Monday, November 21, 2011

Exciting Announcement

Jess and I have been talking a LOT. Yes we always talk a LOT but over the last few weeks our conversations have been specifically about teaming up and we've finally decided to blog together- so beginning today we will cease to be Chaotic and Insane, and instead just be Blissful. We do most of our creating together, I always have to do all of the sewing (it's a sweat shop I tell ya!), Jess of course thinks she has all the best ideas, so we just thought it would be easier to stop fighting over who gets to take credit!
We really hope you will follow us over to our new blog - we've even decided to bribe you, so click on over  to see what's up.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Years ago when I was lots younger, with young kids, and not a lot of cash, I still wanted to give everyone Christmas gifts. I decided to make napkins! I used the most lovely calico fabrics, enclosing each square with a mitered corner frame. As ugly as we'd all think they are now, I worked very hard on making them perfect, and I used mine untill they died. I think my Mom is the only one maybe still hanging on to a couple. (Love you mom!)
A few weeks ago I went to the Jacksonville quilt show. I had a great time wandering through seeing some amazing quilts, trying out long arms (oh how I miss you Millenium) and looking through shops. Jacksonville very few fabric shops for such a large city, so it was fun to see such variety in one place. 
At one shop I spotted this piece of Farmers Market by Sandi Henderson and not far from that I saw a fabric I'd not seen before. I found out it's by Hoodie, whom I've also never heard of, though she has been designing fabric for years. This line is called Vegie Patch. The eggplant fabric was all I could find at the show. There on the spot I decided to revisit my napkin making. We go through a lot of napkins but I also do a lot of laundry so why not combine the two.... After looking at the line, the eggplant is my favorite, but I want to get the others to make more napkins, four is not enough.
They finished out at about 22 inches. I love the mitered corners. I made these by just wrapping the fabric from the back and framing my focus fabric. The solid green is Kona Grass. Is there anything you made years ago that you've decided to make again? I wonder if in twenty more years I'll think this fabric was a "lovely" choice?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Shirts For the Boy

I love, love, love dress shirts on men, even/or especially on little guys. I purchased an extra large dress shirt while back in Germany because the fabric was a yummy Italian cotton. I thought I'd re-purpose it for myself but when Jess asked me to make Micah a shirt I knew that this was a better option. I used the Sketchbook Shirt pattern by Oliver & S again. It goes together so simply. Even though I like to use a real stand up collar on bigger shirts, this one is easy to make in a short time, and really, spending a lot of time making small clothes that will usually be outgrown before they are worn out is kind of silly. Now, ask me how long it took me to finish these...... no don't, because I don't want to tell.
Meet Mac, my size 2 kids mannequin that I got for $25.00 at a very cute shop that went out of business. I was very sad to see the shop close but since I didn't know it was happening, I was very glad that I went in time to rescue him. Don't make fun of him please, if I ever decide to dress him as a girl.

Oh how I love stripes.
I got very tired of trying to remember what sizes I've made for Micah and on these shirts with a yoke facing the solution was simple. Pooh to my machine for messing up the number 8.

I also had some gingham that I'd been gifted ( I cannot remember who gave it to me! It had been used for table clothes?) anyway, as some of you have already seen, it was put to good use for Micah's first birthday.
 It's so fun to see this little guy running around in things I've made!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Emptying the Cupboard II

Back when I worked at the most amazing shop on earth, I ordered this fabric. Avignon by American Jane for Moda. I started this sample, the whole bolt of red focus fabric sold, and I lost momentum. I was using a pattern from this book and had even sewn most of the left over odd shaped triangles together for the edging. 

