Saturday, December 18, 2010

Love Reciprocated

hgtv articl
I have loved HGTV for oh so00 many years now.
And now they love me! Ok, well, they love my headboard I made.
Click here to read article.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Owl

Here is a new winter owl embroidery design. I’ve blogged about appliqué before but this time I’m going to show you the backside of my work.
DSC_1025 copy
Nobody likes a scratchy shirt so I always use gentle touch embroidery cover up to cover all of the embroidered area on the back of the t-shirt.
This is the t-shirt after I cut away all the excess stabilizer:
And this is the t-shirt after I ironed on the Gentle Touch.
You just iron on this softy stuff on the back! Presto! The kids don’t complain about scratchy threads anymore rubbing their chest. Hope this helps!

Friday, December 10, 2010

What Shall We Give?

I was thrilled on Sunday when it was announced the Mo Tab would sing this song. Is there a better Christmas song that sums it all up? I don’t think so. I’ve been humming and singing this all week—as I scrubbed my shower, and while braiding Ilene’s hair this morning.
What shall we give to the babe in the manger,
What shall we offer the child in the stall?
Incense and spices and gold we've got plenty-
Are these the gifts for the king of us all?

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Pear Grocery Bag

FREE pear design on my website!
I love using reusable grocery sacks at the store. Not because I care about the environment (ok, I care, but not Al Gore care…nevermind, he doesn’t care. Have you seen his mansion?) I like them because you can really load them up at the grocery store and they never rip due to heavy cans.
pear grocery bag (4) copy
To make this 15-minute grocery bag you’ll need:
1 piece of canvas cut 20”x34”
2 pieces of 1” handbag webbing cut 18” long each
heavy cardboard cut to fit bottom, approx 8”x10”
Fold the canvas in half and sew the two sides of the bag (I used my serger to finish the seams but you don’t have.), then sew an 8” gusset along the bottom of bag with heavy triple stitching to reinforce the seams, fold down top of bag 1/2” and sew all around.  Attach straps with lots of stitching. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit the bottom. This gives it stability. All done!
Embellish with an embroidered motif like my pear or hand-appliqué some fun shapes.
pear grocery bag (2) copy
I love quick projects!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Tree of Life

Here’s a new modern embroidery design for my shop. I am calling it the Tree of Life. If you’re a Mormon then you know where I got that name. And if you are not….you probably still have a clue since the tree of life metaphor is dominant in many religions.
Ain’t it cute? I love designs that look great on home decor and children’s clothing. So versatile.
This tree would just be too boring stitched out in dark green with a brown trunk. Snoozer. But in turquoise and lime? Yummy.
tree of life 2 (2)
Here’s the ‘hollow’ backstitch version. I put this design on the back of a pillow for my fab sister-in-law.
tree of life (9)

“Hey we wanna see the front of the pillow lady!” Ok, ok, but it has nothing to do with this post:
patchwork for ilene (1) copy
Lastly, here’s my rainbow version on a onesie for my adorable niece.DSC_1008 copy
Just too much fun.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Technicolor Vine Machine Appliqué

I remember the first time I saw machine appliqué. I was standing in a horrific line to get fabric cut at Joann's Fabrics (gag) and looked over at the Viking machines and one was whirling away at an embroidery design. An appliqué embroidery design. I had never seen that done before and I instantly loved it. Fast forward 3 years later, to now.
I’ve had a tutorial before about appliquéing letters, but here’s another appliqué tutorial, with a few more instructions this time. This time the sample item is my Technicolor Vine appliqué design.
1. Hoop your fabric and stabilizer. (duh) Load the thread color you want to use for your final satin stitching, in this case, yellow.
2. Sew the placement stitch. It’s hard to see here because without bionic eye balls because its yellow. Sorry.
technicolor vine applique (17)
3. Cut a scrap of fabric large enough to cover the placement lines, usually just a rectangle. Now you can either spray it temporary spray glue (I like 505) but I actually prefer to just starch the heck out the rectangle. Just use heavy duty spray starch that you would use for any other clothing item. (Assuming you iron, I don’t.) Lay the heavily starched square over the placement lines and sew the second stitching.
technicolor vine applique (16)
4. Remove hoop from machine and trim away excess yellow fabric with small curved appliqué scissors, $5 bucks at WalMart. DO NOT REMOVE THE fabric from the hoop!!
technicolor vine applique (14)
5. Replace hoop, sew the tack down line. This is usually a wavy zig-zag or just another straight line, depending on the design. (There may or may not be two tackdown lines sewn. Usually just one though.)
technicolor vine applique (12)
6. Sew final stitching, usually a satin stitch, but not always. Sometimes I use different types of cover stitching* like a criss cross pattern of Xs, as seen in my geranium design or even just a fancy swirly cover design, like my boutique label. But for this design, a regular ol’ satin stitch was used, as seen below.
technicolor vine applique (9)
7. Finish the embroidery process. In this case, one more leafy couple and then the stem.
technicolor vine applique (8)
8. Sew up your pillow!
technicolor vine applique (7)
*Here are some different cover stitch lines other than satin stitching.
Here’s kind of a butterfly edge (orange thread), with a zig-zaggy stem stitch (green thread) on these circle appliqués.
DSC_0916 copy
Here’s a criss-cross of Xs on the main petals (orange stitching) of  this geranium applique.
geranium appliques (3) copy
That’s it my cyber-embroidery buddies! Machine applique is super easy, so give it a try.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to Make Stocking Ornaments

