Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Sewing ... Getting Serious About Etsy.

I am loving some of my new sewing projects! And frankly, my sewing skills are greatly improving almost daily. I have even begun to impress my husband (who tends to look over every finished project as though he was my home-ec teacher).

So, I have decided that I need to get serious about posting my goods on Etsy. I mean, I have a PILE of finished goodies just collecting dust on my kitchen counter (yes, my sewing has taken over the kitchen ... at least until my sewing room is completed) ... and I am sure that there must be homes for these lovely things somewhere out there.

I am also hoping to make room for a new 'line' of library tote bags that I have been working on. Here is an example of one:

I have made several already and will continue to make more because they are just so darn cute! They are fully lined and come with an inside pocket for keeping your library card. I am posting them for just $20, though I have seen similar ones sell for $35 on Etsy.

Isaac willing, I will make a few more of these tomorrow. And God willing, I will take better photographs of them! My crafts always look SO much sweeter in person than in my photos.



Monday, July 30, 2007

Good Gracious, He's Adorable!

It is hard to believe that any creature could be THIS adorable. However, with Jack as his Daddy, he was bound to be a "looker".

So, all is well here. Father & Son are getting along just fine ... though Jack did try to kill (or at least maim) the puppy last night. It actually looked like we were going to have to find the pup another home ... Jack was so angry. But by some miracle, Jack figured out that Chase was not a threat - but rather, a puppy. And that it would be quite fun to play with him. So, Jack is now thoroughly enjoying Chase and has begun herding him and protecting him from the ornery cats and the often obnoxious chickens.

I think we will all get along just fine. We are all so excited to have Chase here ... and I can't wait for Meg to meet him :) I imagine I will be be posting endless pics of this litte guy onto Flickr.



Sunday, July 29, 2007

Welcome Home, Chase.

Today we brought our new puppy home. As you can see, he was quite taken with Isaac and chose to stay on his lap for the hour ride home. Isaac was so pleased. Every time the puppy would whimper, Isaac would kiss him and rub him tenderly. It made Daddy and I beam with pride.

After several weeks, and many great suggestions, we finally decided on a name ... Chase. It came to us as Mark (the man who housed the litter) called out to his son, Chase. I looked at Halis and said, "That's it!". And frankly, it was the first name Halis and I could agree on. I suggested: Anakin, Wesley, and Severus (Snape is my favorite Potter character). But Halis turned them all down. Maybe next time :)



P.S. Yes, Chase has one blue eye and one brown. He got his one blue eye from his Daddy (our Jack) and one brown from his Mommy (Mark's Sydney).

Saturday, July 28, 2007

There's No Place Like Home.

Vacationing at the beach was wonderful. Seeing old friends was lovely. And as always, Ferry Beach helped me to discover new and interesting things about myself, Isaac and Meg.

But, I must say, There is No Place Like Home! And I am so glad to be back. I missed my husband, my house, my bed, my dog and my sewing machine. And Isaac missed his Daddy so very much. Meaghan, however, would have liked to stay another month or so :)

As for this blog, I will continue my regular posting schedule beginning Monday. I will also upload all our vacation photos to Flickr.

Also, I received several tote bag and wallet orders while at Ferry Beach (I made sure to sport all my favorite bags at the beach - in hopes that folks would inquire about them - and they did). So, I will be busy sewing some goodies - being sure to post them here as I do.


Monday, July 23, 2007

We're Here. And Lovin' It!

We have only been here for two full days and it already feels like a week... there is just so much going on! It is wonderful. I am headed off to do some Karaoke but wanted to say "Hello" and to leave you with a few photos. I have uploaded some to Flickr as well.

Please note: YES, Meaghan is with me. But No, you will barely see her in any photos as she has found a new friend here and subsequently has no use for Isaac and I. Though I wish she were around more, I am very happy that she is enoying herself.