It went into the cupboard and never came out again  
Fast forward two years.....Out comes the project. I realize there is not enough of anything to finish this project, and I'm determined to finish it without spending any more money. After a panic, a cup of   coffee and messing a bit carefully planning, I found some blue kona in my stash, unpicked all those triangles and set them on their sides, then used the kona for the corner blocks and backing. What looks like a wide binding is actually the backing wrapped to the front and the corners mitered. 
Since it will be used as a tablecloth, I didn't use batting. After sewing it together I hand quilted some of the hexagons with a size 5 variegated pearl thread.
Whew! Done, just in time for a picnic before the weather changes!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Emptying the Cupboard I

This will be the first of a few posts on finishing projects. I have this cupboard that Jess gathered all of my unfinished projects into and I couldn't get the door shut. It made me sad. She basically told me to either throw it away or get the silly things done. She can be tough but she did finish a rug for me to get me started. I whined a bit more and then I got started. This is my first finish, now I just need to remember how to go to the post office.

I could also have titled this, "Sorry I Didn't Answer the Phone Mom, I Was Working On Your Quilt" or maybe..... "Yes Mom, Your Quilt IS Done But No, It's Not In The Mail".
 Please, please ignore the lint.
When my mom was out for a visit last year she asked if I would make her a quilt for her guest room. I told her yes, but only if she'd help. So she decided she wanted a Turning Twenty, picked out her fabrics, helped me cut them up, and before she left we almost had the top done. I finished the borders fairly quickly and started quilting it, and then I started working  and my life went kinda topsy-turvy stopped. About two months ago with Jess, Micah and You Know Who keeping me company, I finished the simple (really?) straight line quilting. I used a blue variegated thread which made a nice grid pattern on the back. It finished out queen size with a bit of overhang, I hope..
I should have taken pictures of Micah and Grandpa "helping" me mark the lines... I hollered a lot, they thought it was funny. Sorry mom, even after a washing it'a a bit used (and still full of lint).
Oh, and Mom, it is in a box... I need to set it in front of the door so I won't forget to take it to the post office...

For those that are still reading, and asked where I work and what I do now, this is for you. Through a series of strange timing and weirdly connected events I am now working as an office manager for a small company that specializes in an area of building, both commercial and upper end residential. I really like it and if I can learn everything they need me to do in a timely manner, I think they'll really like me. No, it's not in the crafty creative vein that I love so much but it is a position where I take care of things and people, so now I concentrate on the part of me that likes organization. Judging from the first part of my post I've neglected that side a bit too long eh? It is funny though, I did manage to meld a bit of what I learned about display to make the books that hold the jobs legible. Such a little thing and it made me happy.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Apparently sometime in August I stopped blogging.
Sorry I forgot to say anything, I never really informed myself.
I looked at the blog one day and realized it's been three months. 
Things are good and I've missed you.
I'm mostly sorry because I've not looked in on your posts as often as I used to.

I've been.....
having fun
working lots
sewing some
searching for that elusive thing called balance
watching a boy grow

 I've had.....
old friends visit
new friends visit
a wonderful job opportunity come along

There are....
new walls in my house
less weeds in my garden
more laugh lines on my face

I am......
watching a boy grow
enjoying my family
learning a new job
slowly but surely, emptying my unfinished projects cupboard

I'll try and be back soon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Chairs?

I was in a second hand store a couple of months ago with Jessica. I spotted these folding chairs and really liked them. They weren't too old but they had some personality. 
I didn't get them. 
I couldn't stop thinking that I'd made a mistake. 
I needed a small chair for You Know Who's office. One that a I could sit in but wouldn't take up too much space.
I thought the folding chair would work even though the seat was ugly. 
 They were supposed to be marked down at one month. I decided that if they were still there, then it was meant to be. 
They were there, I got them a bit cheaper,  and I still had some yummy leather left from my dining chairs makeover.
 I got them just in time. The chair I had been using in my sewing room had to be thrown out. 
These are very versatile. I love the way they look in our work spaces and in our living spaces when we have company. So far we haven't needed to store them but if we do, the folding option is nice!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Long Overdue

I bought this chair a long, long, long, long time ago. Ugly gold fabric a broken spring but the "bones" were good. I asked Jessica to send me a couple of things, among the things was some beautiful silk dupioni she bought in the LA fabric district, then I realized I needed a couple more things, then I lost momentum.
Do not look at the wonky springs and strapping, It's all wrong but it's what I had. 
Fast forward six years to last week..... Jessica un-buried the chair and demanded I finish it. She got me started again and after she left, I managed to finish! I even remembered that I love doing stuff like this. I made some mistakes and learned some new things. I will use this at my desk, a desk that I should show you one day. 
 I kinda love it a lot.
Next on the agenda, Jess has researched how to eight-way hand tie and I have this couch....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Whether She Wanted It Or Not

