Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Something new

Well, the look of my blog, for one thing, and also a really sweet bath mat. I haven't even turned my sewing machine on for about 2 weeks or so...too busy and frankly, out of inspiration and oomph to make anything new. But, my son got me hooked up, due to his mad photoshop and illustrator skills, with an artsy new blog banner that I love soooo much and seeing it completed made me excited about this whole sewing and blogging and teaching thing! I also figured out a little more of the html code riddle and let me tell you, THAT was inspiring...I CAN learn something new! So, after that looong intro, the point of my story is this:

A new bathmat, made from some leftover Anna Maria Horner "Good Folks" fabric. I was inspired by Sew Liberated's Recycled Bathmat Tutorial, but I have to admit, I am far too lazy to do all that cutting and sewing of little squares. I am definitely NOT a quilter. The idea of the bathmat is awesome though and I altered it to be more in tune with my 1/2 hour window of sewing time lifestyle (an almost 2 year old will do that to you!). Here is a little photoshop montage of my very lazy process:


I laid out and old towel on my work table and positioned the scraps of fabric that I had on top to determine layout...then I trimmed the fabric to be somewhat even. I can't give you exact measurements because I just kind of wung it but my center panel was about 20" and the side panels were around 10" each.

I sewed the side panels to the center panel, right sides together, ironed the seams toward the sides and then laid it on top of the towel and trimmed the towel to be the same size as the now sewn together fabric, approx. 39"x 26" .

I pinned the fabric to the towel, right sides together and sewed all around the edge leaving a 5" opening somewhere along the edge so that I could turn it right sides out. After turning, I ironed
it all down and then topstitched around the whole thing, about 1/4 inch away from the edge.

I sewed down along the seams through the fabric and the towel where I joined the two fabrics together, to keep the whole mat looking neat after it has been washed.

and that's it! Super easy and very satisfying since it didn't cost a dime!

I've got a bunch of other new things getting ready to hatch here at Little Birds Fly, a calendar of my upcoming sewing classes, some patterns and a giveaway, all very soon! So stay tuned!

My best wishes for a very happy, peaceful and prosperous 2010!!

xo Jennifer

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

This is my cat's best imitation of me right about now ;)

I'm signing off for the holidays. I'll be back in January with a new look for my blog and a very cool giveaway, so check back!
Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a bright and sparkly New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

snow and flannel and getting cozy

we got snow! lots of will definitely be a white Christmas this year which is rather lovely. One thing I love about the snow and snowstorms is that they force you to pare down, snuggle up at home, take a break (unless you are the one who has to do the shoveling which, thank you Mike and Lee, I am not...definitely not). This past weekend was all set to be very busy but events got cancelled or shifted around and in the end it turned out to be so relaxing and wonderful. So, for probably the first time since I was a child, I am going into Christmas week in a very Zen mood... somehow I have all the presents done...nothing left to sew that HAS to be done, only projects that are new for me, and exciting and are the reason I sew, because, have I told you all before? I LOVE to sew, and create. As my birthday gets closer and closer I feel myself mentally preparing myself for my new year...I have a feeling there will be some big changes afoot...finally I feel in my heart, as well as in my brain, that there is a way to make a living from this sewing thing...just not sure how to get there, but I feel sure that somehow, all will be well (thank you Father Paul )

I've been working with flannel...pretty kimono jammies...I actually cut these jammies out a couple of years ago thinking that I would make them up for some new babies but set them aside without sewing them...I found the pieces last week and decided to make them up for Lily, they were too short so I added cuffs and hems in pink on pink polka dots...I need to tweak the pattern a little, add some embelishment, but I think this may be one of my new patterns that I will have for sale in the new year...what do you think?

and this flannel , oh this wonderful, thoughtful, adorable husband got this gorgeous Anna Maria Horner flannel for me as an early birthday present...and I am dreaming of a duvet cover made with the blue floral edged in white flannel and cotton lace...and pillow cases made in all different combos of the other two fabrics with lots of white flannel and lace thrown week...when Christmas is done and we have the reality of winter to deal with, I will be sewing to ward of the cold.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

good morning

Yummy sourdough toast made from the most delicious bread can find it at A&J King Bakery ...another wonderful reason we live in Salem.... poached and tea...sparkly Christmas lights and the promise of snow on the feels like the start of a very good day!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


....of calm...I lost it a bit last week...lost my balance, got that knot of anxiety in my chest...that wild, frantic feeling in my head....but, I stopped what I was doing, yelled a bit, had a good cry and slowly got myself back to rights. That's one of the very good things about being "almost" 42....this has happened before, I know how this scene goes down in many different situations and I also know how to stop it before it gets too ugly. So, since I didn't want to have a full on Christmas meltdown in the inimitable style of my Mom, I decided to simplify...seriously the best course of action I have found in most situations. I've cleared the calendar for this week and spent time, when not teaching classes, with my kids...doing nothing, looking at the lights on the tree, taking a nap, getting the little one's picture taken with Santa....truly the best gift I can give myself....AND my family because, like it or not, how does that saying go? "when Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"

squirrel garland...and a lovely ornament from Amanda makes

our little Tomten

Thursday, December 10, 2009

bad mother

a la Belgian Waffle I am making a confession today...I hate school concerts, holiday, spring fling or otherwise...and I am making a vow right now, after a total of 17 +years of parenting, that I will not attend another. There, never more sitting in a stifling auditorium, or worse, a "cafetorium" (who the f*%$& came up with THAT term? sounds like a school morgue) for HOURS at a time waiting for a huge screaming bunch of kids to get their act together and sit down and shut up and play their instruments in that hesitant and embarrassed way so parents can hear...I mean really, you can't hear your own kid anyway...and if they practice at home then you most certainly and painfully know very well what they sound like. Clearly, I am suffering from holiday overload, obligation overload, expectation overload...but I just don't want to do it any more. I want to say no. So, you might say, won't your children suffer from damaged self esteem if you don't show up to every little concert performance? Well, I say, too bad...maybe a little self esteem damage would be good for them, give them further fodder for the psychiatrist when they get older, give them something concrete to point to when they are searching for a reason for their angst....their evil mother didn't go to school concerts... Thought of in those terms, I am doing my children a favor, making things easier for them when the time comes for them to sort out their psyches ;) hmmmm, I'm liking this "embracing my inner bad mother" thing...very freeing...what else can I declare that I "don't do"? Drive? that would be more picking my teens up from school, band, play practice, TOP etc. with a screaming toddler in the car demanding lollipops in her particularly dictatoresque mother didn't drive and no one ever questioned it, a ride from my mom was just out of the question...we took the bus. What else? Deal with anything in the afternoon? oh my, oh lovely would it be to say that I am off limits from say 4-6 pm? Mom's in bed, bottom line, end of story. Ah to dream....

well, now I am ignoring my youngest while she watches tv and I am going to look at shoes there! hmmmph! I am one baaad mother ;)