How cute are these little stocking ornaments? A great way to use those little embroidery designs. But if you don’t have an embroidery machine you can just use really cute printed fabric. Click here to get the pattern for free. Alright, I realize you don’t really need a pattern for a stocking, but hey it’s free, so take it or leave it ya begger. The stocking itself took 5 minutes to make, the embroidery took 7 minutes. Not bad, huh?
I really like how my embroidered snowman turned out. He (or she?) can be purchased here.
snowman stocking (5) copy
And my shaggy-edges little Christmas tree just makes me happy to look at.
blue christmas tree edited
So here’s how you make these little guys:
Download the pattern and cut out your fabric. Embroider the fabric first, but that’s optional. Make sure the stocking pieces are cut mirror image, like below.
blue christmas tree (1)
Place right sides together of the stocking pieces and sew all around, except the top. Place the cuff pieces right sides together and stitch just the sides. (I don’t know if you can see in the photo but I did serge (or you can zig-zag) the bottoms. But you don’t have to. Then place the cuff over your stocking—right sides together—and pin in place, like below picture.
blue christmas tree (11)
Sew around the top, attaching the cuff to the stocking. Pull up the cuff, like below picture and press with iron.
blue christmas tree (10)
Tuck the cuff all the way inside, iron again, then fold cuff over 1-2” inches and press again. Use a small piece (3” inches or so)of ribbon or scrap of bias tape, fold in half, tuck in the raw edges, double stitch through all layers.
blue christmas tree (9)
Hang and admire!
blue christmas tree edited small
I know, I know it’s only November, not even past Turkey Day and here I am posting about Christmas. Well, to fill a tree with all of these stockings will take a while to make, so you better get started early. These would make great little neighbor gifts too. Hmmm….there’s an idea for me as well.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Scripture Tote Bag

CTR%20Ring%201scripture tote (11) Hallie has been needing a new scripture tote bag. She grew out of her old scripture bag made by my fabulous (now far away friend) Candy of Candy Argyle Designs. So I made Hallie a new bag for church. While I was contemplating how to decorate her bag (yes, I think about these boring details) I had an embroidery customer email me asking if I had an CTR designs. CTR stands for Choose The Right which is basically the theme for all Sunday School children of the LDS faith. Well, I didn’t have such a design, but I said I could quickly make one. So being the brilliant gal that I am, I put those two ideas together—a CTR Scripture Bag! If you’d like to buy the design, click here.
If you’d like to make this scripture, bag you’ll need to cut:
Main body: 1 piece, 18”x11” of canvas,
Top strips: 2 pieces, 2”x11” each
Cotton batting to interface for structure: 1 piece, 21”x11”
Lining: : 1 piece of lightweight cotton, 21”x11”
Straps: You’ll need 2 pieces of 1-inch handbag webbing 19” each.
Fabric to cover straps: Cut 2 pieces of lightweight cotton 3”x19”
That should be it for your supplies!
I’m too lazy to type here all my steps, but trust me, it’s easy.  Like 30-minutes easy for this speedy sewer and maybe 1 hour for those without the Speedy-Sewer-Super Power. Just google “how to sew a tote bag”. But if you’d read this far, you obviously already know how to sew and don’t need no stinkin’ directions.
On the other side I added my Boutique Tag with her name, and voila, cute and chic scripture bag for lil’ miss Hallie.
scripture tote0

Friday, November 05, 2010

My NEW Website!

fern on pillowI have been working for months now to get my very own website up and running. Now my embroidery designs can be instantly downloaded after purchase. No more waiting for me to email them to customers! Sweet Fancy Moses! (Name that episode of Seinfeld.) I’ll still keep my etsy shop but I hope that eventually my customers will move on over to 
Now I can offer coupon codes to newsletter subscribers and free designs just to say thanks to my awesome customers all around the world. Interestingly enough, I have quite a few customers in Australia, England, and Germany.
Thank goodness I hired a fabulous web designer, my brother in law Trevor. There is no way I would have known what to do. No chance at all. My brains (or lack of them) can only stretch so far.
Happy Stitching!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Kitchen Wisdom

I’ve blogged about this before. But I just can’t turn off the sarcasm.
Here are some new designs for my shop:
DSC_0752 copy 
the maid quit 
Ok, so this next one isn’t sarcastic, but I like it anyway.
DSC_0753 copy

My Kids’ Version of the show “Chopped”

chopped_keyart In case you haven’t seen the show “Chopped” on the food network, I’ll give you a quick run down. Three chefs compete for $10,000 by cooking an appetizer, main course, and dessert—only they have to use three secret ingredients for each meal. The kids love watching this show with us.

