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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tombow Time and My Family

Hi Everyone!
I'm back with "some" energy :)  I so appreciate all the loving and kind e-mails, comments, cards, gifts and letters you have sent to my mother and myself since February.
When I say I don't know what we would have done without all of you, it is from my heart.  As you know, my mother passed over on May 11th and I have been doing my very best to cope.  Part of coping, for me, is reviewing all the photos I've taken.  I have some amazing memories and I've chosen the photos from  April 8, 2013, our "Tombow Time" to share today. 

TOMBOW TIME with the IHAN Clan!
I agreed back in March to participate in the "100 Days of Tombow" so that the Council for Art Education would be provided up to $10,000 worth of Tombow Art Products.
We received these beautiful Dual Brush Pens, a set of Irojiten colorpencils and a Tombow Stamp Runner free for participating.  The evening of April 8th, we printed several coloring sheets and spent the evening coloring as a family.  I know it sounds a bit corny but it was very relaxing.

The one end of the pen is soft like a paintbrush and is great for blending and the other is sharp for outlining or writing.
Our Irojiten pencils are the Pale Tone II set and I must say these are "high end" for us....we have been spoiled big time!  The color is soft and smooth.. 
I"m not much of an artist so I was coloring a design I created with my Kelidoscope Kreator Software.  you can see how soft and smooth the pencils are.....and you can also see I'm not that great with staying within the lines...oops :)

Zachary was absolutely thrilled to be able to "keep" the markers and pencils if he were willing to demonstrate how fun they are to use.  Now I know my kids are artistic, but you should really check out this post on the Tombow Blog....this guy is FANTASTIC :)

Aaron wasted no time with his artistic endeavors.....this took him only minutes to complete.
Another contribution by Zach

Even Grandma colored with us that night.  I hope the boys never forget the night Grandma spent coloring with them....I know I won't.

Zach had to be repeatedly reminded to share the  He was generous and offered Grandma a few colors to use.
The Tombow Stamp Runner came in very handy when attempting to keep this guys beard on!  The adhesive is acid free and it can be applied in small portions by pressing down/stamping it or in long strips by pulling along the roller edge.

We do a lot of adhering around here.....
Aaron's paper sculpture.
The adhesive is temporarily re-positionable (and acid you could use it for placement of your applique!).

I am so grateful SewCalGal brought this opportunity to my attention and to Tombow for allowing me to participate.  We have really enjoyed our new art supplies :)

Below you can read more about the "100 Days of Tombow"....copied from their e-mail to me.

Smiling At Times,

Tombow Celebrates “100 Days of Tombow” 
Centennial Year Program Highlights Work of Mommy Bloggers Making a Difference in their Homes, Schools and Communities
Saturday, March 9, at the National Art Education Association Conference in Fort Worth, Texas, Tombow will kick off its “100 Days of Tombow” program by committing to provide up to $10,000 of Tombow art products to the Council for Art Education, a national nonprofit dedicated to promoting and supporting art education and quality art programs nationwide.
Tombow seeks to leverage its centennial year by spearheading new avenues of creative growth for the next 100 years. To that end, it’s working with crafters and mommy bloggers to reach younger demographics and introduce Tombow to a fresh, new audience.  “We’re parlaying our 100-year platform to educate crafting bloggers in the young singles, newlywed and new mom audiences on ways to use our eco-friendly products to enrich their world with color, texture and design,” said Jeff Hinn – president, American Tombow. 
For its “100 Days of Tombow” program, the company is working with 100 different bloggers across America to spotlight their creative musings using Tombow’s products, and showcasing how “Tombow Time” is enjoyed across the nation.
Bloggers who are interested in participating in the “100 Days of Tombow” movement should contact Barbara Pritchett, public relations coordinator, who will facilitate the provision of 100 Days of Tombow Starter Kit, containing Dual Brush Pens, Irojiten Color Pencils and the Stamp Runner Adhesive (photos attached). In addition, every submission for the “100 Days of Tombow” blogging program will result in a $100.00 product donation to the Council for Art Education. “We hope to donate $10,000 worth of product to this dynamic, vibrant cause that shapes the future crafters and artists of America through its educational programs,” said Hinn in closing.  “After all, we want to be the product of choice for future generations, and what better way to celebrate the past than to promote the future.”
About Tombow
Tombow is today’s market leader for arts, crafts and office products.  Serving consumers and businesses around the globe, Tombow was established in Japan in 1913 as the wood-case pencil provider for Japanese students.  Since these beginnings and undergirded by a history of unparalleled customer service, Tombow has grown the company’s portfolio to a worldwide provider of adhesive tape, ballpoint pens, correction tape, drawing pencils, dual brush pens, glue sticks and liquid glues manufactured in facilities located in Japan, Southeast Asia and Thailand.  Worldwide operating divisions distribute Tombow branded products in their respective geographies. For more information, visit