So, here is mostly Isaac:



P.S. Daddy, We Miss You SO Much!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Last Minute Vacation Sewing!
It is always important to have some handmade goodies with you while you roam the beach (add that to my growing list of personal mottos). So, since I am all packed and ready to go, I took the day to make some "must-have" beach items.
And to make the day even more exciting, I have sewn my first piece of clothing! Isaac can be seen below sporting a TURKISH TUNIC ... or at least my version of one. It is made with hand-dyed fabric that I purchased years ago. He looks more like a Hippie than he does a Turk. But Daddy was happy for the effort. I think I will make Isaac several more... with at least one of them looking more traditionally Turkish (with embroidery around the collar and sleeves). This first one he can wear at the beach.
Oh, and Isaac would only "pose" for me while jumping on the bed:

Then I had to embellish a shirt to match Isaac's seashell collecting bag:

And finally, since we are going to be missing Daddy all week, I had to make myself a tote bag/purse with his picture on it. This was my favorite project. I also started a matching wallet but it is not yet completed.

I am crazy for this material. It is canvas-like upholstery fabric. And it is so luxurious in person. I may re-do my whole world in this stuff!
Well, now that I have been in a frenzied state of sewing for the day, I really don't want to leave my sewing machine behind because I have all sorts of new & exciting sewing ideas banging around in my head. But I will be bringing lots of embroidery for a new quilting project. Oh yeah, and my Harry Potter book!!!
Leaving Tomorrow,

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Packed For Fun & Relaxation.

We are ready for vacation! Yes, "WE", as in Me, Isaac & Meg. She decided to come after all and I am so looking forward to spending quality time with her. We are off to Ferry Beach, and as always ... though I feel as though I only packed the essentials, our luggage looks entirely too much for one week. But in our defense we have to bring our own linens and fan ... along with diapers and toys, etc.

And of course, we had to pack all our reading materials. There will be plenty of quality time spent on the beach. So, here is about half of the reading materials we put together:

I love that I am bringing the Shark book! What better book is there to browse through before taking a dip in the sea? Truth be told, I am *wild* for sharks. Ever since I was a little girl I have collected books on sharks. They fascinate me to no end.

Meaghan will be reading: The View From Saturday, Walk Two Moons, and Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist.

I will be reading: Fortune's Rocks (I am 1/4 way through it already), The Secret Life of Bees, and The Color of Water. I will also be reading the NEW Harry Potter which should arrive in my mailbox the day that I leave for the beach! I am so anxious for it. Halis thinks it will be read in a day.

And Isaac will be 'reading': Good Night Maine, I Love You Sun - I Love You Moon, Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? , In the Sea, and Summer.

But also as important to me as the books I am reading, is the bookmark that goes with them. Did you know that I collect bookmarks? Well, here is my favorite one - made by me:

I will stay in touch while we are away ... even if only to keep Daddy posted on what we are up to and how much we miss him :)



Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Owls in Corinna.

Thanks to the Corinna Library and the Chewonki Foundation, Meaghan, Isaac and I have learned more about owls than we ever could have imagined. And we got to see some live ones too!

I never gave owls much thought before, but now I find them absolutely fascinating. I want to head out into the woods to photograph them. I never knew that Maine had such a diversity of them. To see more photos from the "Owls in Maine" presentation, please check out my Flickr stream (to the right).

What kind of fascinating animals do you have in your area? Or maybe, like me, you have yet to discover them all :)

Decision Made! On to Another One...