In fact, the show has made it’s debut in our toy room.

Hallie is the chef, Ilene is the host of the show, and Nathan is the judge:

All I hear is Hallie on the 2nd floor of our house, running around like crazy, trying to prepare her meal in time while Ilene is shouting, “Chef, you have 2 minutes left!”.

More scrambling of little feet is heard.

Ilene shouts again, “5 seconds!, 4, 3, 2, 1…..Times up!”

Then I hear Hallie explaining to Nathan-the-Judge her meal she has prepared for him.

The three secret ingredients she had to use for her main dish?

fish, chocolate, and pretzels.

And for the dessert round?

cauliflower, chips, ketchup

I don’t think we’re ready for prime time just yet.


If there is any doubt that children soak up their surroundings like a sponge, this should put those doubts to rest forever.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chicken Tikka Masala

DSC_0689 copyI have an addiction to Bombay House here in Provo. It’s food so good you moan when you eat.  Or at least I do.

So when I saw a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala on the website I knew what we were having for dinner on Sunday night. Oh my—it’s spicy, creamy, sweet, and filled with aromatic spices. (Yes, I know Cooks Illustrated is $30/yr but it’s the best money I spend every year.)

Does it get better than Indian food?

Nathan is slowly learning to cook more than homemade brownies so when he asked Sunday night if he could help, I picked myself up off the florr, and happily turned the reigns over to him. Well, I held the reigns but he did all the grunt work.

He pressed garlic, measured coriander and garam masala, sautéed onions, etc. Ilene peeled the ginger which is the perfect job for children because you peel ginger best with a spoon—no knife to freak this mama out.

Cooking the meal took twice as long as it would had I done it alone, (Paul was napping!) but I guess that isn’t the point. I want my children to know how to cook amazing food when they leave the nest someday.

Two recipes down, 200 to go for my 12 year old son.

DSC_0692 copy

DSC_0694 copy

To make the Curried Green Beans:

Saute about 1/2 of an onion in 1 tablespoon of butter along with 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander. Add the haricot verts (thin green beans from Costco, not the thick ones!) and 1 tsp. mild curry paste and salt to taste,  and stir fry 5-10 minutes until desired doneness. Fantastic!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Birthday Boy

 august 2008 pictures 098 copy

Today is my hubby’s 39th birthday. Yikes, when did we he start getting older? Time flies when you’re having fun, so maybe that’s why the last 15 years have flown by with Paul at my side. He is my best friend and an all-around great guy. All right, enough mushy stuff, like you care. Here are a few juicy tidbits about my main squeeze.

1. When we were first dating Paul gave me a push-up eraser for Valentine’s Day. Yup, an eraser. In his defense, cause heaven knows he needs one, we had some business classes together and I always needed an eraser. Always. Goodness knows why I never had one, so I was always borrowing the eraser off the cute blondie sitting next to me.

2. He also gave me The Little Prince along with the eraser with a sweet inscription, which makes up for #1.

3. On our first date, my 20th birthday,  he took me to see The Most Happiest Fella at BYU while he was also secretly plotting a surprise birthday party for me with my roommates. That was the first birthday party I’d ever had.

4. Paul loves Rocky Road ice cream (I hate nuts in desserts) and he always seems to have a smirk on his face while eating it straight from the carton. The smirk says, “Oh yea, this is all mine and I don’t have to share it at all with my nut-phobic wife.” Devious, I know.

5. Paul is not a talker. He just doesn’t have much to say most of the time. I often know when he is going to speak because he clears this throat. Imagine, going through life not speaking often enough that one has to clear his throat to be physically prepared to utter noise?! I have never had this problem.

6. Despite #5, Paul is not shy. He is just quiet. Yup, there is a difference.

7. Paul is OMDs biggest fan. Yup, the 80s band, as in the scene at the end of Pretty in Pink when Molly Ringwald finally kisses Andrew McCartney. (Two of the most unlikely teen heart throbs in my opinion. And because Andrew McCartney was such a hit in this movie he went on to star in the blockbuster, Mannequin. But I digress.) Paul regularly checks the OMD website. He is such a fan he even has limited edition CDs from them that come in blue suede boxes.

Huh? Yea, got me. 