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Olivia is now an Angel in Heaven

SewCalGal here today on a rather sad topic, but one which those who love Kelly will want to know about.

First, I want to share that losing a love one is probably the most painful thing that happens to us in life.  In that process, we have to convey to others the sad news while we are grieving.  This can add more pain, trying to find the words to say a loved one is no longer here.  So, today, I'm breaking the news on Kelly's blog that her mother has passed away.

Click to play this Smilebox announcement

I wish I had magic dust that I could sprinkle and make this pain go away for the  Howlett, Stocker and Jackson families.  But, the next best thing to magic dust is knowing other family members and friends care and will be their to help, whenever needed.  And Olivia is now an Angel in Heaven always watching over them and wanting them to carry on and enjoy life!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I hope all of you know that this has been one of the most difficult and dark times of my life and at this time I'm empty....I have nothing to offer or share on my blog.  Please know I so appreciate each and every one of you so very much....and....while I am present for the process of my mother's health decline and eminent death....I have very little energy to post or share at this time.

For those of you who do not know, my mother is here with my family.  She has chosen hospice instead of chemo (it would have been my choice in this situation as well) and I am her main care giver.  I will not cheat either of us out of this time together.  I see my absence has affected my blog and business ....yet....I would not change a thing.

I'm still here and if and when I'm able to share....I'll definitely post again.   I appreciate your understanding.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Three Essentials for the Traveling Quilter

Hello, it's Kelly's friend Jean(ie) popping in to keep the blog going. Kelly is busy and unable to post, so I thought I'd pop in (surprise!) and take a task off her list.

This past week I've been blessed to get to know more members of my guild (Stray Thread Quilt Guild in Woodinville, WA) during a couple of sew days. These amazing people inspire me. We have a wonderful assortment of quilters among our group -- art quilters, traditional quilters, modern quilters, quilters who play with scraps, crazy quilters (aren't we all crazy?), and those who adore handwork.

What unites us all? Thread, fabric, pattern, color, and texture. And sew days. Days in which we all "get away" and get together and just sew. This past weekend I spent two days sewing with my guild and I had fun!

When I go out sewing -- whether it's at a local shop or meeting place, there are several things I don't leave home without. First up on the list is my handy-dandy Tutto bag. I have a large machine and this rolling bag makes it easier for me to carry my full-size machine to classes. Plus, it has tons of extra room to stuff all sorts of notions, thread and fabric. To read more about the Tutto Machine on Wheels case, click here.  They make these cases in a multitude of sizes. And just so you know, I've even used this very case for a suitcase during a car trip. I was able to cram a whole lotta stuff in there! It has handy pockets for thread, notions, rulers and a really roomy interior.

The extra-large interior space fits my oversize machine, 2 small tackle boxes, a quilt top and backing, and an iron!

Another thing I take with me are my Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Scissors. These stay in my handwork bag. Kelly recommended these to me and I absolutely LOVE them! I use them for my applique work and fabric cutting. I've been hot into hexies for handwork. I trace my template on fabric and cut. The scissor blades really cut through the layers of fabric cleanly and without issue.

