Rambling into 2011

It's really funny how things unfold sometimes, isn't it?  Here is an example which I feel the need to ramble about. 

It happened while I was pondering this happy little spot yesterday.  Thinking about the types of things I post about, wondering if I go on about certain things too much or if I am neglecting other things.  Thinking deeply about what I am hoping to accomplish with this space and how I will know if I am successful. 

You know... all those thought provoking items.

I cozied in with a cup of green energy tea and look what I found on the tea bag tag...

How's that for right on!?!!

I look forward to taking on my mission to seek and be happy very seriously in 2011 and of course share large doses of that here.

And how about a sew-a-thon?  I have seen lots of comments about how my adventures might be inspiring you to pick up a needle and thread or dust off your sewing machine -- and I'm all about that! 

So, let me know... maybe we could start with some hand sewing to make say... a pin cushion, small dolly, or one of those fabulous fabric birds?  We could progress to an apron, tiny tiny quilt or anything really.  Sky's the limit!  So, it's not really a sew-a-thon more like... 'I Know I Can Sew' or a 'I Told Me Sew', or 'You Can Sew Do It!'  Can't wait to hear what you think, pick a start date and give it a go... if we start in January we could make something for say Valentines Day, St. Paddy's Day, Mother's Day -- so cute -- I'm getting out of hand, ha!

Alright lovelies, I hope your path is revealing itself for you as well.  It's the smallest things sometimes that give you the biggest nudges.  Let them move you!


I'm totally spoiled!

I was so totally spoiled for Christmas this year. 

Mr. Happy came up with the most thoughtful and amazing gifts... to include a new camera (I will be sure to show you some of the other things over the next few posts).  I am still getting used to the new settings and fun things I can do with it -- most importantly I am getting used to the revised process I need to follow to get pictures on here to share with you. 

Here are some snaps from the last few days!

Our Christmas tree all lite up with the pup posing adorably in front.  Last Christmas she passed out under the tree which you can see here.

I have taken a bunch of these type of close-ups as I play with the amazing zoom, detail, and clarity.  Aren't Katie's whiskers beautiful here?

We managed to get out in the chilly air for a number family walks/hikes.  Our lake is really frozen, snow covered and so pretty this time of year!

Katie thinks so too!  She enjoyed rolling in the snow and walking on the ice a bit.

Then the humungo snow storm rolled through leaving us with about a foot of snow and lots of wind.  Again, Katie and snow are best friends -- it's been a lot of fun so far! 

I even got to put a new sled to good use.  I had no idea that Katie would come charging after me and bark like a maniac at the sled.  Bad sled... how dare you take my momma away from me that fast!!

Look how high the snow comes up on Katie's legs!! 

And I just thought this dainty sniff of the plant was so cute!  The new camera can take pictures FAST!  I don't have any reasons to miss a shot.

Such a serious girl with such big soulful eyes!

And, yes, I have been spending some time in the sewing room!  Here are some triangles that were turned into windmills -- I've been having a hankering for making up a few.

I have also been playing with tulips -- anyone else thinking spring yet?

These have a sort of scrappy look to them that I love!  I have since sashed them together using the same neutral background to form a square table runner for a friends round table.

It's hip to be square!  I think I will be sandwiching this tonight as I had an 'Ah Ha' moment late last night when I figured out what the backing should look like. 

Any thoughts on how to quilt this up?  I wonder what texture would make the petals look more like well, petals?

And that's what my new camera has been taking in! 

I am also dreaming up what 2011 will look like here at this happy spot.  I have a new idea for a weekly meme, I am sure I will be showing you lots more sewing and crafts, the hiking and outdoor imagery will continue, and don't forget lots and lots of Katie!! 

While I am dreaming and planning... any thoughts on things you would like to see more or less of?  Should I keep the origami tuts going?  Are you tired of seeing so much Katie (hope you say no)?  Should I bring more cooking/baking posts back?  Let me know what you heart fancies and I will see what I can do to accommodate!  After all, if it weren't for you coming over... this would just a be a spot where I talk to myself... and that would be plain 'ole weird! 

Work in Progress (WIP) Stats
Last WIP Wednesday Total: (going to omit this time as I am fairly new to this)
New Projects: 1 (tulip table runner )
Finished Projects: 0
Total WIP's: 2 (tulip table runner shown above and X Marks the Spot quilt progress shown here and here)

---Linking to Midweek Blues and W.I.P. Wednesday!---


Quilted Gifts, I can finally show you or not.

I made a few things as gifts this year -- and now that I can show you without the chance of ruining the surprise... I am realizing I never really took final pictures of things. 

