Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sweet As Honey Hangtags

I've hinted a time or two about a couple techniques that I've been working with a lot recently. Quilters have been using freezer paper appliqué technique for quite a while now, but I've been having a lot of fun using it in non-quilting projects... and I just can't seem to get enough of it!

I've always loved combining fabric and paper, and I'm really pleased with the way these hangtags turned out... aren't they sweet? They can really add that extra touch to lots of things.



So, curious how I did it?...  I'll show you next week just how easy it is.

Bonnie Christine's "Sweet as Honey" fabrics found here

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hung out to Dry

I recently discovered the world of Tim Holtz, and wow, I have to say that I am totally smitten! Since I am so caught up in what's going on in the fabric world, perhaps what those in the paper world consider being common knowledge, is just now a new discovery for me. Tim's work is beyond amazing, and I would even compare him to what Amy Butler or Anna Maria Horner are in the fabric scene!

I found these super sweet little coat hanger paper clips... and what a great way to combine a few left over fabric snippets and paper to make these cute mini "thank you" cards.

Of course, if you want to make your own hanger paper clips, here's a great tutorial that I found on Pinterest on how to do it yourself.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Der April weiß nicht was er will

"The April doesn't know what it wants" is a very common phrase in Germany... and I know exactly why. Often I find it difficult simply trying to figure out what to wear for the day. Not because I am a fashion diva trying to get just the right look, but because the weather in Germany can go from bright and sunny in one minute to overcast and dark the next, flip to rain, and then back to sun again. Perhaps it's just in Northern Germany that one experiences such indecisive weather, but as it's often said in Hamburg... if you don't like the weather, then just wait fifteen minutes. (sometimes quite true)

But I have to say that I am holding onto the saying:

Bunnies that spring,
Larks that sing,
Will certainly,
the Springtime bring.


Springtime... where are you? April, you look seemingly grey today.

Pillow with free motion quilting technique and Hippity-Hop bunny felt applique.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dawanda Shop Spring Sale

12% Rabatt - jetzt in unserem Dawanda Shop! Das Special findet von Donnerstag, den 27.03.2014 bis Sonntag, den 06.04.2014 statt. Jeden Tag werden unterschiedliche DaWanda-Hauptkategorien beworben.

12% discount - now in our Dawanda shop! From Thursday March 27th to Sunday April 6th. Every day different categories on sale!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hippity-Hop Restyled

Without a doubt, springtime really is my favorite time of year. Spring green is my favorite shade of my favorite color, and I love all those first signs of life that sneak out of the greys and drabs that winter left behind. So, it would only be fitting for me to be in full swing with spring projects.

I've been working with two quilting techniques a lot lately in non-quilting projects, and I just can't seem to get enough... the first is free motion quilting, and the other I'll show you later. If you've been with me for a while, you may remember this friendly little rabbit from my "Hippity-Hop" projects... so, here he is again, restyled using  fresh new fabrics and my "Freshly Watered" ribbon, all in a cute embroidery hoop that can be used so many places.

For my English readers, "frohe Ostern" is "Happy Easter" in German... enjoy!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Flip Side of the Pond Friday

Just a short little intro…I thought it might be fun to start a non-sewing related regular post about what it is like to live on this side of the pond. I've often been asked if there is a big difference between the U.S. and Germany. I love the way one can answer this in German... Jein. (combination between Ja/yes and Nein/no) 

Other than the obvious backdrop of old architecture, differences in houses, and landscape, the differences are not as blaring as one might expect. But they are there and they are subtle. With Flip Side of the Pond Friday, I simply want to share an outsider's viewpoint of those small little details that make me realize that this is not the place that I grew up calling home. I'd love it if you join in with your own stories.


**********************************************************************************

I can still vividly remember the very first trip that I ever made to Germany. My then future husband had made arrangements for various mini-trips, events, and meeting family and friends during my short stay. I can remember one visit with his friends, while still being greeted at the door, we were kindly asked to remove our shoes. Normally I would have been more than happy to oblige them on their kind request, except for the fact that for this trip I had severely under packed and even worse underestimated the weather, thinking in terms of the already spring and summer-like weather I had just left back in sunny North Carolina. I remember not only having cold feet the entire night, but that I had to sit on them the whole evening just to keep them warm.