Another Must-have for the traveling quilter is the Scrap-Ma-Bob Clamp On Holder for Beverages and Scraps. I get lots of comments on this one. Folks always stop by my table and tell me how clever it is! Why do I love it? It's impossible for me to spill my drink on my sewing machine and workspace. And believe me, if my water is by my machine, the machine will get soaked, but not when I use my Scrap-Ma-Bob. It keeps things dry. And the little scrap bag, I've got tons of bag space for those thread clippings and fabric scraps that are too small to recycle.

What are your traveling must-haves when quilting (besides chocolate)?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Winner of Transfer Artist Paper Announced

Transfer Artist Paper is such a versatile treasure for those of us who are into quilting, textile arts, collage making, and photo transfer crafting.  Before I list all the neat ideas people left on the "What Would You Do With Transfer Artist Paper" blog post...I'll announce the winner. 

 The winner was chosen by the Random Number Generator:


And Number 43 is:
 Congratulations Quiltin Cntrygrl!  Please send me your full name, address and phone number so I can pass the information along to C & T Publishing, our Sponsor!

THANK YOU C & T Publishing for sponsoring this great gift!

I was so impressed by all the great ideas people had for using Transfer Artist Paper.  I will share some of my favorite comments below: 

 So cool! I really liked and would like to make a trinket box with pages from F Scott F's "The Great Gatsby" for my step- daughter who just graduated w a degree in journalism.

Great video! I have one sheet (thanks Kelly!) that I am anxious to work with! I have collected wedding photos of all the ancestors on both my side and my husband's going back 3 and 4 generations. I want to transfer the photos (antiqued) with TAP to an off white silk, include some lettering, add some pearls, lace,....antique buttons...and make a wall hanging that will be velcro-ed to a mat for hanging by the baby grand piano!! I'm actually finding some time now for fiber art. thanks for introducing us to this product
I think this would be so cool to do some Zentangle drawings on to transfer to clothing or even quilt projects. It would also be a very cool way to make quilt labels.

 I had not seen this video. Loved all the ideas shared. I can think of oodles of project ideas: Artist Trading Cards/ATCs, Art Quilts, Artistic T-shirts, Memory Quilts,etc. But, I'm thinking of using TAP for some really cute coin purses for gifts. This is going to be so fun. Thanks for inspiring me. 
Looks like fun stuff to have around for when an idea hits me, but I do want to make a couple tee shirts to wear when we are selling our fruit at the farmers market.

This sounds like a wonderful product. I would love to try it and thanks for a chance at the give-away.
I have been doing a lot of hand embroidery work and printing graphics onto fabric as art projects for my quilting labels... this would be a much easier way to accomplish my goal.

I love the idea of transferring text! I'd probably choose pages from favorite books to make pillow tops. And wouldn't it be special to use old letters from parents, grandparents, my sister, etc. and make a quilt? And handwritten recipe cards to make little kitchen wall-hangings for each of my cousins, with our grandmother's bread recipes? I cannot wait to use this wonderful stuff!! Oh, I hope I win!

I am working on a multi-media shadow box for my son to honor his Graduation from College! I would use TAP for adding pictures(shrunk down) of items too big to include in the box. It would be great since it transfers to so many different surfaces!
I would use them to add embellishments to my garments...sometimes stencils, dyes, paintsticks, silk screens, etc are just not the perfect choice. These sheets will give me more options. Thanks for the 
I would say I would use it to transfer my grands drawings into special tee shirts, how awesome would that be?
So many excellent ideas shared!  Thank you to all who left a comment :)
I'm guessing you have all noticed I have had to slow down on my blogging.  I have not had much time since bringing my Mother home with us last Thursday.  I have appreciated all I've learned from the Hospice RN's and I've been taking very good care of my Mom.  I'll post more about all that  later.  I just wanted to let the winner of the TAP paper know she won so she could jump up and down with excitement!  It is so much fun winning a prize isn't it?  I'm like a little kid when I win something....I start checking the mail box the very next day as if the prize could arrive that fast...yes I'm a kid at heart :)


Monday, April 8, 2013

What would you do with Transfer Artist Paper?

