Box o’ Birds

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There is a woman up north, in New Hampshire to be exact, who is about to pop.

She’s tall and slender, so at this point, as she patiently awaits the arrival of child #3, she probably looks like a lollipop– long, thin legs and a very round belly on top.

Her due date is not far off, which means the phone calls will start. If you’ve ever been pregnant and made it to your due date, you know what I’m talking about. When folks call up and say, “Did you have the baby yet?” or “How are you feeling?” Both my kids were late, so I got a lot of these phone calls. I had the urge to be sarcastic: “Yeah, I had the baby three weeks ago and just didn’t tell you” or “Hey, strap on a 30 pounds cat food and tell me how you feel.” But I was never that rude, even though I secretly wanted to be.

So rather than call with inane questions, I decided to send her a box of birds. She loves these birds (as do I!). I sewed up all colors and patterns, stuck ’em in a box and mailed them north. Hopefully a box of birds will bring a little sanctuary to the days of waiting for baby while chasing around two other little ones.

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Who would you send a box of birds to?

But wait…there’s more for me to give away! That’s right, it’s April 1, and I have some prizes to give away from the March Happy Birthday Giveaway!

Thanks to all who left comments over the last month. I wish I could send all of you prizes! But the random number generator picked #2 and #12. The lucky winners are…

Gina will be getting the adjustable horse hair bracelet and…

Kristi will get the art journal.

Congrats, ladies. Your prizes will be in the mail shortly!

Work of Art

The outside of the journal cover featuring bird and cherry tree silhouettes.

The outside of the journal cover featuring bird and cherry tree silhouettes.

Ever make something so gorgeous, so just beyond the skills you know that you don’t want to give it away?

Here it is! A new journal cover made with Japanese import bird fabric and Amy Butler prints from the Belle and Lotus collections. I’m so excited with how it turned out.

The inside of the journal cover.

The inside of the journal cover.

Over the weekend my friend bestowed this journal cover on her sister as a birthday gift. I told her if she doesn’t like it, to give it back because I’d keepin’ it!

The sister had requested this a bit ago and asked for a zipper closure rather than the loop or Velcro I’d been using. In my mind putting it a zipper was INCREDIBLY hard. So I put it off.

My first zipper!

My first zipper!

As the deadline approached, I finally fished out my sewing machine manual. And I fished out the zipper foot. Who knew I even owned such an animal?

And guess what? It wasn’t hard at all. In fact, I figured out how to sandwich one side of the zipper inside the seam and the other side of the zipper in a flap of fabric.

Along the way, I discovered the other sewing machine feet that I never used and all the cool things I can do with my sewing machine. Part of my machine slids off to sew sleeves! And I can drop the feet for darning and freehand sewing!

Now my sewing machine manual, along with Amy Karol’s Bend the Rules Sewing are by my nightstand for before-bed reading. I’m so excited by all the techniques I can try with my sewing machine. If only I’d read the manual when I got the sewing machine 13 years ago!

But back to the birdie journal cover…

Velcro allows you to keep the top open and slide in a side-fold journal or keep the side closed and slide in a top-fold journal.

Secure the Velcro along the side and you can slide in a top-fold journal.

Attach the Velcro along the top and you can slide in a side-fold journal.

Attach the Velcro along the top and you can slide in a side-fold journal.

Not only does it have a zipper closure, but I used Velcro to develop a pocket that accommodates both top- and side-fold journals or art pads. I have another idea to improve upon this, but that’s for the next batch of art journals.

A little fancing stitching on the business card and sticky-note pockets.

A little fancy stitching on the business card and sticky-note pockets.

My friend’s sister also requested a business card pocket. I included another pocket below it and a pen and pencil pocket.

I’m secretly hoping the receiver of this gift doesn’t like it so I can keep it. But apparently my friend might snag it first. I guess I’d better get back in the sewing room and make a few more.

********Only 3 more days to leave a comment so you can be entered in the drawing for great prizes from Red-Tail Designs! ***********

Recent Projects

Some projects I’ve been working on:
I shipped this bracelet off to its owner this week. The first project completed from the recent batch of horse hair the mailman brought me.
 
