our holiday decorations.  When I was getting some things ready to go back over the garage I just had to take a picture of one of our treasures.  Look at this beauty:

Isn't is lovely?  It is supposed to be a tree skirt but I can't bare to put it under a tree.  We use it as a table topper.  Rick's mother, Dolores, made this for him as a gift years ago.  Every year we take it out and marvel at how incredible it is.  I had to unfold it to take the pix so I'm sorry about the wrinkles.  But.....if I take the time to steam it....and then take the pix....something else will happen and I would never have gotten to photograph it for this post.  Know what I mean?


Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Favorite Calendar by Edyta Sitar, Laundry Basket Quilts

I like this calendar so much that I am keeping it in my sewing area so nothing gets written on it.  I was actually excited to be able to take the wrap off of it and hang it up.  Isn't it beautiful? 

No surprise it is by Edyta Sitar, Laundry Basket Quilts.  Her work is some of my absolute favorite.

My favorite page is March.  Lucky me because my birthday is in March.  I love this pattern and the batiks Edyta used. 

You know what else this calendar has?  Not one, but two patterns!!  How nice is that....I think that is so cool. 

This is the other pattern....isn't it fun?  I think it is very cheerful.  Do you treat yourself to things that make you smile?  I'd love to hear about them.

Now....I almost hesitate telling everyone about another one of my favorite snacks.  The last time I shared.....there was a serious run on the market and now I can't find any for myself...I should have told everyone never to eat a Tim Tam and if they came into contact with them to immediately ship them to me and I would take them to a special toxic waste site (my kitchen cupboard!!!).  But noooooo.....I wasn't that smart.

To demonstrate that I have "hopped on the clue bus" I want all of you to know....what ever happens.....under no uncertain circumstances should you ever eat a Swirly Gummy Bear by Black Forest.  Don't do it....honestly (a lie) don't ever try will hate them....I'm certain you will get very ill (another lie) so just send them to me and I'll get them to the secret toxic waste site that I know of....I'm just looking out for my...I mean ....your best interest.

Swirly Smiles,

Friday, January 8, 2010

It's A Wrap

Have any of you made one of these bowls or baskets recently?  I'm in love with this book.  I'd like to see more of what people have made.  If you have done one of these,  will you send me some pix?  I'd love to hear how it went. 

My girlfriend from college, Pam, is here visiting for a week.   It is so nice to have her here and she is such a huge help.  She loves to help make my life easier so she has been folding laundry, helping with the boys in the morning and she has inspired me to finish some Christmas clean up. 

Yesterday we even rented a movie, Julie & Julia.  It was really good and I can't tell you the last time I sat on a sofa and watched a movie in the afternoon.  Oh yea...did I mention the swirly gummies?  Maybe I'll just keep that little secret to myself....I don't want a rush on the market and then the demand will be so great I won't be able to get them.  I think that is what happened with the Tim Tams.  I can't find them anywhere now.  I bet it is all my fault too.  I should keep my secrets better hidden....cuz there seems to be a rush on the Tim Tam market.  I'm thinking their stocks just shot through the roof.  LOL

Swirly Gummy Smiles,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Textile Art by Brenda Klein, Rain Drop Studio

Do your remember this post?  And these pictures?

Rick and I went to the Levis Commons Fine Art Fair and I don't know how he did it....but he did.  YES he did.  He bought me, not one, not two, not three.....but four of Brenda's amazing works of art.

I was so moved I could not speak....tears rolled down my cheeks.  I'm in love with my pictures and I'm going to paint my kitchen a color that compliments our new focal point.

Stop over to Brenda's Rain Drop Studio and look at all her absolutely lovely works of art.  You'll have to stop by my house if you want to see the ones in the picture....because as far as I know....I have the only ones that exist on this planet just like these!!!  I'll put the coffee you take cream or sugar?


Monday, January 4, 2010

Sheila's Sewing Miniatures

Visit a friend....what is that?  It had been so long I had forgotten what it was like to actually go alone to someones house to do nothing more than visit.  That is exactly what I did on Sunday afternoon and I had a ball.  I went to Sheila's house and she had these really cute sewing miniatures.  She made the sewing cabinets in the last three photos. 

They are sooooo cool.  How fun to make little sewing cabinets.  Good thing she did not use my sewing area as a model......the stuff would be all scattered and it would not be near as much fun.

Everywhere I go I carry my camera.  I feel like I take the whole blog world with me where ever I go.  I love having the Internet to be able to show people things that are interesting and neat.  It would not be the same if I called on the phone and said, "hey I got to visit with Sheila and she had some really neat sewing miniatures." saves a lot of phone calls and tons of time zone change difficulties....LOL


Weekend Mail Man Needs GrabARoo's Too!!!

It was so cold here on Saturday I could not believe my eyes when I saw my mail being delivered.  No gloves.  Yikes!!!  GrabARoo's to the rescue.  I ran downstairs as fast as my size 12's would carry me and fetched up a pair of GrabARoo's.  Loren, the weekday Mailman, has a pair....but thoughtless me....I forgot the weekend crew.

