Tea anyone?

My BIL (Jeff’s bro) got married this past weekend up in Birmingham, so my mom and I headed up Friday morning to hit a few stores sans kids. Jeff brought the kids up Friday after lunch. We had a fabulous weekend with all the wedding festivities, spending time w/ family and in Birmingham in general. It really is a neat place (with SO MUCH SHOPPING) and I left feeling that I really need to visit the Ham more often. It’s only about an hour 15 minute drive from my house. I waste more time than that in carpool on any given school day. We are so happy to have a new addition to the family and hope to visit them in B’ham a lot! ūüôā

My favorite place that I have found lately is Harmony Landing in Homewood (also on Facebook). I have always loved At Home in Homewood, and HL is right next door. I LOVE At Home, but sometimes when I go in there I feel like I would have to bulldozer my house and start over to get “that look”. It’s very cool and chic and restoration hardware-ish (if you’ve ever seen their book,imeancatalog. ¬†Harmony Landing is more realistic for me (and my budget) and a lot of their pieces are original and different but still fit in to my home. Anywho… I went in looking for a piece to go on a blank wall in our kitchen and left with said piece + this bench to go in front of the windows in our kitchen. I’m now in the market for some pillows for the bench!

This was our kitchen BEFORE. On our now blank wall we had cabinets on top and bottom (on the left). I sure don’t miss all that oak…

Here is after, and for the past 10+ months I’ve been searching (patiently) for something to go here.

Here is my Harmony Landing find. It’s sort of hard to tell what it looks like at night. Our kitchen is a lot of taupe + the dark stained island and dark kitchen table/chairs. The new pieces are a good mixture of both taupe and a little dark plus some other colors thrown in there too. Luckily we had 2 cars in B’ham. We made it home with both pieces and all 3 kids.

¬†I am also now in the market for something to go on top of and ON the “cabinet” we will call it. I have a little credit with a couple of artist friends so I’m hoping to cash in here soon. (p.s. replacing these knobs with something darker too). Maybe ¬†lamp too?

¬†Moral of the story… if you are in Birmingham check out Harmony Landing in Homewood. I saw a couple of coffee tables that looked neat so I’m hoping to go back with my July house budget! If you are in Homewood also eat at Urban Cookhouse ~ yummy! There is also one at the Summit near PB (Pottery Barn).

This week we have been recovering from our weekend in Birmingham and I have also been finishing up a big order of the Sweet Tea/Unsweet Tea ribbons (see this post). I was able to knock out 4 at a time using my fast frames and sticky stabilizer (from Sewingmachine.com ~ commercial backing). After each ribbon I would center on the next ribbon and start sewing again. This is Bobo font from Monogram Wizard Plus and I cut my ribbon about 20″ long. When finished I “singed” the ends w/ a lighter (or “fire” as my little ones would say). As you can see I wrap my fast frames w/ the sticky stabilizer (see bottom of frame) and pin the ribbon in place so it won’t move. The sticky peels right off, leaving no residue on my frames (several people on FB commented as to how clean my frames were).

Here is a shot of doing it the WRONG way! A) my sticky and ribbons are on the wrong side of the fast frame and B) the fast frame is upside down. I had to redo the whole thing.

Fast Frames have a “dip” on them, so when you attach the frame to the “arm”, the dip slants downward so the frame is actually even with your arm.

I use fast frames mostly for bags and things I can’t hoop!

¬†Here are my completed 24 total sweet and unsweet tea ribbons. They are really easy to do, but are also time consuming in that you have to cut all your ribbon, pin it all in place on the sticky, sew each ribbon, remove the ribbon and remove the excess sticky in between all those letters (on the back), singe the ends of each ribbon, etc. I’m glad to finally have them all done!

¬†This particular order is for my husband’s god mother who saw them at the wedding shower we went to and immediately put in an order for 8 sets. This weekend she upped it to 12 so I spent most of yesterday finishing up! The ribbon is 1.5″ black grosgrain ribbon from Hobby Lobby (1/2 off, of course).

Have a great rest of the week! I’ll be sampling new designs tomorrow!

Summer…. almost

It’s almost summer around here. Browder gets out of school Friday and then we’ll call it officially summer! The other 2 got out this past Friday. I’ve managed to do a little work ~ a few odds and ends and things that people have dropped off. Yesterday I found “this guy” on my sewing machine. Luckily he doesn’t bite, but wasn’t much help in changing out thread colors.¬†

¬†I monogrammed a couple of these yesterday (teacher gifts) and thought they were so cute! They came from Target and I think they also come in at least 1 other color (royal blue). Love the pocket for the cell phone and such. There is also a “pocket” per say¬†up top that goes OVER the chair (I guess if it will fit). See the circle insert photo on the bottom right corner. There is nothing more aggravating than trying to lounge and a gust of wind blows your towel over your head. Problem solved!

I did a hot pink Specs “H” on the top of these. The H is about 5″ tall (maxed out my 5×7 hoop).

¬†Not much else going on around here. Our calendar is thinning out and we’re looking forward to summer. I am also looking forward to my children adjusting to summer and sleeping past 7:00. Hopefully it’ll happen! The around-the-house to-do list is long. I need to organize closets (winter to summer) and HANG PICTURES! Maybe by our 1 year mark this house will look more like a home.

