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March 2013

February 2013

A Gift Wrap Idea

Yesterday, I took a trip to central jerz to see one of my besties from college for her son's 2nd bday.  H-Man is 2 already.  Can't friggin believe it.  

Side note: best part about being an aunt (besides having H-Man scream over the phone "BYE AUNT JACKI!!! BYE!!! I LOVE YOU!!! BYE AUNT JACKI!!!!" and actually be able to pronounce a "j" at 2....) is that I get to go to the children's section of Barnes and Noble, and go straight to Dr. Seuss.  I may or may not have a slight obsession with Dr. 32....


Armed with four of the most important beginner Dr. Seuss books a kid can have (we'll get into the more advanced Dr. Seuss books like How The Grinch Stole Christmas and The Lorax at a later date) (aside from the one and only, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish) - There's a Wocket in my Pocket, The Cat in the Hat, Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now!!, and Oh, The Thinks You Can Think, I spread out on the dining room table to wrap them all up, only to remember that I have no baby/kid wrapping paper.

Naturally.  Why would I check to see if I had any BEFORE I went out to get his gift?  Because, duh, that would make too much sense.

I do, however, have plain brown paper, which is easy to dress up and make pretty.  Also - 2-year-olds generally don't care about the paper - they just want to rip it off to get to the good stuff.

Mkay.  So, how did I end up making brown paper look cute?  Simple.


Fabric riboon and a cute tag.  My cousin wrapped our Christmas gifts similarly this past Christmas, and I thought it was a fantastic idea.  Simple and pretty.  So, for H-Man, I chose three jelly roll strips that I had in my stash - all coordinating, of course - wrapped two around the gift, and then used one to tie the bow.  The tag I made with a simple stamp I got at Paper Source, distressed the edges, and wrote the sentiment on the other side.  Before tying the bow with the yellow ribbon, I attached the tag with twine to the fabric, which was then hidden from view after I tied the yellow fabric ribbon.

So easy, yet still cute and polished.  You end up looking like you actually had it together when you wrapped this gift, even though if your friends could have seen you frantically running around the house trying to figure out how the hell you're going to wrap books with no wrapping paper, they'd wonder how you survive without wearing a helmet and elbow pads on a daily basis.

There you have it!  A cute and simple way to wrap gifts!  Don't have fabric remnants all over your house?  Use ribbon instead! Get a roll of wide ribbon, and do the same thing.  It looks just as awesome.  Trust :-)

Much love ~~~


A Wedding Gift Sneak | Cross Stitch

If you've been following me for a while, you know that when my sister got married last June, I went slightly overboard and made a ton of stuff for her.  I couldn't help it.  I designed the "Save the Dates", I made her guest book for the shower, I preserved her invitation in a shadowbox, and I made a scrapbook of the candid pics taken from different events and activities leading up to and including the wedding day (I also made mini albums for each of the bridesmaids).  There may have been other things along the way that I made, too, but I honestly can't remember.  I'm so old.   Ugh.

Now, as most of you know, the main work that I post here are WIPs and finishes of cross stitch projects that I do.  I throw in scrapbook/cardmaking projects along the way, as well as sewing projects, but the main thing I do is stitch.

I've denied you WIPs for a long time, because I've been working on my sister's wedding gift, and I don't want anyone to see the project until it's done and in her hands.  Then I'll feel comfortable showing you all the entire finished piece.

However...I decided tonight after finishing some of the detail work on the words at the top, that I needed to show you at least a little something.  A sneak.

As usual, I made some major changes to this piece, one of which is the color of the flowers throughout.  Rachel's colors were grey and yellow - we all held yellow bouquets, so I thought it only fitting that I changed all the flowers in this piece to match the bouquets we held.  There is one other change I made to the piece, but I'll reveal all that when I do the full post in the near future.

Until then, I'll leave you with this ---

Much love ~~~


Live Simply | Sewing | Cross Stitch

Last night started out with a great idea.  I mean, a great idea.  I was dreaming all day about sitting behind my sewing machine and finally doing the finish work on a needlebook I've been putting off for, oh....aroundabout a year now.  Yep.  A full year.  Whatever.  Don't judge.  

I came home from work, inhaled dinner, then ran upstairs to gather my sewing accoutrement (such a great word) and get to work.

But, I encountered a problem.

The cross stitch piece I needed to make the needlebook was nowhere to be found.