This custom horse hair bracelet includes sterling silver star beads. They really make the bracelet glow.

This custom horse hair bracelet includes sterling silver star beads. They really make the bracelet glow.

 More birds! I finally got a decent picture of the bird mobile. I have about 5 more birds flying around here that I’m going to make into a mobile for me. 

The bird mobile for a baby shower last weekend.

A bird mobile for a baby shower last weekend.

In addition to the mobile, the babies (yes, babies) have some snazzy homemade bibs. The farm and bug flannels mix it up a bit.

Bibs for the babies, too.

Bibs for the babies, too.

The babies’ dad is a big Yankees fan. I cut the Yanks logo out of the main fabric then stitched around it. For the future: a Yankees baseball. 

These bibs were more for the dad than the kids!

These bibs were more for the dad than the kids!

These handwarmers should come in handy (ha!) this weekend at the powwow. The weatherman says it will barely reach the 60s. That’s going to feel cold after these last few sunny days. Next week I plan to post a tutorial on how to make these handsocks out of a felted sweater.

Stripe-edy handwarmers I whipped up this week.

Stripe-edy handwarmers I whipped up this week.

 

 Hope to see you this weekend at the powwow. I’m off to dig some warm sweaters and long johns out of the closet to supplement the handwarmers. Enjoy the fall weather!

Birds!

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I just returned from vacation on an island.

Birds! 6I just like to say that because it sounds like I went somewhere very exotic.

It is an exotic place in its own special way. Not exotic in the floating pool-side drinks and cabana boys style, but the opposite extreme of exotic where the cabin didn’t have electricity or indoor plumbing.

There I am on the island’s rocky beach bordering Lake Champlain sewing birds.Birds! 5

After mentioning my vacation to many different people, I realized this type of experience really is “exotic,” foreign to many. I’m surprised at the number of people who have never “showered” in a basin or carried their water supply somewhere.

When you have to carry your water from a lake, then boil it before you can make coffee, do the dishes or bath, it really makes you consider energy consumption and waste in a whole new way. My dear friends who invited us to their cabin are considering different solar options for powering their cabin. I highly recommend this kind of vacation as a crash course for anyone who wants to reduce their energy consumption, go green, reduce their carbon footprint, or whatever you want to call it. Try this lifestyle for a few days, and it will make you rethink your whole household.

Surprisingly, my 5-year-old didn’t complain once that she had to put shoes on and walk with a flashlight to the toilet in the middle of the night. The lack of conveniences didn’t phase her when she had snakes to watch and water to splash in.

Truth be told, we did have cell phone service, which was helpful when we sent the men out a huntin’ to the mainland for ice and pizza to go (it was a vacation, after all). And the kids had battery operated toys to keep them entertained while we made dinner. The whole vacation was such a blast!

Before setting out to the island with–dear me!– no internet service, we did more traditional vacationing by visiting family.

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My nephew was baptized and I made him this bird mobile for a gift. Shall we say they’re doves to go with the baptism theme?

No matter what kind of birds they are, they are so cute, and they’re my latest crafting obsession. I downloaded the pattern from Spool Sewing blog.

So cute, so simple and a great 3-D project for beginners. Getting them to balance is tricky, but the eye hooks are key.

I’ve become so enamored with these birds, I want to make them for everyone. My nephew got the first flock, although I think his mother may have claimed them because she loves birds.

The cabin on the island got the second set. (This photo is not the best!)

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Through 6 hours of driving, daytime kiddie naps and lakeside resting, I stuffed and sewed birds. I even got to take my sister-in-law’s Janome sewing machine for a spin stitching them up. Sweeeeet machine!

On the island I found odd-shaped driftwood for the mobile.

These birds look like they’re talking to each other.

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I used awning fabrics and regular cotton for those birds, but was thinking of spraying them with Camp Dry so I can hang them outside.

Next I’m hoping to make a flock or two for home…one for my porch and one for my 2-year-olds’ room. I’ve got all the time in the world right now because mentally, I’m still on vacation.