Okay, so we made this decision quite a while ago and I just forgot to tell you ... oops. Anyway, we have chosen puppy #1 ! He's the gentler, more submissive puppy who loves to eat and sleep.
Now we just need a name. The folks who are raising him call him "Pork Chop" and "Tubby"... most undignified of course ... but true. We tend to pick more 'human' names around here. We currently have Jenny, Jack and Tasha. Only cats get undignified names because they are such ridiculous creatures (okay, I don't mean to offend all you cat lovers, I just can't stand cats although I have two - Boo Kitty and Dukie). So, I am hoping to find this little man his own dignified name. But I really haven't a clue.
Meaghan thinks we should have another 'J' name. Halis thinks we should call him something that refers to his rather chubby frame. His current owner thinks an Australian name would be a good idea. And I - again - have no clue. So, I am hoping for some ideas from some of you :)


Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Time to pack for another week of fun, relaxation, and spiritual growth at Ferry Beach! Every year, for the past several years, our family heads to Saco, Maine for a week long "Friends and Family" conference at the Unitarian-Universalist Conference Center - Ferry Beach. I lovingly call it church camp :)

As always, I am looking forward to it. But this year, unless I can convince Meaghan otherwise (and I am trying), Isaac and I will be the only ones attending.... though Halis will make a couple of appearances. Last year, Isaac wasn't walking. So, this year should be so fun for him (and less of a back-breaker for me)!

Now it is time to pack. These trips require lots of careful packing ... and this may take me a few days. Not to mention that I need to spend the next few days convincing Meaghan that she REALLY wants to go (she has had another vacation offer). And Daddy is starting to get some anxiety over not seeing his boy for a while ... so they are needing some special Daddy-and-Me time. All sorts of prep for just 7 days away!

I will be back here tomorrow - till then, I leave you with some pics from last year's conference. The rest I will post on Flickr within a day or two. Enjoy!



Monday, July 16, 2007


Isn't she absolutely gorgeous? Halis inherited her. She was his Dad's for many years. And now she hangs on our stairwell. Halis and his siblings recently split up all the furnishings from his Mom's estate, carefully and fairly taking turns to pick out the items that they wanted. Halis picked her on his first "pick". You might chuckle and assume that "of course a man would pick a half-naked lady picture over choosing a pineapple-spindle bedroom set". You might assume that I thought he was nuts. And you would be so wrong. It was ME who begged Halis to make sure that he not only brought home this sexy lady ... but that he also choose the marble statues of scantily clad ladies that were hanging out by the pool :) And he did.
When he first brought the above picture to our home, he handed it to me and said, "Look babe, it's you. That's why I love it too." Wow. Okay. This woman looks nothing like me (for one thing, I am a plus-size woman with very fair skin). But my husband has a wonderful imagination and a total appreciation for his wife. So, I will accept the compliment.

I now wonder what Isaac will think about growing up with this picture. I am sure he will be happy to stare at it when he reaches puberty. And then someday he too will inherit it. I just hope he marries a woman who won't banish it to the garage! Maybe he will tell her that it is important to keep this picture up in their stairwell as well, because it is a portrait of his Mom :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Toddler Treasure Bags Now Available on Etsy!

Upcoming young model Isaac, also known as "The Haitian Sensation" is seen here sporting the latest tote bag from the fashionable, "This Handmade Life" collection. These bags are all the rage of the hip toddler crowd. They come in handy for collecting seashells, pinecones, matchbox cars and other treasures. And they look good, too!

These bags come fully lined. They are made of 100% cotton and are machine-washable. Each one sports a sweet vintage button in the center of a faux quilted pinwheel. And all for only $8, including shipping!

Get yours today by visiting http://www.thishandmadelife.etsy.com/ or by clicking on the photos above.

Yours Truly,

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My "Haitian Sensation's" First Modeling Gig.

Thanks to my Awesome Cousin Nicole, my gorgeous son has broken into the modeling world. But we promise not to let it go to his head. And we will still encourage him to go to college :)

My cousin Nic works as a graphic designer for First Orlando Baptist Church. She is incredibly talented and is called upon to do all sorts of fun and interesting projects for the church. Nic can set me straight, but I am fairly certain that she is responsible for their well-designed, fully interactive website (at least in part). Recently she called upon me to submit some of my photos of Isaac for possible use in a postcard project she was working on. I submitted several that I thought would work for her, and some that I didn't think she could use but wanted to send anyway ... just in case. Well, she chose to use a photo that I was sure she wouldn't be interested in (isn't that how it always goes). And we both couldn't be happier about it. As you can see, they turned out lovely.
Thank you Cousin.
P.S. Please check out Nicole's website. She and her wonderful husband Murry are in the process of adopting a child. They have created a blog to chronicle their journey. We are so happy (and anxious) for them. Take a look :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Meaghan's Black and White Still Life Photography.