I have used Artist Transfer Paper on several projects (one noted here) and I think it is one of the most versatile products available for quilters, textile artists and those who love to create.  When people ask me what it is used for I tell them that they can print, paint, draw or stamp onto the Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) and then iron it onto almost any flat surface.  One of the neat things about TAP is that when you use it on t-shirt fabric it remains soft....really.  It isn't hard or stiff....I'm not kidding.

C & T Publishing is offering to give a package of TAP to one lucky  IHAN® blog follower!  If you would like to win, watch the video below :)

Now leave a comment on this post telling me what you would use the Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) for if you were the lucky winner.

The winner will be drawn randomly on April 15, 2013 (Wouldn't it be nice to think of that day as TAP day instead of Tax day?)


Friday, April 5, 2013

Project Runway Hospital Edition and Party a la IHAN® Style

If you have ever been in a hospital for any length of time than you know what "hospital brain" means.  It is extremely boring here and the only fun is the fun you make or bring.  If you have been following along you know that my mother has been in the hospital since Feb. also know that there are times I'll do what ever I can to make life a little more fun or manageable.

Last evening I hosted a PARTY here in room P651 and the staff were invited to attend.   Since it was a "Party" we definitely needed some "Party" attire....right?  Right!!!  That is when I decided the theme of the party would be "Project Runway Hospital  Edition a la IHAN® Style (not to be confused with Gangnam Style) .  To get our mojo workin' I searched the room for some materials to make an appropriate party dress.

I found one of those blue disposable gowns:
And started to work......
I cut the "skirt" off of the blue dress and took a running stitch along the waistband so I would have a lovely gathered waist band.
I was meticulous in spacing the stitches so the skirt would drape elegantly over the waistline of  the finest models who would be wearing this Haute Couture Frock.

Notice this lovely skirt has some fabric draped in front that adds just that special touch of class?  Since I'm always up to date with the latest in Haute Couture I decided our party frock needed something interesting and exciting that would draw the
I looked around the room and found these lavish embellishments.  You know that fashion model would be so green with envy....poor girl....thinking she has it all....but notice she doesn't have the lavish purple embellishments?  Bummer!

 The Party Dress was coming along, but what it really needed was some enrichment, that special touch that adds pizzazz to the ensemble.

7:00pm rolled around and the RN put the Official Party Banner in place and we were ready to ROCK this House Hospital.
Oh yeah baby.....this party ensemble was complete with a turban-embellished toilet paper bow.  I was feeling way too sexy for my shoes...and was in desperate need of some real  knock your socks off shoes.....

I looked high and low but apparently I forgot to pack these sexy things.....bummer ay?
I was still able to get-down without those diamond-esque kickers... know it baby!
Mom rocked out too!  My momma isn't new to the Harlem Shake....she invented it!  She was just a shimming and shaking to some Motown music.  Here in D-Tr-oit, we know how to get-it-on-down....I grew up here so I know of what I speak.
(photo credit)
 The only person we were missing was Don Cornelius ....and he would have loved this party!

We caught the RN Floating, Gliding and Sliding...Bruno would have given her a 10 for sure!
Popping and Locking was none other than the Chief Resident....oh yeah baby....movin' and a groovin'.  
 The Doctor was not going to be out done by his Chief Resident or the RN, so he let loose with a few street moves of his own.
After composing himself, there was a photo with "The Designer."

No party is complete without Hors d'oeuvres.
The Doc provided  Hors d'oeuvres included a  Chocolate Carmel Ice Cream one can say we don't know how to Part'ay!