The GrabARoo's are not intended to keep your hands warm, but they do keep the wind from biting his hands and the grippers on the fingers help him to pick up the mail.  They also help protect his hands from the paper as it takes all the oil out of the skin. 

Ya gotta take care of those taking care of you ay? 


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Butterflies and Caterpillars Quilt by Ellen Highsmith Silver Oh La La


Such a wonderful word to ponder for the New Year.  Growth and transformation abounds in this colorful quilt that Ellen made a few years ago. 

The colors are so vibrant and the theme so beautiful I could not help but e-mail Ellen and ask if I could post a pix of her quilt.  I could just get lost looking into the quilt.

The Butterflies and Caterpillars were all fussy cut and hand appliqued.  She then manipulated the fabrics into wings and caterpillars....isn't that incredible?  I just love it. 
"Embroidery is my first love in the needlework world and I used it here and there for adding details. This whimsical quilt could suggest a whole new and time-consuming way to look at every single fabric design.
Hmmmm, what could this chicken foot or traffic cone or flower bud become if fussy cut? Bird feathers? Fish scales hydrangea blossoms?" 

I was first introduced to Ellen Highsmith Silver when I was working on the Roc-lon Multi Purpose Cloth Challenge last year. She is a very warm and wonderful woman with a great sense of humor. Her book, Floorquilts, will teach you how to use your fabrics...stash and scraps.....and turn them into amazing floor coverings.Speaking of Transformation and Metamorphosis, I'm off to get my Tina Turner hair to look more like Kelly Jackson hair.....POOF


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Aniko Feher, Quilt Artist, Is Looking For Pattern Testers

This is such an exciting opportunity and I'm so thrilled that Aniko  Feher gave me permission to post about her work. She is looking for pattern testers of all skill levels to test some of her patterns. I would absolutely love to be a pattern tester, but as many of you know, I can not commit my time because of IHAN and my co-workers. 

This is one of Aniko's quilts.  She is a portrait quilt artist from Oak Park, MI.  This close up of the baby stopped me dead on my keyboard.  All I could do was stare in admiration.  Isn't it breath taking?

The Michigan Region of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) has chosen Aniko as their featured artist for January.  You really need to stop over to their site and read more about Aniko.   I promise you will be glad you did.

Here is some more information about becoming a pattern tester:

"I would give you a reasonably good preliminary package containing the pattern and instructions.
You would either:
A. Make the project and comment on the instructions, noting particular problems or opportunities for improvement.
B. React to pattern by saying: Yuck, I have no interest in ever making this, what is that woman thinking?
In either event I'd like to get your overall impression and reasons for liking or not liking it - within 3 weeks.
This project is easy but time consuming. It takes a weekend to complete. I am not aiming for a complete finished quilt, only a finished quilt top.
To keep this from having any tinge of bribery, I am sorry but I can't offer you payment to do this.
I am asking it as a favor and hoping that it will be fun for you too. Your reward is a free pattern autographed and with many thanks, when it's hot off the press of course (and my gratitude for your assistance).
Any interest?
I have testing packs ready to go.
If interested I can send you the pack by mail.
I would like your comments back by the end of 3 weeks."
Written byAniko Feher
You now have all the information you need to decide if you would like to volunteer to be a pattern tester for Aniko.  I would like to add that you would be expected to return the pattern at your expense to Aniko if you do not complete the project.  I know everyone understands how important it is to get only those who honestly have the time and energy to volunteer.  The rest of us can buy a pattern after Aniko has them tested right?  Right :)  I know I'll be in that line.....I'm not missing out on learning how to make such a beautiful quilt.  I can see my boys baby pictures made into wall hangings....oh my heart is melting just thinking about it.  (They are upstairs right now...I hear their foot steps on the floor and they are supposed to be in bed.....I guess I have to go be "the boss" now!!)

To contact Aniko just e-mail her at


Friday, January 1, 2010

Simplicity Bias Taper Maker Machine & The Bendable Bright Light Best Sellers at IHAN

Best Sellers at IHAN in 2009 Were:

If you don't own a Bendable Bright are missing out big time.  Absolute Truth!!!  Every person who has bought one has been thrilled.  You won't believe how bright this light is and how much better you can see when using it.  You can get an extra bracket and move it between machines if you like.  You can use it on your quilting hoop, electric saw.....anywhere you need some focused very bright light.  Suggested Retail is 49.99 and IHAN sells it for $35.00 every day.  You think I'm kidding about how great it is?  Take the are not absolutely satisfied....I'll pay for the return shipping (and refund your money of course :).

The other huge seller last year was the Bias Tape Maker Machine by Simplicity.

This machine so totally rocks!!!  After seeing it demonstrated at Quilt Market and other Trade Shows....I knew I had to have one.  Did I absolutely need one?  No!!  So, why did I buy it?  Everyone knows you can make bias tape by hand or use one of the hand held bias tape makers right?  Right!  But, I have always burnt my fingers using the hand held ones and I want it to be painless and trouble free.  The Simplicity Bias Tape Maker Machine is painless and trouble free.  I have not had one single return....not one.  Everyone I know who owns one....loves it!!!   

