I Have A Notion blog and store have moved to:

the store can be found at

There is a much easier to navigate store, with new items. The blog has its own page as well... new content too.

The blog is now at

Please come and visit!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween and It's All About Kids Blog Hop

BOO!  Happy Halloween from the very large child that lives inside of me to the child that lives inside you!

Isn't Halloween all about the kids?  It is in my life because I was never a big fan of Halloween but my children love, love, love dressing up and begging for candy.

Just a reminder that the "It's All About The Kids" Blog Hop has been happening all week long.  There are lots of prizes and tutorials for having fun and inspiring all of us to continue to create with the children in our lives.

I had hoped to get the time to post more creative projects I've done with my children over the years but the day has gotten away from me and it is now time to help the boys dress for Halloween. 

 Make sure and visit each one of these blogs and have fun!

Monday, October 27th
SewCalGal - Event kick off
Tuesday, October 28th

Wednesday, October 29th
Thursday, October 30th

Friday, October 31st
Jacquelynne Steves, The Art of Home
What's Coming Next?

Have a wonderful and safe evening!

Scary Smiles,

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's All About The Kids- Day 4

Thank you SewCalGal for including me in the "It's All About Kid's Blog Hop."  This has been a lot of fun to hop around and read the wonderful posts.  If you have not been out hopping, may I suggest you get your fingers clicking....there are lots of ideas and prizes too.

When I first became a Mom 15 years ago my favorite thing was showing my daughters how to make boxes using chipboard and art paper.  Then we made beaded Christmas ornaments for gift giving and of course there was scrap booking and sewing back then too.

Fast forward a few years and we added two boys to the IHAN clan.  Sewing these simple aprons helped keep food and art supplies off of the kids clothing. 
Aaron was 3 years old in this photo and he is wearing an apron I made by laminating cotton fabric.  The iron on vinyl comes in a Glossy and Matte finish.  The laminated aprons were perfect because I could just wipe them off.  We used them as "big boy bibs" when the boys thought they were too big for regular bibs.
 Zach at 18 months old standing on a chair in the kitchen helping Mommy make some cookies.  Where does the time go?
These aprons were made for my "Gentleman Diners."  The boys always got the sweetest comments when we went out for dinner and I would put on their "big boy bibs."

These simple little aprons are so easy to make, your kids can even make them for themselves and as gifts.  The best part is they last for years because they are adjustable.  My boys wore their aprons for art until they were in 2nd grade.  

I've taken photos for a tutorial and Mr. McSteamy created a PDF illustrating the process.  If you have any questions at all, please feel free to send me an e-mail at and I'd be happy to explain anything that is not clear for you.

Supplies list:
1/2 yard of fabric
27-30 inches of macrame cording (or a cording / rope of your choosing)
Optional: Iron On Vinyl and it comes in Glossy or Matte Finish

Start by cutting your fabric to the dimensions given in the PDF below.   Feel free to change the measurements and get creative with embellishments, pockets and machine embroidery. 
 The PDF can be downloaded or printed by clicking HERE.
After you have cut your fabric ,serge or zig zag the edges.  If you prefer, you can cut your fabric 1/2 inch larger on all sides and fold over twice to give a finished edge instead of using a serger or using a zig zag stitch on the edge.  Above you can see I have serged the edges of this very cute fabric.
Next I turn the bottom edge up 1/4 inch pressing as I go.  Do the same for the sides and then fold down the top 1" and press.
Last is the angled arm/side and I turn that edge under 1 1/4" and press.  This will create a casing that the cording will go through.
I begin by sewing along the bottom followed by the sides.  Since I've turned the fabric under a 1/4" I just stitch along the edge using my 1/4" foot as shown above.

When I finish the sides and the neck, I take the cording and lay it under the fabric casing I have made. 
Then I fold the fabric over the cording and stitch along the edge.
This step keeps me from having to thread the cording through the casing when I'm finished.  I tie a knot at the end of my cording because I use macrame cording and it will fray.
Since this is for a gift, I embroidered the child's name on the apron.  You can use denim, duck cloth, or any other fabric of your choosing and embellish as desired.  Pockets are fun for supplies and provide a great hiding place for sticky treasures.

Here are some other aprons I have cut out and have ready to go when I need a quick gift.
Now for the giveaway! 
One lucky person will win a pre-cut apron from the fabrics of their choice pictured above, cording and 2 yards of Iron on Vinyl in the Glossy finish.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

We appreciate your stopping by, please continue to visit those bloggers who are participating in the hop.  The links to their posts are below.
Monday, October 27th
SewCalGal - Event kick off
Tuesday, October 28th
Wednesday, October 29th
Thursday, October 30th
Friday, October 31st
Jacquelynne Steves, The Art of Home
Wendy Sheppard/Ivory Spring

 Happy Hopping!