At first, I just chalked the incident up to the fact that perhaps they were just overly protective about their newly installed wooden floors. But the longer I've lived here, the more encounters I've had with people asking me to take my shoes off upon arrival. Sure, if they are super muddy, soaking wet, or just plain full of dirt it's obvious to me, but this is almost a phenomenon that I had never experienced before.

At my son's kindergarten, greeting all visitors at the front door, one finds oversized, giant wool slippers that might appear to have been left behind by some Jack-and-the-Beanstalk character. For the non-native, they look quite odd. But what one is actually supposed to do with them, is slip them over your existing shoes, and glide from room to room so as not to track dirt throughout the whole building. Any German reading this would probably think, ummm, yeah, sounds logical, so what's the big deal? I suppose it's not really a big deal unless you've never seen anything like this before. I completely understand the logic behind this, but nonetheless it is a spectacle which would leave most Americans not quite knowing what to say.

But since living here, I have learned that while in Rome, do as the Romans do... packing your house shoes/slippers for everywhere you visit is a MUST - friends homes, any children's activities found in a gym, and even church!

As with most comparisons... no wrongs, no rights... just different.

Any stories from your side of the pond?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Freshly Watered" a Proper Introduction

Since last year was such a huge whirlwind for me,  I never really had a chance to make a proper introduction for something that was pretty major for me. This past year I was able to add new colors and designs to my exsisting ribbon collection!

So, I continued with the theme "Freshly Watered" and added cute watering cans and swirling tulips to the sweet flower girl and garden friends ribbons.







It really is super fullfilling to see your own sketches and doodlings realized in something tangable. Stay tuned for a couple ribbon projects in the next weeks.

Spring is just around the corner... I can hardly wait, and you?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Confused?... Let Me Explain

Well, I would actually say that my husband is to blame... perhaps I should explain...


... this past week while searching for some new gadget (aka toy) on one of those big online shopping sites,  my hubby asked me if there was anything that I would like to add to his order while he was at it. There were, in fact, two things that I had on my wish list. So, one really could come to quite a logical conclusion that it was his fault... (right?)


No, you are not having hallucinations, no, you don't need to adjust your computer screen, no,  you don't have my blog mixed up with someone else's, no, I don't flip out quilts like pancakes, BUT... the reality of it is that you may have just found yourself stumbling into the realm of a highly distracted person.


One new quilting quilting book (my FIRST ever!), a little snip, snip, and a few hours later, I found myself starting another quilt! How crazy is that?!? I must say that I am very pleased with the progress that I have made so far, and it might appear that this could end up being my first quilt.


I guess it might be quite fitting since these fabrics are from the lady who inspired me to start selling fabrics in the first place.

... until our next distraction encounter.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Piece by Piece

So, how about if I let you all in on a little something that I've been working on over the last couple of months. Nope, no baby news! It's actually something that I am somewhat hesitant about sharing. Perhaps the enormity of it has been one of the main reasons that I've never done it in the first place….

... I started a quilt.

 There it is... wheh, it's out there now. No pressure huh? I've been kicking the idea around for quite some time now, and shortly before Christmas, I decided to take the plunge. This is actually something that is pretty big for me since I like quick little projects where I have something to show for it after the end of the weekend.

I actually marvel at some of the quilting blogs out there flipping out quilt after quilt like they are pancakes. But I assure you that this is not what you will get here. No, no... I am still too easily distracted, too easily whisked away by a flight of the moment inspiration that leaves far too many UFO's decorating my "to-be-finished" pile. In fact, it's something that I don't even foresee as being completed by the end of the year. 

BUT, I do not intend for this to remain unfinished. Sew a little bit… on the backburner... sew a little more... back on the backburner, well, you get the idea. And I am actually O.K. with this. I have been saving up some of my favorite Anna fabrics, and I have every intention, no… I am determined, that this WILL end up being the quilt that lands on my bed one day.


I guess with the line of work that I am in,  it is high time that I started…. how about you? Any long term projects in the making?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Up To Speed


Where has the past year gone?

I guess a lot of people might ponder such a question after the whirlwind of the winter holidays has come to an end. Once things have actually settled into a day to day routine and everyday life begins again, the question is usually long forgotten.

