30 November 2011

Sewing Summit Swag Bag

When we first checked in at the Sewing Summit we got this awesome blank canvas bag filled with tons of goodies. At first I was just super excited about being there and the amazing generosity of the sponsors, but as the weekend progressed I started to wonder what I was going to do with yet ANOTHER bag! When Erin announced in the Google group that there would be a contest for revamping our blank bag I knew exactly what I was going to do!

First I dyed it tangerine since orange is my go-to color. I haven't worked with dye since I did tie-dye at Girl Scout camp so this was my first step outside of my comfort zone. It turned out beautiful with lots of variations to give it a marbled look.

Bag body and straps

Then I took the bag completely apart to start with a fresh canvas. As you can see by the picture, I probably should have taken it apart first for a more uniform dye job, but it didn't really matter since all the undyed parts were later covered. The body of the bag was cut into 2 - 16"x18" pieces, which was basically the entire bag.

I cut each strap into 4 smaller strips and did a 4-plait round braid. I safety pinned the ends since they would eventually be sewn into the bag & at this point I wasn't sure how long they would need to be.

I knew what pattern I was going to use, but I wasn't sure how to decorate it yet so it sat for a few weeks after that.

In the meantime I participated in the Post Sewing Summit swap and made this fun mini for my partner, Becky. I really enjoyed this simple foundation piecing technique and thought it would be a fun way to highlight some of my favorite designer fabrics.

I started with some of my newly acquired Outfoxed and went from there. I was going to do a rainbow of colors again, but I changed my mind and decided to step further out of my comfort zone and work only with cool colors. I made a larger version of the Boxy Cosmetic Bag and added my braided handles to the side to make it easier to zip & unzip.

I used the same fabric to line the bag as I did on the back of Becky's mini & finished off the seams with a contrasting binding tape. I didn't do the prettiest job, but it looks better than the exposed seams would have.

Here is the final product...



Side view


I love this bag and I love that it will always remind me of Sewing Summit. And it will definitely be filled with hand work for next year's retreat! :D

26 November 2011

For the Love of...Family Gatherings

For The Love Of...

Thursday was Thanksgiving here in the United States. We were unsure of how many days Jake would have off from work so we figured we'd have it at our house and invite Jake's dad and aunt & uncle, who live just 5 hours away. In Wyoming time 5 hours is practically next door! OK, maybe around the corner. ;)

They came out Wednesday night and brought some goodies with them. Visit Jake's blog to see all the fabulous food we made.

Sitting down for our feast.

The most tender delicious turkey ever! Here's the recipe.

Relaxing while Jake cut up the turkey.

Did you notice the dog under the table in the above picture? That's Nutmeg, Bert & Leigh's dog. Here's Lotte & Lady (Jack's dog) just outside of the kitchen looking pathetic and hoping for some scraps.

And Lady, Festus, and Cord (pushing the limit laying just inside the kitchen).

5 people and 5 dogs, lots of yummy food & drink, and fabulous company!

And now it's time for you to link up with one of your favorite recent family gatherings. Grab a button from the right sidebar, write about your family gathering, & come back to link up. If you have problems linking up please let me know and I will help out. The linky will be open until Monday at midnight (Mountain Time).

Next week's theme is CRAFTING!

Thanks for playing! :)

18 November 2011

For the Love of...Food

For The Love Of...

This week's For the Love of... is all about food! I love cooking and creating delicious meals. Here are some of my recent favorites. I do my best to cook from scratch as often as possible, it just tastes better!

Huevos rancheros anyone?

Steak salad with avocado & bleu cheese

Walnut pesto for pesto pizza or chicken pesto pasta

Fish tacos

And what meal is complete without a refreshing drink to wash it down?

Check out this chocolate "charm pack" Suzy sent for my birthday!

Thanks Suzy!!

OK everyone! Grab a button (right sidebar), create a "For the Love of...Food" post on your blog & come back and link up before midnight Mountain Time on Sunday. If you have any problems linking up leave me a comment or let me know on Twitter & I will help you out.

Uhhh...I just realized I had added the linky. Therefore the link will be open until midnight Monday this week. Whoops! O_o

11 November 2011

For the Love of... Animals

For The Love Of...


This week is all about the animals in your life & the one's you come across from time to time.

These guys are my children. As goofy and obnoxious as they are sometimes I love 'em!

See what I mean?! He wanted the leftover bits from our pumpkin carving fun.

These are our other buddies. The pretty grey is our mare, Fancy, and the other guy is Bart, who Jake is borrowing from a neighbor for a few months.

They are always stuck together like glue even though they have hundreds of acres to play in.

Last spring's calves

Here's a bit of a different animal. I made this little guy for a Swap-Bot swap I was in recently (sorry if I already shared this). The coolest thing about this was that the receiver's daughter is a Thanksgiving baby, which I didn't know when I made this, so this time of year is extra special for their family.