Monday, October 27, 2014

It's All ABout The Kids

Monday, October 27th
SewCalGal - Event kick off

Tuesday, October 28th

Wednesday, October 29th

Thursday, October 30th

Friday, October 31st

Yes if it were not for KIDS.....there would be no grown ups!  True :)  So join us in celebrating ways to inspire the children in your life or the child inside of you to come out and play with us this week.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Lovely Saturday Afternoon

I was invited to join my sister (above) and her girlfriends for an afternoon of crafting.  I had no idea when I accepted the invitation that the host's partner is a gourmet cook.  Our lunch was a 4 Star meal and my socks were knocked into the next county.

The stew was so delicious, I enjoyed every single bite and savored the experience of such an unexpected treat.

But wait....there's more......
This gadget, I have absolutely no clue what it is, however I saw it entwined with some pears.  No idea what that machine is or does....interesting isn't it?

I saw Charlie, the chef,  pull a real whip cream gizmo from the fridge and then we were each presented with on of these:
A single perfect red raspberry in the center, pound cake tornado floating on the Chambord syrup, an amazing pear that had cavorted with that gizmo pictured above and drizzled with homemade caramel sauce topped with a scosche of sea salt.  Wham Bam, thank you Charlie!!! 

The gals were spraying rice paper and other textured papers with ink sprays.  I've never seen anything like this so I was fascinated to see what they created.
 Just like quilters, these paper artists had every kind of gadget you could imagine and enjoyed playing with the possibilities.
The ink spray bottles said they were fabric and textile appropriate. about a whole new way of thinking for me....a whole new world I know nothing about.
Yes, I have more projects going than any twelve people could finish in the next year....and I won't be taking up a new hobby at this time.....AND I had a ball watching them and learning about their process.

Debbie was the host and she has been applying her artistic abilities to making greeting cards since she retired.  With each card that was added to my pile I thought of dear friends who I knew would treasure the card....I had no idea I loved so many people!
I'm only showing this ONE card....because I'll be sending them so many of you and I don't want to spoil the fun.

What a delightful and much needed joyful afternoon!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop Announced

Patsy Thompson is an amazing free motion Quilt Artist, Pattern Designer and now she has her own line of Machine Embroidery and Pre-Cut Applique shapes.  I count my self incredibly fortunate to call her a friend and enjoy every opportunity I get to talk about her work and designs.

One of Patsy's stunning quilts that includes her Pre-Cut Shapes, Machine Embroidery and her gorgeous free motion quilting.

IHAN will be hosting a Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop starting November 10-14, 2014 and here is a schedule of the places you won't want to miss :

I Have A Notion Blog November 10th
Jean Creates November 13
SewCalGal  November 14

I hope you decide to hop along with us and are inspired by our projects.  Please share the information about this hop with all of your friends and readers....we would love that!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Its Not Caving In....It's Just Falling

I've been told that when things feel like they are falling apart.....perhaps they are just falling together!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!   Mr. McSteamy has been out of the country for 3 weeks, we had a co-worker change schools and all the normal activities of daily living (some how they seem like a giant mountain....I need new glasses :)

 The beautiful Fall leaves help keep everything in perspective. certainly is an intoxicant!  Zach was so tickled to be about to go out into a field and pick a "real" pumpkin....not just one purchased from the store.
Naturally where there is a pumpkin....there is pumpkin guts.
Aaron started a new school yesterday.  I tried to capture his beautiful smile....but it looks like I pressed the camera too late.  Darn!  Can you believe how tall this fella is?

What else is going on in my life.....Waldo....naturally. Waldo is working on a new quilt using Kaffe Fassett fabrics (many of which I gave her from my stash...what are friends for if they can't use your stash :).  The pattern she is using:

We loosely laid out her blocks to get a look at how the quilt will look.  I may just have to have one of these myself....I just love it!
It is really tough to get an idea about this quilt when we laid it on top of this quilt:
Yep....that's Waldo's bed quilt....a eye popping Kaffe Fassett quilt.  I've warned her more than once to sleep with the quilt tucked under her feet....because I could just break in and snatch it right off of her!

Giggles and Smiles,

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Attic Window by Cheryl Phillips

I saw Chery Phillips from Phillips Fiber Arts demonstrating her Attic Windows Ruler  on You tube and I was impressed.