*smacking my hand on my head*

I guess I didn't even trusted myself with pictures in fear I would ruin the surprises. 

Oh well.  Remember the purple table runner I was working on here and here?  Well, here is the almost done shot of it.  It's quilted with big loopy-doopies (very technical quilt term) and I just hadn't added the binding yet.  I went with scrappy purple binding and it sure was a hit come present opening time!!

And, yes, I failed a second time... remember that red and pink girly table runner I was working on and teased you with here

Well, it turned out to be so darn beautiful -- one of my favorites!!  I think I got away with only using 5 fat quarters in total for this project!  I went with a more simple quilting diagonally through the diamonds.  The binding ended up being made from that darker red color (I think).

I can see making up a few more of these in different color schemes for other holidays! 

I also finished the mug rugs I began to show you here.  And nope, I'm a dork and didn't take a finished picture of these either.  Total failure on my part x 3.
Maybe I should have called this post Invisible Finshed Quilted Gifts.  Oh well.  Just means I will have to grab a snap of these being used down the road.

And yes, my machine is humming again.  Can't wait to show you what's cookin' now!


Happy Moment #11: Christmas Puppy

A Friday ritual with Soulemama.  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary, happy moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments too!

The celebrating has started in the Happy house!  

I want to wish you and your families an amazing holiday, a zillion laughs and smiles, and for that warm squishy feeling to last well into February!  I'll be back in time for New Years eve!


Flowers and Mug Rugs

The Mr. brought me flowers. *swoon*

These are cyclamen and the color just perks me up every time I see them!

 Aren't the leaves pretty too!

I was working on some small mug rug projects for my brother and his fiance last night.  He got engaged this year and I thought it would be fun to make him a little memento of that memory. 

I will probably stitch in the date they picked to get married to help him remember when to show up -- I kid, I kid!

Designing these are fun.  My brother proposed under a full moon, so I was trying to depict a beach with a starry night sky and big round full moon.  Lots of fun!!

Hers corresponds with a big 'ole YES! and that white triangle will be fashioned into the diamond of a ring.  (excuse the lumpiness in this photo)

They have selected blues and yellows for their July wedding theme.  I think that makes these even more special since I'm using those colors!  I have already picked out the backing and binding and hopefully these will finish up easily tonight!

I think I will package these will a little hot cocoa to make these into a cute joint gift!


Katie's Hiking Adventures

There is now about an inch of snow on the ground... funny how these photos feel like they are from so long ago... even though its only been about a month.

Oh how things change.

I thought we could use a comic break from the crafting, sewing, and prepping overload and tune into Katie's Hiking Adventures with her best friend.

And they hiked happily ever after -- the end.

We are certainly way overdue for another one of these.  I dug my snow boots out last night and plan to take advantage of the sunny weather and get outside with the pup over the next few days.

The frolicking and silliness will be the same, but the setting will be more frozen, gray-blue-white, and chilly.

Don't forget to take a break from all the holiday madness and re-center yourself so you can enjoy the next few days.  Yes, that's right.... deep breath in through the mouth and out slowly through the nose. 

That's better!


Warm Snuggly Birds ("B" don't look)

If your name starts with a "B"... and ends with an "A"... and you might be my sister-in-law... then do me a favor and come back after Christmas?  Yes, these birds are flying your way... but seriously... don't ruin the surprise -- love ya!!

Naked birds?  Can't have that.

For those of us who know people with bird decked Christmas tree's then these are a must make!

I bought a package of doves from the local craft store.  I'm sure really any birds would do -- well, maybe not vultures or crows.

Hello in there!  How's it goin'?

I took a pile 'o scraps from recent projects and began the task of making little neck warmers for these fine feathered lovelies!

"You're making those for me?"

"May I have a red one?"

For the size of these birds I used a 2 inch fabric strip.  Folded in half - right sides together.  Sewed down the open end.

A trick to turn small things inside out is to pin a safety pin at one end and use the pin to feed the fabric through.

And there you have it!  One red scarf for a tiny little bird.  Before I secured this one on I made a bunch more scarves.

Here are a bunch of scarves together.  I did cut the ends to make it look fringed.  Fun small details make my day!

I ended up using a hot glue gun to keep the scarves in place.  One dob on the back of the neck and then another under the criss-cross felt very secure to keep these in place.

Fashionable no?

Here is the family of birds together all with their new neck wear to show off!  I then just slipped these guys back in their original box and wrapped up this giftie!

Looking back on these pictures today, I am hoping they have something on their feel to be used to secure them to the tree branches -- like a twistie-tie or something.  If not, I am sure we can come up with something!!

Fun to take something a bit plain and give it some personalized flare!!