Even the back looks like a turkey! Pretty cool, huh? :)

Now it's your turn. Grab a button from the sidebar, create a "For the Love of Animals" post, then come back and link up. It's pretty easy, but if you have any problems please let me know and I'll help you link your post.

Next week's theme will be For the Love of... FOOD!

Also, earlier this week I promised a winner from last week's birthday post. She already knows who she is, but I haven't had the chance to tell you yet. The winner is Brie from Little Creatable. Congratulations Brie! You'll be getting your goodie bag soon. :D

07 November 2011

{Sew} Modern Monday

Thanks to everyone who entered my first For the Love Of... linky party. The winner of my birthday giveaway will be announced tomorrow.

In the meantime I wanted to share some fun things for {Sew} Modern Monday with Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations. I was lucky enough to meet Megan at the Sewing Summit last month. And although I didn't get to talk with her long she is very sweet & I look forward to seeing her again next year. Yesterday was her birthday so get over there and wish her a happy birthday. Plus, she might just be having a giveaway right now. ;)

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Friday I came home to a couple goodies in the mailbox...

What could they be???

The first package I opened was from Bree. I was expecting this one because I knew she was sending a bee block, but I didn't know there'd be more in there. A frame pouch made from the same fabric she used to make my very first swap purse.

I "met" Bree last fall (2010) when we both signed up for a bag swap at Sew Mama Sew. We have kept in touch with email and texting since. And we even spoke on the phone the other day, which is a big deal for me because I'm NOT a phone person! Someday we'll actually meet in person. :)

String Me Along bee block & frame pouch.

Isn't it great???

The next package I opened was from Liz. She decided to set up a Post Sewing Summit swap to keep the excitement going. Personally, I hope there's another one after this. There is some amazing talent out there, you really should check out the photo pool. Anyway, this is what was in the package...Oh my gosh!!!

Neptune amazing-ness!!!

Our options were to make either a mini quilt or zippy pouch for our partner. Liz made both! Plus she sent some leftover Neptune FQs. Thank you so much Liz!!!

I made a mini quilt for my partner too. I can't tell you too much about why I chose to make this design because my partner hasn't received her package yet, but I did want to show off some pictures.

I used this Spiderweb block tutorial. I had a hard time deciding which color thread to use to quilt this, and then I remembered I had recently picked up some glow-in-the-dark thread. Bingo! I used an overall stipple because that's all I really know how to free motion right now.

OK, I'm really proud of this mini so I had to share another shot of it. :)

I was having a heck of a time finding backing fabric. Until I found this! Isn't it beautiful?? And I decided to piece together a rainbow-y binding.

I added a couple other goodies in the package too.

Handmade graph paper sketchbook & gift card made by my mom.

There is also a drawstring bag in the package for my partner, but I think the fabric will give it away so I'll share once my partner receives her goodies.

Thanks for visiting!

Linking up to amylouwho's mini quilt linky party. Go check out the other gorgeous minis!

03 November 2011

New Linky Party & Birthday Celebration!!

You may (or may not) have noticed that I haven't done a Fave 5 Friday in several weeks now. I've discovered that I often forget what day it is & don't realize it's Friday until mid-day. You'd think that would mess with my work schedule, but it really doesn't.

Because of this "problem" of mine I've decided to change things up slightly. You will now have all weekend to link up and there will be a theme. I went back and forth about adding a theme many times, but I finally decided that it would be fun. I hope you're with me on that!

So here are the new rules:

For The Love Of...

(1) Grab a button from the right sidebar there.

(2) Carry your camera everywhere. Take photos of everything! I often forget to pull my camera out, but we'll try to remember together.

(3) Post 3-5 pictures, current ones are preferred, but sometimes you'll have to use archived photos for certain themes. Please mention this linky party and link back to my blog in your post.

(4) Link back up here before midnight Sunday (Mountain Time).

(5) I will post the next week's theme in advance so you'll know what to get pictures of.

Being that this is the first linky party of For The Love Of... I thought I'd make it an easy one.


Interpret that however you want; pictures of where you live, family celebrations, anything that means home to you.

Here's mine:

This guy is my home. Wherever he goes, whatever adventures he takes me on, I'm home!

I love living on the prairie. Mother Nature provides amazing scenes!

Yesterday, after Tuesday's snow storm.

And for more fun... my birthday is Saturday! I'm pretty excited about it so I thought I'd share some goodies with one of my awesome readers. One person will receive a drawstring bag similar to the one below filled with other handmade treasures. All you have to do is link up for the first For The Love Of... linky party. A random number generator will do the rest.

The linky & giveaway are open until Sunday, November 6th at midnight.

If you have any questions or problems linking up just leave a comment & I'll do my best to help you out.

Next week's theme: Animals!