I am not pondering the question because I am such a reflective person, with regular and insightly annual reviews followed by a goals and to-do list, but actually the question for me is really quite matter-of-fact... where has the last year gone?

One of the main reasons that I put things on pause was because over the last year, I have hardly had any time for myself. I've not had much time to be creative, or if I did have the time, then I was too tired. Working busily all day thinking... if I can just make it until the kids are in bed, then the rest of the evening will be spent behind the hum of the sewing machine. Many wishes that were never realized. And, if I'm not making anything how could I share anything? Or if I did make something, then there was not enough time to take photos and post about it. Quite frankly my silence was simply that I was busy just simply living life.

It seems that almost everyone I meet, everyone I know is on constant overload. Did things run at such a fast pace a generation ago... even back to our grandparents' days?

When I scan through our 2013 photo folder, looking for evidence of the year, I ask myself the same redundant question... where did it go?

Well, SPRING was just about surviving... running after a quite lively and active three year old...


... tickling the toes of a six month old, strategically planting kisses on just the right spot...
 

... and husband away on week long work trips. I barely remember many moments where I just sat down. Sleep was the excption and not the rule.

Then we managed to make it to SUMMER...

five whole weeks at home with my family... afternoons by the pool, snuggled in one king size bed with all the cousins and the grandparents for a movie night, ice cream runs, grill evenings with every sunny day eating outside, choo-choo train rides, fireworks,  4th of July, family, friends, naps outside, multiple trips to the fabric store with a favorite aunt, visits with a much missed grandmother, WAL- MART!!!, learning to crawl, stand.... then wobbly walking, running after the crawling, wobbly walker...


... and then we whizzed right into...

FALL which usually mirrors spring, but with the exception that the two little guys could now both suddenly do more, kindergarden began for the big guy, hubby still gone, and preparations for our big annual show while hubby was still gone.

... and somehow we fell right back to WINTER again, barely back on solid ground because of the yearlong merry-go-round. Quiet and still winter months, creating new family traditions all while missing my own childhood memories, and feeling deeply the hole that has been left because of the people that I once shared them with.

... January... hmmm,  is it really January again?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Filling in the Pieces

Did you ever start something and you weren't really sure why you started it? I mean a project without an end goal, something without vision and planning, maybe falling into something because it just sounded like fun?


When I first started blogging, it was for various reasons... growing my business here in Germany, connecting to customers on a personal level, keeping up with my family and friends back in the States, journaling my emersion into my new country, and well, simply as an outlet for me. Writing has always been the best way that I can express myself, but somewhere along the way my vision for blogging and inspiration were no longer clear.

With having two children my life changed. I changed. My days got busier, the list of things to do got longer, my time got shorter, priorities changed and with it blogging slid from the top of the list. The funny thing is that even though I haven't posted in months, I don't really feel like I have quit. Perhaps, I am looking for the right time to jump back in. I saw a blog post recently where someone had not posted on their blog in well over a year. Then all of a sudden, there they were again. They proceeded with a seemingly normal blog post as if a year's time had never passed. 



But now I guess I don't want to just jump back in and show project after project without even saying - hey, remember me…yeah, I know, I've been gone a long time. But yet somehow I need to have a clear definition for myself of why I actually want to blog. What is my purpose? Do I want to be a crafting and sewing blog making efforts to move and inspire my German readers while feeling a certain disconnection to those who only quietly stop by, but never connect with me feeling that either their English is not good enough or not being certain of my German abilities? Or do I want this to be primarily a  personal journal of my life… what moves me, what I feel and am passionate about? The question for me is, can one really combine both?

I'm still sorting, defining, and trying to find balance, but in the same respect, I am not ready to plunge back into things again full force. This is just perhaps a slight little "wiggling my fingers"  to show that there are still signs of life. Slow and gradual, easing back into things as inspiration comes… this is my simple plan for now.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Back on the Saddle Again!

... just in case you were wondering, no, 40 didn't send me into a great depression, but just really busy with some big projects. Wanna sneak peak?





... so, how are you?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Six Months...



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Three Years...


Yup, it's hard to believe, but it's been three big years already....
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