Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May 2015 Giveaway Day

It's SewMamaSew's official Giveaway Day!  This day only comes twice a year!  You can blog hop a ton of crafty blogs and enter to win great prizes.

http://www.sewmamasew.com/2015/05/giveaway-day-sewing-craft-supplies-fabric-patterns-etc-2/

 I'm still working on down sizing my sewing supplies so I made a fun little gift pack out of a bunch of my extras.  Here's a picture of what I'm offering up:

This includes:
  • 42 square charm pack with fabric from Amy Butler, Cloud 9, Anna Maria Horner, and a bunch of others- 3 squares of each deasign.
  • 6- 9" zippers in a variety of bright colors
  • Pack of 2 tea towels, brand new in the package.  Perfect for embroidering, or embellishing with fabric.
Looking for some ideas of what you can make with charm packs?  Check out Moda's Bake Shop.
You can also see my favorite way to spruce up tea towels right here!

So, if you want to enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below to do just that.  This giveaway is open internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And don't forget to check out all the giveaways over at Sew Mama Sew!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

April Book Recap

April was not as productive of a reading month as March, but I did make it through a couple books and managed not to add too many new books though as well.


What I Read:
Traveling Light by Max Lucado This book is a nonfiction commentary of sorts about the 23 Psalm.  It was interesting, but not my favorite book by Lucado.  Some of the humor was cheesy and it seemed obvious in some parts.  I thought Cure for the Common Life was much more thought provoking.
The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz  Great for any Sherlock Holmes mystery lover.  The book was actually authorized by the Arthur Conan Doyle estate.  It has a similar tone to Doyle's books and of course features Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.  It does have a darker feel to it than I remember Doyle's books having though.  But, a good mystery all the same.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (Not pictured because I had passed it on to my Books N Blogger swap partner after finishing it.)  I really enjoyed this one, but don't expect a warm and cozy ending.  I think the characters were drawn with a realness that made their decisions believable even if you didn't agree with some of their decisions.  None of the characters were good or bad, but just flawed.  I really liked it, even if I did cry through a lot of it.

What I Acquired:
The only new books I added were ones my swap partner, Stephanie from Wife, Mommy, Me sent me during the Books and Bloggers swap. 
Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
You can read more about them in Books N Bloggers reveal post.

2015 Totals
Read: 14     Acquired: 21

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Guess Who's Going Back to School!

Little known fact: I nearly finished my associates of arts and science degree through the University of Wisconsin years ago.  But after working full time and trying to take three to four classes a semester for several years I got burned out.  The final semester I was in school, my husband had open heart surgery, my dad found out he had cancer, and I found out that I had miscounted my credits and was not going to graduate after all and had to go for one more semester.

Fast forward fiver years to the present.  I finally decided it's time to go back and finish.  Why after all this time?  Well, I'm pretty much tapped out at my job as I've mentioned before.  I can't really go any farther without a degree of some kind, and really I don't really want to stay in healthcare anyway.  So, I'm looking into options for adult accelerated learning programs but the first step is finishing the associates.

So how many more credits do I need?  How much longer will it be?  Answers- one credit.  One measly credit is all I need for my associates.  So, I need to take one class this fall, and then I'll have my associates.  By the end of the year, I can cross this off my to do list.

And, so, in honor of finally going back to school, I have a delightful little video clip for your all. :)


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Books N Bloggers Big Reveal for April 2015!

Ah books!  There is nothing better than new books, is there?  (Or used- I'm not prejudice.)  I just love how the air smells in bookstores, like paper and ink and if it's a used bookstore there's this old paper smell that mixes in. Yum!  Anyhow, so of course I had to sign up for Chaotic Goddess' latest Books n Bloggers Swap!

My partner was Stephanie of Wife Mommy Me.  She has a great blog talking about motherhood, marriage, and just life in general.  She's a great writer and it was fun to check out her site and get to know a little more about her. 

I got a great package from her.  All the books she sent were wrapped up in paper and some awesome treats were included with a sweet note.  So you wanna see what she sent? 


So you are supposed to pick a book you loved that you think your partner would like, a book from your partner's wishlist, and a book that sounds like something they would like.  So...

For a book she loved, Steph chose JoJo Moyes' Me Before You.  She said it was her favorite read of 2014.  I've heard lots of good things about this book, but I haven't read it yet, so looking forward to it.

For a book from my wishlist, she chose Still Missing by Chevy Stevens.  This book was recommended for me by reader Kim Reid during my Clear Your Bookshelf giveaway.  It sounded interesting, a little scarey, but like a can't put down read, so I'm looking forward to it!