Disclaimer: There may have been some embellishments added to this post....not confirming nor denying....just saying there is that possibility.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Free-Motion Quilting, with Patsy Thompson

SewCalGal is delighted to be back as  a guest blogger at IHAN today.   

Kelly introduced me to Patsy Thompson, Free-Motion Quilting Expert, Quilt Designer, Teacher, Author, Doctor and all around amazing woman.  A few years back, Kelly knew I was interested in learning/improving my free-motion quilting skills.  She recommended Patsy's videos for free-motion quilting to me and needless to say, I was I've been delighted with all of Patsy's DVDs ever since.

I enjoy watching Patsy's DVD again and again, and even take them with me when I travel.  My attitude is "If I can't take my sewing machine with me, when I travel, I want to feel like I'm working on my quilting skills by watching Patsy's DVDs".  

Patsy's free-motion quilting  (FMQ) videos are high quality, easy to follow, well organized and will take you thru the steps to help you create spectacular free-motion quilting.  She has a well rounded collection that are grouped into excellent categories with corresponding titles:


SewCalGal recommends the Fast and Free DVDs for those new to FMQ. Patsy goes thru the basics and will help a beginner gain confidence, learn great habits, and trouble shooting skills.  You'll soon be doing FMQ on your own projects, after watching these DVDs and be amazed how beautiful "your" FMQ looks!

DVDFastandFreeVolume.5 FastandFreeVolume2 

SewCalGal recommends the Vines and Leaves DVD to those interested in FMQ, from all skill levels, interested in creating a variety of styles using vine and leaf motifs.   Patsy covers basic vines and leafs, as well as many signature motifs that are easy to create and really look great on your projects too!  


SewCalGal recommends the Fun with Feathers and Feather Adventure DVDs for confident beginners and those with advanced levels of FMQ experience that are interested in learning a variety of styles for creating spectacular feathers using FMQ.   Patsy does an excellent job covering basic feathers, but she also has many signature styles of feathers that you can easily apply to your projects, as well as make into your own style.  Her techniques for creating feathers have been one of the easiest for me to learn and I'm sure you can master them too, with her DVDs.

FreeMotionFun1 productimage-picture-free-motion-fun-with-feathers-volume-2-24_t280 FreeMotionFunWithFeathersVol3 PatsyThompsonFMFwithFeathers4 FeatherAdventuresVolume1

SewCalGal recommends the Hyperquilting manual to those that are confident with FMQ and want to learn Patsy's two step technique that creates amazing visual impact on your projects.  There are various FMQ Experts that teach a two step (two different threads) style of FMQ, but Patsy's "Hyperquilting" is one of the best I've ever seen.  You can apply this technique to your projects for every day quilts, art quilts, as well as heirloom quilts, but I'd highly recommend you gain expertise on this technique' if you want to "dazzle" quilt judges and have fun stitching award winning quilts!


I hope you can tell why I trust Kelly when she recommends product to me, as well as why, like Kelly, SewCalGal can happily recommend Patsy's wonderful FMQ DVDs and Hyperquilting manual.    Don't forget you can find all of these wonderful products at IHAN.  You may want to start with buying one, but you'll soon find you'll want another for a Birthday Gift, Anniversary Gift, Christmas Gift, or some other gift.  So be'll want them all.  Of course, I've recommended to Kelly that she come up with a special bundle collection of Patsy's DVDs (after all Patsy's DVDs are better than the James Bond DVD collection)!  

And, while Kelly is currently with her mom in the hospital, IHAN is continuing to ship customer orders on a weekly basis.  The IHAN team is helping to fulfill orders.  So, don't hesitate placing your order with IHAN.  

If you would like to learn more about Patsy and her designs, you can find her at: 

 Post  written by SewCalGal

THANK YOU SewCalGal....excellent review of Patsy Thompson's work!!!

For those of you who are local to the Toledo, OH area, Patsy also hosts classes at her studio CLICK HERE for more information about her classes and studio.   I hope you don't miss Patsy's free tutorials on her website....they are excellent.


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