Running closely behind the Bias Tape Maker is the Simplicity Rotary Cutting Machine.  It makes a pressure cut in your fabric and cuts fabric into strips from 3/8in to 2 3/4in wide.  Perfect for cutting fabric strips for strip quilts, rugs and works well on paper too!!!  You can get a variety of replacement blades including the Large Wave Blade.  Suggested retail price is 74.99 and IHAN sells it everyday for $54.99!!! View the video demonstration here.

I've gotten to know Mimi Smith, Product Manager, for Simplicity. Every single question I have ever asked about any Simplicity product she has answered and typically within the same day. My hat goes off to Simplicity and wisdom in hiring and having Mimi because she makes me trust Simplicity products more.

Speaking of Simplicity, the Simpli-EZ Bias Ruler, designed by Susan Brown, has been an excellent seller.  It makes cutting fabric on the bias so easy that you will never use anything else.  It is a great compliment to the Bias Tape Maker Machine.

(I know I digress....but this will give you some background on why I sell what I sell and IHAN values and beliefs)

I have no tolerance for buying something and it does not do what it claims to do. Just ask the return departments at Best Buy, Target, Wal Mart, JC Penny, Kohls and Meijers. I'm sure Kelly Jackson's name has been registered as a "regular returner!" I'm proud of that. I have absolutely no qualms about returning anything that does not meet my expectations (just ask my So if I own it and recommend know it works and works well!!

IHAN has sold so many pair of Jackpot Scissors that I keep several in stock ready to ship at a moments notice.  These scissors are made by Famore for Simplicity

Lois, an East Coast IHAN Scout, has un-sewn an entire quilt using her Jackpot Scissors.  Suggested Retail is 18.00 and IHAN's everyday price is $14.00.

Another brief digression....thanks for indulging me. 

Remember the Scissor Man?  Brint?  He and his wife, Michaelann, own Famore Cutlery and their company provides these wonderful scissors to Simplicity and several other companies.  Small world isn't it?

"The Scissor Man"

Onward to the next huge seller of 2009.  The Protect and Grip Thimble by Clover.  It comes in a Large, Medium and Small. Suggested Retail is $8.95 and IHAN sells them for $7.50 every day.

We discovered these wonderful thimbles in Pittsburgh at Quilt Market.  Mary Jane struck up a conversation with Jan Carr, COO/VP of Sales and Marketing, from Clover.  Jan suggested Mary Jane try the Protect and Grip Thimble.  She has tried almost every thimble on the market.  When Mary Jane says this is a great can believe it!!  

I wish I could take credit for the "discovery" of the Protect and Grip Thimbles by Clover.....but that honor goes to Mary Jane, Director of East Coast Operations for IHAN.  She struck up a conversation with Jan Carr, CEO, for Clover at the Pittsburgh Quilt Market.  I've never seen Mary Jane so excited about anything since her Bendable Bright Light.  She is a Thimble "Expert" and if she recommends know it Rocks!!!  I hate wearing a thimble....but I can wear the Protect and Grip Thimble. won't be disappointed!

If you don't know what GrabARoo's need to and you'll thank me for the introduction :)

The gals from GrabARoo, Audrey House, Miriam Selzer and Tracy George started their company in 2006.  These are by far the best Sewing/Quilting gloves I've ever tried.  They don't snag when you pull them over your rings.  They are made from Nylon with  PVC dots on the finger tips....both sides!!! 

I discovered I was pulling my fabric when stitching and when I wear my GrabARoo's, I don't pull the fabric because they grip the fabric for me.  I also wear them when I scrapbook.  My mailman, Loren, wears them everyday....compliments of GrabARoo and IHAN :)  If you love your postal carrier....leave a pair in your mail box!!! 

Mistyfuse is another huge seller at IHAN. We first learned about Mistyfuse at the Pittsburgh Quilt Market.

Iris Karp, (owner/developer of Mistyfuse, Transdoodle & the Goddess Sheet), demonstrated how to use Mistyfuse and I was gah gah instantly. I was so impressed with the light weight fusible I carried a piece of it with me and told other shoppers about it. Iris probably thought I was off my rocker but I found it difficult to hide my enthusiasm.

Olfa Replacement Blades are a must for anyone using a hand held Rotary Cutter.  I have a 45mm Ergonomic Rotary Cutter by Olfa and I love it.  It is easy on my wrist and the blade is simple for me to replace.  There has been a special sale price at IHAN for the 45mm Olfa Replacement Blades (Blog Readers only $14.00).  The sale has been my way of thanking my readers and helping them to save their Joann's coupons for other things!!!  (Joann's is not a dirty word....although in some circles you would think it

There may be a few packages of replacement blades left.  If you need to add some to your stash you need to e-mail me at to get the Blog Reader Price.

So there you have it....the top sellers at IHAN last year.  I am excited to go to Quilt Market in Minneapolis in May and learn about even more really cool Notions and Fun New Stitching and Sewing items.


New Years Day at IHAN

 Par-tay is Over....but there is still time to....

Boogie Down


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