And for a book she thinks I'll like, she chose Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay.  I hadn't heard of this book before, but just reading the back makes it sound super intriguing!  It takes place in 1942 and then goes forward sixty years, tying together two stories.  And I see one of my friends has read it and gave it five stars on Goodreads.

Besides three great books, she also sent me a great smelling candle.  It's succulent garden scented and smells fresh and spring like.  She also sent me a bag of Godiva chocolates (which were delicious!) and some cute wooden tags to use for bookmarks.  Sense I usually have several books I'm reading at once, these will come in very handy.

So, do you want to see everyone's posts of what they got from their partner?  Check out the link up.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Monthly Goal Link Up- March

Oops!  I forgot to get my goals recap done in time.  Part of this is because my friends and I didn't meet until almost halfway through the month due to conflicting schedules and part of it is that I just didn't feel like I did super awesome and didn't have much to share, but I'm going to do a quick recap just for the sake of continuity.

       Here were my March goals: 

  •   Take a trip somewhere for the day.  Did it!  Went shopping all over the countryside with my friend, Lori.  Didn't buy much but it was fun going new places and catching up with my friend.
  • Make something and hang it up on the wall. Fail, but I put it on my list for this month and have started it.
  • Make PJ pants.  Grr... didn't get it done.
  • Sew 10 things.  Managed to use all stuff in my stash and some of it was really old stuff that had been there for years.  Mostly made grocery bags, but did a couple other projects too.
  • Write fiction.  Didn't even start.  Thought about it, but it didn't make it past thinking.
  • Read four books.  Did it and posted my reviews here.

    Here are my April Goals:

  • Read four books. Pretty much on my list for every month.
  • Sew 10 things. Still tons of fabric in my stash to get through!
  • Write fiction. (Attempt #2)
  •  Make wall art. (Attempt #2)
  • Clean my office. It looks like I'm auditioning for Hoarders!
  • Make PJ pants! (Attempt #2)
  • Open pop up Etsy shop to sell of some of fabric scraps. 

    Want to see how everyone else did?  Check it out at the link up!



  • Take a trip somewhere for the day.  I just really have to get out of town for the day and go somewhere different.  Cabin fever is a real deal.
  • Make something and hang it up on the wall.  It's one thing to sew something practical like a bag but another to make something and call it "art".  So I figured it's time to step out of my comfort zone and create something with no practical purpose. :)
  • Make PJ pants.  I like this tutorial from Noodlehead and I have this sari fabric I bought a couple years ago and never used, so this month it's going to get done.  Finally!
  • Sew 10 things.  I'm still working on getting through my stash fabric.  
  • Write fiction.  People keep telling me I should write stories.  It's easy to tell a funny story, but this month, I'm going to write one.  Once again, gotta get out of my comfort zone.
  • Read four books.  Hopefully I do better this month than I did last month...
  • - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/2015/03/monthly-goal-link-up-february.html#sthash.uYqwoQzI.dpuf



  • Take a trip somewhere for the day.  I just really have to get out of town for the day and go somewhere different.  Cabin fever is a real deal.
  • Make something and hang it up on the wall.  It's one thing to sew something practical like a bag but another to make something and call it "art".  So I figured it's time to step out of my comfort zone and create something with no practical purpose. :)
  • Make PJ pants.  I like this tutorial from Noodlehead and I have this sari fabric I bought a couple years ago and never used, so this month it's going to get done.  Finally!
  • Sew 10 things.  I'm still working on getting through my stash fabric.  
  • Write fiction.  People keep telling me I should write stories.  It's easy to tell a funny story, but this month, I'm going to write one.  Once again, gotta get out of my comfort zone.
  • Read four books.  Hopefully I do better this month than I did last month...
  • - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/2015/03/monthly-goal-link-up-february.html#sthash.uYqwoQzI.dpuf



  • Take a trip somewhere for the day.  I just really have to get out of town for the day and go somewhere different.  Cabin fever is a real deal.
  • Make something and hang it up on the wall.  It's one thing to sew something practical like a bag but another to make something and call it "art".  So I figured it's time to step out of my comfort zone and create something with no practical purpose. :)
  • Make PJ pants.  I like this tutorial from Noodlehead and I have this sari fabric I bought a couple years ago and never used, so this month it's going to get done.  Finally!
  • Sew 10 things.  I'm still working on getting through my stash fabric.  
  • Write fiction.  People keep telling me I should write stories.  It's easy to tell a funny story, but this month, I'm going to write one.  Once again, gotta get out of my comfort zone.
  • Read four books.  Hopefully I do better this month than I did last month...
  • - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/2015/03/monthly-goal-link-up-february.html#sthash.uYqwoQzI.dpuf