I have never made an Attic Windows Quilt block so I don't have an appreciation for joining Y seams.

This got me thinking about the triangle dies I have and wondering if the dies I have could be used to make this block as well.  Stay tuned and I'll let you know how it goes.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Age DOES Matter

Wine & Cheese, yes Age DOES Matter....however....there are lots of other things that age affects as well.  Take for instance all the glue I had on my shelves.
The oldest co-worker had an assignment and he needed to create a web of sorts out of yarn. 
Once he made the web we pondered how to keep the intersections and we have plenty....or so I thought.  I tried every single bottle of the fabric and craft glues that I own and not a single one worked.  Why?  It didn't take long for me to figure out what the problem was...AGE!  I don't have a clue as to when I bought any of these bottles and did I write a date on them?  NOPE

WORD TO THE WISE: When you buy any new glue, fabric marking pens, applique adhesives or other sewing notions that may have a shelf life....LABEL IT with the date of purchase.  I wish I had done that....could have saved me lots of time and frustration.

What did we end up using?
Yep....good ole Elmer's Glue.  Thankfully we had some!  Suffice to say the other bottles are in the recycle bin.  Next time.....I'll take my own advise.


PS...I didn't try the E6000 because I was afraid it would glue the yarn to the cloth permanently.  That stuff is mighty powerful....I know because it was glued onto the bottle next to it on the shelf.... and the reason it is in the photo.

Friday, September 26, 2014


My PA quilt top is finished....almost!  Yes, I used Mary Jane's beautiful Bernina 820 to finish this top...thank you for all the encouragement and support! 

This pattern is the absolute best for scrappy quilt making because it really doesn't matter what fabric you use as long as the center blocks are lighter.  Christmas mixed with Halloween and add some Easter...who cares....the only thing that shows is the light and dark patterns.
I want to add a thin inner border and a little wider border on the outside.  Wouldn't you know that not a single piece of fabric that I own looks good for the outside that crazy or what?  You know I'm not going out to buy fabric.....I'm going to hit up some local friends and if need be, long distance friends after that.  I've already been through Waldo's stash and that is where I got the lighter inner border.

More progress on the organization front as well.  I've been looking for a shelf to put behind my machine to hold some of my fun sewing items.  The problem is the wall is cement and I don't want to have to put holes into the wall.  Hanging shelving from the ceiling is certainly an option and I was ready to pull the trigger on that project.....then I walked into a consignment store and found the neatest narrow shelf:
It came with 6 shelves total and some were sagging in the middle (don't even think about the my sagging middle) so I have some books on those shelves to straighten them out.  Sure wish it were that easy to straighten myself out...LOL  The shelf was $15 and I was thrilled because buying the materials for hanging shelves would have been much more.

Quick Flamingo Update:
A friendly soccer game with the opposing team wearing shirts.  Too funny.
Naturally their parents would be cheering them on from the sidelines.

That is all from here....hope all is well with you and yours!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vintage Sewing Notions and My Gift

Are you as crazy about vintage sewing notions as I am?  I found this mini ironing board in a shop in PA recently that just tickles me.
I believe it is a sleeve board and I don't really iron many sleeves....but does that matter?  NOPE

The sewing machine you see in the back ground belonged to my girlfriend, Mary Jane (you may recall she passed away Aug. 20th).  I remember when she got it brand new from Leon at Hoovers Bernina Sew in Mifflinburg, PA.   Mary Jane really enjoyed this machine and was always saying great things about Leon at Hoovers....which means there is a lot of positive energy in this beauty!  She insisted I learn to use her new machine even though I was very intimidated by the size and the fancy buttons.  We were sewing together one day and she said to me, "when I die, you are going to have this machine."  Naturally I burst into tears and told her I didn't want that sewing machine, I wanted her so she could just take that thought right out of her mind.  Thankfully several years went by before her pride and joy was passed along to me.  I only wish it had been 30 more years before her 820 came to live with me.

Mary Jane's sewing machine has been sitting where my machine used to be.   My mind was telling me..... turning on her sewing machine would mean she is really gone.   I know that thought makes no sense....but grief in my experience isn't rational or's just a process.  I can't seem to get used to seeing her things at my house.....this new reality will take time to embrace.  Today I turned on Mary Jane's sewing machine and began to sew.  The tears streaming down my face made it difficult to see to wind the bobbin....but I managed.  What an amazing, beautiful and life changing lovely girlfriend Mary Jane....not her sewing machine. I miss her every day.

Irrational and Appreciative Smiles!


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