Hope you are staying with that festive holiday mojo and smiling while you are doing whatever it is your doing!!


Friday Night Sew-In

Friday Night Sew-In, hosted by Homemade by Heidi,  is all about committing to 'you time' to work on a sewing project each month -- this is the second one this month!!

I started the night with a plan that looked like this:

Sewed a bunch of three blocks together.

Ironed them all up.

Landed with some scraps that needed to be snipped off.

Made a large pile of thread.

And finished a large glorious stack of blocks!!

I still don't know if I have enough, but I am hoping to begin laying them out today and get a feeling for what the final design will look like.  I am enjoying how easy this quilt is coming together -- like it's meant to be! 

Don't you just love when a plan comes together?!!  Have an awesome weekend!!


Happy Moment #10: Nose Under Toy

A Friday ritual with Soulemama.  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary, happy moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments too!

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
~Omar Khayyam


Pierre Announces the Little Birdie Winner!!

Pierre's regrets he could not make today's post (he was lost on my sewing bench somewhere, so missed out on the group photos), but he has instead sent his friends Basile, Cosme, Gustave, and Louis to announce the WINNER of the Little Fabric Birdie Giveaway!!

Aren't French names just wonderful for these little feathered friends?

Winner winner chicken dinner!!  -- don't you love saying that... quick... what movie is that quote from?

There were 15 entries.... and some very happy things shared...

... and the winner is...

drum roll please

... Congratulations to Seaweed and Raine who said:
The scent of summer in the air after a ripping summer storm, the giggle of my one year old son when he sees something that you or I would normally miss, and giving gifts to others makes me happy! :)

Whoopie!  Don't we all love a fun giveaway?!!

Anywho, I spent last night cutting more Fandango (shared the strip tease yesterday here).  The pattern I'm making up is starting to become more clear. 

Don't you just adore the aqua, pink, brown, and yellow combos here?  And there is even a splash of orange thrown in for good measure!  *adore!*

Here is what I am thinking for the blocks.  Trying to create a whole mess of "X's" or crosses... the name noodling around in my head is something like the "X" Marks the Spot Quilt. 

Tonight and tomorrow I am planning on a whole mess of block sewing!!  I think these will be about 6 1/2 inch blocks when finished... I'm still trying to decide if they need a border around them or if I will just make more blocks to reach my twin size quilt. 

No clue.  Just winging it.  And loving every moment!! 

Hope you are loving every moment of your day too!


Cutting into Fandango (Moda)

Don't forget... today is the last day to enter my giveaway for a little fabric birdie -- the post is here and entry is a quick comment that mentions a happy thought; go go go!! 

The winner will be announced later this evening!

There is something weepy eyed about cutting into your first ever jellyroll.  I have had this lovely cheerful fabric roll sitting on my desk for a few weeks now. 

I pet her.  I talk to her.  I tell her she will make a beautiful quilt some day.  I have even used her as a prop in some of my photos.

But it was time.

Time to tug on that ribbon and unroll this beauty so that I could begin plotting for what I would turn her into.  Now that Christmas gifties are made and wrapped and my sewing table is somewhat returned to a cleaner state.

This feels a bit like a strip tease, doesn't it?

Fandango, your fun and festive.  I am so inspired by your prints and wild wonderful bold colors!

The ribbon is off!

She begins to untwirl.  More and more prints are beginning to show!

I still have no clue which is my favorite of the bunch... they all have such lovely cheery qualities!!

All laid out on my ironing board for planning!

I do have a plan in mind.  I have begun cutting.  I should have my first block assembled tonight.  I am aiming for a large twin sized quilt.  I'm not going to say another word... but you can expect to see more of Ms. Fandango in the very near future!

I also got a really cool package in the mail yesterday from the lovely Happy Cottage Quilter.  I found the Happy Cottage a few weeks ago and knew I would want to see more so I quickly added her to my RSS feed and followed her. 

And what do you know.. I was her 400th follower.  Yes, the big 4-0-0!!  

Just look at this amazing package she sent in thanks!  A pretty hand written card...

A book that is already teaching me so many fun ways to use the insane amount of fat quarters I have collected recently.

Just look at this project  you can see why I am really going to enjoy diving in and picking out a project to try!  Looks a bit like a wiggle worm quilt!

And there's more! I know I felt like I was opening such a treat!  Fabrics!!  Bold, girly, rock my pants fabrics!!  Now you know what is sitting on my desk getting the pets in place of Ms. Fandango!

That little bird makes my day and how pretty is that white on green print?  So much fun!!  Thank you very much Happy Cottage; I look forward to reading your posts and getting to know you!

Hope you are having a great day and up to your elbows in projects that make you smile!
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