Nowhere.  I tore apart my sewing room looking for it.  Nowhere.  Went up to the third floor to my project table, thinking it somehow ended up staying behind when I brought all my unfinished pieces down to my sewing room.  Nothing.  Went into my den where I do all my stitching (which, incidentally, looks like a thread bomb exploded in there. seriously. i have no idea how all that damn thread ended up all over the place, but it's a gd mess in there. ok. rant over.), thinking I hid it in my table (the coffee table slides open, and i hide all my random stitching stuff in there...).  Nope.  Nothing.  Went back upstairs to rip through my sewing room again.  Nothing.

Now.  I know what you're all thinking. has to be there.

Yah.  I know.  I just don't know where "there" is.  I found a really, really safe place for it, apparently.  So safe, that now I can't find it.

Enter: Annoyed Jack.  So annoyed, but still determined to bond with her sewing machine, she found another project to finish.

A word to the wise:  don't sew when you're annoyed.  Just...don't.  You end up sewing sh-- upside down and backwards, and your seam ripper becomes your best friend for the night.


 Good news, though, peeps.  

It all worked out.

 Lizzie Kate.  Gotta love her words of wisdom.  

I used a strip of a Moda jelly roll that I have leftover from this pillow project I did a while back (which may not be available anymore, for which i apologize in advance if you search & search & can't find it...), and with the brown/yellow/pink theme, I thought it fit well with the stitched piece on front.

I stuffed it, but still have to close off the bottom, which is why the seam looks all bunched.

Whatever.  It was a long night with the seam ripper and pink thread.  You're over it.

Crazy part of all this?  Simply by using my left brain all night, I felt better about the day in general.  Now, today's a different story, but I'll worry about that as the day drags on...

Much love ~~~


I Finally Took The Plunge | Baking

My Sunbeam Mixmaster and I have a tumoltuous relationship.  So, this weekend, I went out and made a purchase.

This came today. 

I may never leave the house again.

I'm also reconsidering opening a bakery.

Wait.  0300.  Nevermind.  

I'll just have to go overboard with the stuff I bring into the office.  I doubt my coworkers will mind.

Stitchers! Today is the Superbowl Sale over at my LNS, The Strawberry Sampler! 20% off everything, including online orders all day today.

So, for those of you outside the Delaware County (PA) area, head on over to their website and stock up for your stash!!

Happy Sunday! :-)

Weekender post.

Happy weekend, everyone :-)

I don't know about any of you guys, but this week was particularly mentally draining.

So much so, that I would find myself daydreaming about opening a needlework/fabric shop in a town like Asheville, and never looking back.  

I was organizing some pics on my computer - putting them into albums, deleting duplicates, etc. - and came across some that I'd forgotten I'd taken.


Took this at Barnes & Noble one night when I was there reading my nook & sipping some coffee.  The endless books just captivate me, much like libraries do, and I always feel like I need to start reading  One of my goals for 2013 is to read more, since I definitely didn't do enough of it last year.

This is a splice of a giant metal sign outside the King Arthur Flour baking education center that I snapped just before my gluten-free baking class I took last summer; the right side is a snap of their store.  I could have wandered around there for hours looking at all the amazing baking supplies they have.  Being there around all those bakers made me want to open a gluten-free bakery when I got home.  Then I remembered bakers have to get up around 0300 to start baking.  So.....nevermind.


Working with paper, stamps, and all the fun embellishments is so much fun.  From making little gift tags like this one with the shoe (adorbs, amiright?) to cards or big scrapbooks like I made for my sister, the art of papercrafting is addicting.  Maybe one day I'll do some custom mini-albums or even a big album for all those brides out there who need help preserving their memories...

But, as most of you know, cross stitch is my passion.  Without my needle and thread, I just don't know how I'd get through some days.  Most days, when I'm sitting at work totally exaspirated, I think of how and where I'd open a needlework shop, what classes I'd offer, and how much sewing fabric I'd stock, so that those stitchers who do their own finishing (for pieces they decide not to frame) have one-stop-shopping.  I'd even have a sitting area so you can bring your stitching, have some coffee from my pot, and join me for the afternoon for stitching and chatting.  

That, my friends, is my idea of Heaven on Earth.

Have a wonderful weekend!  Thank you so much for stopping by my little piece of the Internet world.

Much love to you all.