I handed the camera over to Meaghan today, gave her a short lesson on still life photography, and set her free in the yard. Here is what she came up with:

I was impressed. It was especially interesting to see our yard through her eyes. She deleted a few and then edited one ... and I appreciated her choices. I think I will hand the camera to her more often. I was especially appreciative of the photo that she chose as her favorite:

She says that it makes her feel peaceful. Hmmm... that is certainly a welcome feeling. So, this is the one that we will frame for her room. I will surely keep you updated on her future photographs.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sadly, or rather ... Unfortunately, I have just completed Book #13 in The Series of Unfortunate Events. And for those of you who are not Lemony Snicket fans, that means I have now reached The End of the series. I will miss my dear friends, the Baudeliare orphans. Though this series was certainly not intended to be read by me (I am 33 years old), I got so much pleasure out of following the many "Unfortunate Events" that Violet, Klaus and Sunny were able to cleverly find their way out of. And I found such guilty pleasure in admiring the sinister deeds of the equally clever villain, Count Olaf. But now their stories have ended, and I need to re-enter the adult world of literature ... at least until July 21st, when the last Harry Potter is delivered to my doorstep!

Anyway, I have been doing a little experimenting with my amateur photography lately ... and have been thinking about this area in the woods around my house that I would like to photograph. I felt really drawn to visit there the other day ... so I asked Halis to take me as it is only accessible by ATV. And of course, being the wonderful man that he is, he said, "Of course dear, anything for my incredibly talented, amazingly sexy, ridiculously intelligent wife." So off we went. Okay, okay, okay already. If you must know, Halis simply said, "Sure, let's go for a ride." But that doesn't mean that I am not talented, sexy or intelligent. Or that Halis isn't wonderful :) So, on with the story...

So, we get to this area of the woods, and I immediately recognize why I was drawn there! It reminds me of my vision of Briney Beach in The Series of Unfortunate Events (this is where the Baudelaires are first told that their parents have perished in a fire). And after reading the last book, I guess I felt compelled to complete my literary journey by taking a few sepia-toned shots of the place.

For those who have also read the series, doesn't this photo represent some of the gloom and doom of the books? For those who haven't read the series and find this image fairly creepy please note that you will likely not enjoy reading about the Baudelaire misfortunes. However, for those who haven't read the series and find the above photograph interesting and rather beautiful in its way, then by all means ... head to the nearest book store and pick up The Bad Beginning.


Sunday, July 8, 2007


A hearty thanks to Amy Karol, who has written the first sewing book that has actually helped me to become a more creative crafter ... something I had not counted on. Amy's new book is titled, "Bend-the-Rules Sewing". And although I think it could have used some better editing, it is a keeper. I have promised myself that I would try every single project in the book, and have already completed 4 of them in just under a week! So, any book that can elicit that kind of creative response from me is certainly worth a look.

I found out about Amy & her book through her very popular blog: The Angry Chicken. And yes, I admit that I only checked out her blog due to its name ... as we all know I have a thing for chickens (generally not angry ones). Recently, Amy created a Flickr group for us crafters to submit photos of what we have created with her patterns from the book. I submitted the following:

There are so many gorgeous projects on that group, so I encourage crafters to check it out for some great ideas. As for the above handbag, I think I am going to give it to my Sister-in-Love for Christmas (Shhhh!).

Enjoy the Day.

Love, Jodi

Friday, July 6, 2007

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fabric, Fabric Everywhere ... Without a Place to Sit.