One of my co-workers had a birthday last week. With only two days to come up with something, I decided on a bag. We don't know each other well, but you know me..... I'd rather make a gift than purchase something. I made it up as I went along because that's the way I roll these days. I may have gone a bit out of her comfort zone color-wise. It's kind of a lunch bag, carry-all type of thing.
 I took these pictures with my phone the morning I finished it.
 I should have been on my way to work.
 The color is brighter than I remember it being. Poor woman, I think she prefers black.....
It's the thought that counts.... right??

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Jelly Roll 1600

Have you heard of this? It's one of those things you can easily do instead of doing a million other things you should be doing. I twisted Jessica's arm the other night and made her sew the majority of the top. I first saw it here and also here. Some quilters race to see who can finish sewing first. I have a lot few jelly roll type fabrics sitting around collecting dust  as decoration. We chose the Charisma line and within a couple of hours (way over the fastest race time) had a fun lap size top. It's now in the pile of unfinished projects until I get to the next step.
Do you have 40 strips of fabric lying around doing nothing? You might want to try this for fun!

Friday, August 5, 2011

So Very Behind

On things I want to share......
Been mostly just living in the moment and barely remembering to take pictures. When I do, things can get a bit silly. The results are not pretty. 
You've been warned.

I made another Butterick 4789 from fabric I bought on my last trip to Hilco with Kelly. (Miss you!) I'd been meaning to make it and when I realized how well it went with my skirt, I finally took the time. I love it.
Not sure what I was doing with my face. 
This was the only decent close-up. I was trying to make a point to Jess about relaxing and having fun with photos. She thought I wouldn't be crazy brave enough to post them.
Just before this silly photo shoot, a friend arrived to do a live blood analysis. She had to poke my finger to get the a fore mentioned live blood. That face?? What can I say, I don't like pain and Jess you're mean! 
Poor Charlotte didn't know whether to laugh at me or slap me but she is a kind gentile lady and chose to smile through the the three second ordeal.
This was very interesting. My blood is fairly healthy for my age...... She did have some suggestions for changes I can make that could make it even better and possibly help me to feel more energetic. I'm working on those now. 
 I've been told time and time again that the only reason you all keep coming back is to see the boy. I know it's true so I've decided to leave you with these cute boy shots. Last week we were fortunate enough to wake up with he and his mom in the house. I decided to torment him with the triangle bag again. He's beginning to see it has  some advantages.
He's so fun and so funny! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Jessica's Skirt

You may remember (or not) the this skirt. It was Jessica's desire that I make her a copy of one of her favorite skirts from Ann Taylor. Silly me, I still haven't photographed her in the original inspiration. Nor have I finished my first attempt.... Finally though, I have made her skirt. I used some cotton lawn by Alexander Henry. It feels lovely and she looks so cute in it!

I love the pocket detail.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Triangle Pillow

Does it ever feel like things are just flying by faster than you care for?
It's how I'm feeling right now. 
I never mean to let so much time go by before sharing what I am up to but I do. 
Then it seems hard to share it all.
So I was wasting time  doing research one day out in blog land and came across this and this. I thought it was so cute and decided to try and see if it was as easy as it looked. 
It was. 
I decided to make a bigger one..... someday. 
Jess had given me this gorgeous fabric and I made two pillows. I was thinking about making two more when she suggested that it would be great for the larger triangle pillow project.
So I did.
It was fun!
It's funky!
It's for him! 
He's only smiling because he didn't want to hurt my feelings. He doesn't quite get it.
Grampa tried tempting him with the "fishing" pole. 
It didn't really work.
Mom tossed him on top. 
He rolled off. 
I realize that I stuffed it too much and so I will have to take some of those silly pellets out. Jess helped me the first time around and it wasn't so bad, maybe I'll wait for her help again.