  • Take a trip somewhere for the day.  I just really have to get out of town for the day and go somewhere different.  Cabin fever is a real deal.
  • Make something and hang it up on the wall.  It's one thing to sew something practical like a bag but another to make something and call it "art".  So I figured it's time to step out of my comfort zone and create something with no practical purpose. :)
  • Make PJ pants.  I like this tutorial from Noodlehead and I have this sari fabric I bought a couple years ago and never used, so this month it's going to get done.  Finally!
  • Sew 10 things.  I'm still working on getting through my stash fabric.  
  • Write fiction.  People keep telling me I should write stories.  It's easy to tell a funny story, but this month, I'm going to write one.  Once again, gotta get out of my comfort zone.
  • Read four books.  Hopefully I do better this month than I did last month...
  • - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/2015/03/monthly-goal-link-up-february.html#sthash.uYqwoQzI.dpuf



  • Take a trip somewhere for the day.  I just really have to get out of town for the day and go somewhere different.  Cabin fever is a real deal.
  • Make something and hang it up on the wall.  It's one thing to sew something practical like a bag but another to make something and call it "art".  So I figured it's time to step out of my comfort zone and create something with no practical purpose. :)
  • Make PJ pants.  I like this tutorial from Noodlehead and I have this sari fabric I bought a couple years ago and never used, so this month it's going to get done.  Finally!
  • Sew 10 things.  I'm still working on getting through my stash fabric.  
  • Write fiction.  People keep telling me I should write stories.  It's easy to tell a funny story, but this month, I'm going to write one.  Once again, gotta get out of my comfort zone.
  • Read four books.  Hopefully I do better this month than I did last month...
  • - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/2015/03/monthly-goal-link-up-february.html#sthash.uYqwoQzI.dpuf



  • Take a trip somewhere for the day.  I just really have to get out of town for the day and go somewhere different.  Cabin fever is a real deal.
  • Make something and hang it up on the wall.  It's one thing to sew something practical like a bag but another to make something and call it "art".  So I figured it's time to step out of my comfort zone and create something with no practical purpose. :)
  • Make PJ pants.  I like this tutorial from Noodlehead and I have this sari fabric I bought a couple years ago and never used, so this month it's going to get done.  Finally!
  • Sew 10 things.  I'm still working on getting through my stash fabric.  
  • Write fiction.  People keep telling me I should write stories.  It's easy to tell a funny story, but this month, I'm going to write one.  Once again, gotta get out of my comfort zone.
  • Read four books.  Hopefully I do better this month than I did last month...
  • - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/2015/03/monthly-goal-link-up-february.html#sthash.uYqwoQzI.dpuf



  • Take a trip somewhere for the day.  I just really have to get out of town for the day and go somewhere different.  Cabin fever is a real deal.
  • Make something and hang it up on the wall.  It's one thing to sew something practical like a bag but another to make something and call it "art".  So I figured it's time to step out of my comfort zone and create something with no practical purpose. :)
  • Make PJ pants.  I like this tutorial from Noodlehead and I have this sari fabric I bought a couple years ago and never used, so this month it's going to get done.  Finally!
  • Sew 10 things.  I'm still working on getting through my stash fabric.  
  • Write fiction.  People keep telling me I should write stories.  It's easy to tell a funny story, but this month, I'm going to write one.  Once again, gotta get out of my comfort zone.
  • Read four books.  Hopefully I do better this month than I did last month...
  • - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/2015/03/monthly-goal-link-up-february.html#sthash.uYqwoQzI.dpuf



  • Take a trip somewhere for the day.  I just really have to get out of town for the day and go somewhere different.  Cabin fever is a real deal.
  • Make something and hang it up on the wall.  It's one thing to sew something practical like a bag but another to make something and call it "art".  So I figured it's time to step out of my comfort zone and create something with no practical purpose. :)
  • Make PJ pants.  I like this tutorial from Noodlehead and I have this sari fabric I bought a couple years ago and never used, so this month it's going to get done.  Finally!
  • Sew 10 things.  I'm still working on getting through my stash fabric.  
  • Write fiction.  People keep telling me I should write stories.  It's easy to tell a funny story, but this month, I'm going to write one.  Once again, gotta get out of my comfort zone.
  • Read four books.  Hopefully I do better this month than I did last month...
  • - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/2015/03/monthly-goal-link-up-february.html#sthash.uYqwoQzI.dpuf