There is fabric everywhere! I am still in the throws of selling off fabric from my Mother-in-Laws estate. We are getting fairly close to the end of her stash, but still have lots more to go through. So, if you know anyone who may be interested, please send them to www.estatefabrics.blogspot.com for some great fabric deals.

It has been such a strange experience... to go through these fabrics ... knowing exactly who she purchased them for ... remembering some of our fabric shopping excursions ... seeing the squares she cut for the quilts that she would never finish. It has been bitter-sweet. Part of me wants it over with ... and the other part doesn't want it to end (for fear that I will lose connection to her).

But I do want my couch back :) And therefore, I am diligently posting fabrics on a daily basis. Oh yeah, and I am diligently stuffing some "must-haves" into my own stash ... I think my Mother-in-Law would understand perfectly.


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Independance Day!

Check out those Fireworks!
This gorgeous quilt was made by my Mother-in-Law a few years ago. Today it is proudly drying outside on our laundry line. Quite fitting as today there will be fireworks booming everywhere in the US.
Enjoy your day.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Isaac's Latest Quilt is Complete!

I finished Isaac's latest quilt over the weekend. Not bad timing either considering that I just started it last week and I usually get distracted by other projects for a few months before I actually finish that which I originally started.
What progress!Anyway, it is a very simple quilt that consists of 6" squares of many of Isaac's favorite "things". It was a breeze to piece together. I lined it with 100% cotton muslin between the top and the matching backing ... thus making it a light summer quilt. Then I machine topstitched around each square as well as the borders. Lastly, I handstitched the binding. It was a fun and simple project that I will likely make many more of ... including perhaps some on Etsy if anyone is interested ;)

For Isaac's sake, I also thought I would detail here what each square represents for him. From top to bottom, left to right ...
  1. Chickadees in Birch Trees: you love to watch them fly and to listen to their songs.

  2. Household Tools: you rather play with screwdrivers than with any toy.

  3. Horses: you call them "neighs" and you get tickled every time you see one.

  4. Dogs: Jack is your favorite and you always need to pat every dog you see.

  5. Planes: the sound of a plane can stop you in your tracks. You love to watch them in the sky.

  6. Construction Vehicles: really... what boy doesn't love them?

  7. Tigers: though you have only seen them in books, you are fascinated by them.

  8. The Sky: one of your first phrases was, "Hi Sky" as you admired the clouds.

  9. Flowers: Son, you would be content to play in a patch of wildflowers for most of the day.

  10. Ducks: you love to follow our pet ducks around. This was also one of your first words.

  11. Cats: against my better judgement, you do love cats. Ugh.

  12. Crayons: not to draw with, but to throw all over the room and down the stairs.

  13. Dancing: your absolute favorite activity. I also imagine that this square represents you and your future brother.

  14. Music: one needs music to dance! And you love to sing to it, too.

  15. Bears: Little Bear, Pooh Bear, Brother Bear. You have a thing for watching bears on TV.

  16. Watching TV: though we certainly limit your viewing, you are wild for Sesame Street, Little Bear, etc.

  17. Farm Animals: we love to visit all the farm animals we can find!

  18. Chickens: how could you live at our home and NOT love chickens?

  19. Rabbits: you call them "BunBuns" and you love to search the yard for them.

  20. Kids: boy do you love to hug other kids. Especially Meg, Devon and Sydney.

  21. Nuts and Bolts: you are forever collecting nuts, bolts, screws and nails around the house so that you can hand them to Daddy.

  22. Farm Tractors: they drive by our house often and you never tire of watching them.

  23. Dandelions: Mommy taught you how to blow their seeds all around. This excites you.

  24. Cars & Trucks: while driving, you love to show Mommy the difference between a car and a truck.

  25. Frogs: ribbit! Your first gift from Mommy and Daddy was a stuffed frog that croaks. He is often your favorite dance partner.


Jodi (aka Mommy)