Have a great week! Oh I DID work on some exciting pieces last week for a certain magazine photo shoot for TJ’s Fabrics, but I can’t show them to you just yet! Stay tuned!!

What’s new?

As you all can imagine, life has been busy this Spring. We have LOTS going on each May and this year is no different. Jeff’s birthday was on the 8th, our triplet nieces/nephew’s birthday was on the 10th, Garrison’s birthday was on the 11th, our 11 year anniversary was on May 12th, Mother’s Day was on the 13th, Mallory’s very first dance recital was last night (14th), end of school program for the little ones is Friday the 18th (last day of school for them) and we close out the month next Friday (25th) with Browder’s birthday and also his last day of school. Then Memorial Day!! Is your head spinning? I actually finally feel like we are on the tail end of the craziness.

Here is Mallory last night with her flowers. Her costume was a cross between Russian princess and Christmas at Opryland! The girls were all precious and while I’ll never be a “Dance Mom”, I really enjoyed the (2 hour) recital and Mallory did great! If you missed the news on Facebook, she broke her collarbone last Tuesday night so yes, that is a brace on her shoulders. Sister fell out of the bed at about 4 AM. We got her back to sleep in our bed, but the next morning she was still complaining so I took her to the Pediatrician first thing. He sent us down the street for X-rays which revealed a broken collarbone. She gets to wear the brace for 3 weeks! Woo hoo!! Good times as we start summer playing outside, going to the lake/pool….! All in all she is doing wonderful!!

In all the wacky-ness, I’ve managed to get a little bit of work done. Here’s a sample Snake tee I sold yesterday with the name added. It’s amazing how adding a name can add so much to a shirt!

 I also sold this sample mini whale onesie and added the name. Mini embroidery designs are great for hats, polo (generic brand) shirts, onesies, etc.

¬†Here is a new technique I tried this week upon recommendation from a customer (thanks LT). It’s a raggy version of our Shark, and I used a cut up turquoise t-shirt as my fabric. I applied Heat N Bond Lite to the fabric and trimmed closely when I was done. The red shark tee is actually in the wash, so once I dry it I’ll report on how it held up. The girl who suggested this said hers washed great! I’m super excited to try this on some other designs, and I think this type applique looks great for older kids (boys especially). I got a cheap t-shirt from Walmart. In hindsight I should have gotten a PLAIN t-shirt, as I would have had more “fabric” to use for other projects. I also looked at Joann yesterday and saw some knit (t-shirt material) fabric there ~ mostly solid colors. Old t-shirts work great too! It seems like Chez Ami also sells knit fabric? I don’t know what the difference is in all the types of knit though??

¬†Here’s a closeup (duh). As you can see I trimmed pretty close. As I said, I used HNBL so it fused to the shirt and should NOT fray as much (raggy) since it has HNBL on it. If you ever pay attention at Walmart, Old Navy, (Boden?) etc. you probably notice this type design on their tees and onesies. Why I have not tried this before, I don’t know? Anyway, just something different to try! If my shark shirt dries OK, I’ll be listing this design and many others!

¬†I also posted on Facebook a while back that I saw these adorable tea ribbons at a wedding party at my sister in law’s house. I got some black grosgrain ribbon (1.5″) from Hobby Lobby last week (50% off of course) and finally tried it out. It was super easy!

¬†I’m using fast frames and sticky stabilizer, but you could also hoop sticky stabilizer. I did mark my center on the ribbon (but you can’t see the dot) and pinned the ribbon in place. I used Monogram Wizard Plus Bobo font and made each word (sweet tea and unsweet tea) .74″ tall. (SWEET TEA = .74″ tall X 4.74″ wide, UNSWEET TEA = .74″ tall x 5.87″ wide) I also wrote down how long I cut the ribbon, but there is no telling where that piece of paper is. I suggest getting out a pitcher and measuring it yourself depending on how you’d like to tie it on.

¬†I did these for the Director of G & M’s preschool and she wanted white thread. I burned the edges of the ribbon with a lighter, but you could also use Fray Check.

I have some more of these to do so I’ll try to post more detailed instructions when I do them (length of ribbon, etc).

That’s about all we have been up to. We have been in our house a year July 4th weekend. If you came by you would think we moved in a month ago. My mission for summer is to get this house in shape. This is our DINING ROOM! We did finally get new den furniture, so the old got relocated to our dining room. It’s going to Birmingham hopefully in a few weeks. I’ve had this furniture since probably 1999, so it will be missed. Maybe one day we will get a dining room table…

¬†This very bad picture is of part of our bedroom. All the things that one should hang on the wall when they move in a new house are piled here. The sad part is that I look at this every day, and every day it drives me CRAZY! And jest, it’s still there. I guess it’s not going to hang itself?¬†No?

All this to say, I would love to get everything in order this summer! That’s is my goal!! You all know how long it took me to do the sewing room, so I need help and encouragement!! Or a double shot of espresso in my coffee! Have a great week!

Applique Cafe fans, we are currently having a SALE through Tuesday, May 22nd.