  • Take a trip somewhere for the day.  I just really have to get out of town for the day and go somewhere different.  Cabin fever is a real deal.
  • Make something and hang it up on the wall.  It's one thing to sew something practical like a bag but another to make something and call it "art".  So I figured it's time to step out of my comfort zone and create something with no practical purpose. :)
  • Make PJ pants.  I like this tutorial from Noodlehead and I have this sari fabric I bought a couple years ago and never used, so this month it's going to get done.  Finally!
  • Sew 10 things.  I'm still working on getting through my stash fabric.  
  • Write fiction.  People keep telling me I should write stories.  It's easy to tell a funny story, but this month, I'm going to write one.  Once again, gotta get out of my comfort zone.
  • Read four books.  Hopefully I do better this month than I did last month...
  • - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/2015/03/monthly-goal-link-up-february.html#sthash.uYqwoQzI.dpuf



  • Take a trip somewhere for the day.  I just really have to get out of town for the day and go somewhere different.  Cabin fever is a real deal.
  • Make something and hang it up on the wall.  It's one thing to sew something practical like a bag but another to make something and call it "art".  So I figured it's time to step out of my comfort zone and create something with no practical purpose. :)
  • Make PJ pants.  I like this tutorial from Noodlehead and I have this sari fabric I bought a couple years ago and never used, so this month it's going to get done.  Finally!
  • Sew 10 things.  I'm still working on getting through my stash fabric.  
  • Write fiction.  People keep telling me I should write stories.  It's easy to tell a funny story, but this month, I'm going to write one.  Once again, gotta get out of my comfort zone.
  • Read four books.  Hopefully I do better this month than I did last month...
  • - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/2015/03/monthly-goal-link-up-february.html#sthash.uYqwoQzI.dpuf
    Monthly Goals

    Thursday, April 16, 2015

    Busy Bias Apron Pattern Review

    So I have some new birthday gift sewing presents I can reveal now because they have finally been given to their intended recipient.  Here's the first one:

    One of my best friends has a February birthday and she had asked me months ago about making her a cobbler's apron because she doesn't like the kind that loop over your neck.  I had a hard time finding any cut cobbler apron patterns, but after searching through various apron patterns on Etsy, I finally came across the "Busy Bias Apron Pattern".


    I liked it because it was reversible and just slipped over the head, no neck ties, but still looked nice and girlie.  I thought it might fit the bill, so I ordered it. 

    The pattern is an actually tissue paper pattern which has pros and cons as a cat owner.  Pro is that you don't have to tape together 25 pages like a PDF, con is cats love tissue paper and I had to finally lock the little fur babies out of my sewing room because they kept laying on the pattern and trying to attack it whenever I smoothed or moved it.

    Lori loves green, and I had some Amy Butler fabric that has been in my stash for years which I thought would be perfect.  I did have to buy the green lining fabric, but it wasn't very pricey.  I think the finished results turned out pretty cute!


    I actually think I may like the solid green side even better though.  (Don't mind the wrinkles.)


    So let's break the pattern down shall we:
    Pros
    • Pattern comes with child through adult sizes
    • No interfacing or zippers
    • Goes together very quickly
    • Clear directions
    Cons
    • It's cut on the bias so it takes quite a bit of fabric.  (But without cutting it that way, it wouldn't lay so nice so.)
    • Since it is a tissue paper pattern, you have to trace it if you plan on making it in different sizes. 
    • Tissue paper is perhaps a little too cat friendly.  (But if you don't have cats you don't have to worry about this.)
    All in all, I'd make this pattern again.  I think the end results are pretty cute.  And Lori seemed to like it when we finally got together a few weekends ago to celebrate our birthdays.

    Monday, April 13, 2015

    Musical Mondays- Middle Distance Runner from Sea Wolf

    Monday, Monday, Monday.  Another week is under way.  I had my meeting with my two friends to discuss our April goals.  We met later in the month than normal due to Easter and work schedule conflicts.  I always feel so motivated after these meetings.  Like I can take on anything I want.  But, then life gets in the way- work and laundry and grocery shopping and errands that need to be run, and before I know it, it's the end of the month and I've only accomplished half the things I planned on doing.

    My song choice for the week is in a similar vein.  Sea Wolf's "Middle Distance Runner" is more a song about relationships, but thinking about trudging on towards ones goals.  One verse in it fits pretty well.
    Well my heart is beating hard
    And I'm off with a shot at the start
    And my legs tremble from strain
    But by the finish line I'll drain
    That's how I feel a lot of times about life goals. But I don't feel as depressed about it as the song sounds.  Working towards goals are kind of like wearing away at a brick wall slowly by slowly.  There's progress, albeit slow progress.


    So, I hope you all are slowly wearing away at the brick wall of your goals.  Keep pressing on. And you know, all that other motivational stuff. ;)  

    And if you want to see what everyone else is loving this week, check out My So Called Chaos' Musical Monday link up.