They matched his blue suede Vans as well. That was a purchase before he married me, the shoes and the CD.

8. Paul is a Lakers fan. You can take the boy out of Southern California, but you can’t take the….well,you get it.

9. Paul was born to be an accountant. As a child he had a paper route and to pass the time he would make up games to go along with his ‘client’s house number.  For instance, Paul’s address was 21742, so mathematically he remembered this by “2 minus 1, plus 7, divided by 4, equals 2”.

Get it all you dummies out there? 2-1-7-4-2. 

Yup, I am frightened, yet laughing at the same time. Can you say Rainman?

10.  Paul has been re-loading the dishwasher for 15 years as well. Ok, we didn’t have a dishwasher when we were first married and living in Grapes of Wrath housing, but for say, 14 years now, he comes up behind me, after I’ve loaded the dishwasher and silently reloads it to its maximum capacity. I think this is truly a waste of time but hey, does a gerbil care if it doesn’t get anywhere as it runs on that stupid wheel? Nope, he’s just happy to keep doing it, day after day, year after year. Paul and the gerbil, I  mean.

So happy birthday to my favorite man. He wanted a lemon cake for his birthday so we’re off to fill our cake holes with pound cake and raspberries too.

Ain’t he lucky to have me too?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Falling Head First into September

I still have no camera.
It’s killing me.
I can’t post any new designs on my etsy shop without a decent camera so I have no motivation to make anything new. Oh please Nikon elves….fix my camera faster and send it back to its happy home into my loving arms! Please? (*anxiously biting nails*) So I’ve just been filling orders like crazy…..sewing away the hours of the day on this machine while listening to books on CD. (Thanks to my sister in law for convincing me that books on CD are sheer awesomeness. I’m a new convert.)
photos 111
And because I am a multi-tasker,  the below machine embroiders magically away, while I sew on the above machine and while I listen to books on my laptop, while munching smoked almonds. Now that’s a hard days work. 
photos 104
I am now at phase 2 of motherhood—the Daytime Empty Nest Phase. After having my children in the home nearly constantly for 12 1/2 years straight (those piddly 2 hour breaks for kindergarten don’t count, more trouble than they are worth), I am child free for most of the  week days. Phase Two of motherhood is fantastic. No one yells at me, no one spills strawberry jam on the floor, nor is any one following me around saying, “Why not?” for a good portion of daylight hours.
Oh blessed day!
I shower when I want, eat my breakfast when I want, exercise when I want, shop when I want, work when I want…..even read a book in the middle of the day….just because I can. I have talked to other moms who are also entering Phase 2 of Motherhood and some have admitted to being (gasp) sad.
Huh? Uh, baking powder? (Name that movie.)
I become speechless when I hear such utterances. I have plans….oh I have plans!
And taking up piano lessons again are part of those plans. I can play ok, I used to play well, but these days I just slog my way through most pieces. But Phase 2 of Motherhood is spurring me on to great heights! That and I was released as the YW president in my ward….so time abounds!
Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Camera is Ill

My great little Nikon D40 has a hot pixel. I think this is one time when ‘hot’ is not a good thing. Notice the red line that appears on all my photos because it’s just so dang ‘hot’.

DSC_0526 copy DSC_0350 copy

I’ve been without a camera for a whole week now while the gods at Nikon Camera in El Segundo camera fix it. I got the diagnosis yesterday with a bill for $150 dollars to fix it. Sigh, what choice did I have to pay it? To replace the camera would cost around $500 so decison made. Credit card number handed over to the Nikon gods and hopefully I will get my camera back in another week or so.

I’ve missed out on not taking any pictures this week. It was the first day of school nonetheless.  Very sad indeed to have to draw pictures of what my kids looked like on this special day. More or less, this is what the kids looked like. I am such an artist.

back to school

Now do you believe me that I NEED my camera like I need air? Hurry home little Nikon D40, hurry home to mama.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Banner Photos

My amazingly talented photographer brother Michael Harrington is in town. He drove 600 miles just to take some photos for me. Ok, that’s a lie. He drove 600 miles to come photograph Speedweek at the Bonneville Salt Flats.  And even though he can photograph amazing photos like this….
….he can also dummy things down a bit to photograph my fun little banners for my shop.
brown banner4 web watermark saturated
So thanks to my brother for using his bazillion dollar lens on his  Canon to capture the color and fun of something so special to me. I love great photography because it says more than words ever could. So I’ll stop speaking now and let these photos do the talking.
brown banner2 web watermark saturated
Multi color Banner-2-web watermark
TQ Banner-2-web watermark
Multi color Banner-4-web watermark
patchwork banner1 watermark
Samples1 web watermark
TQ Banner-1-web watermark
Don’t you just wanna buy one of my banners now? Or at least buy the pattern and make your own?


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