Friday, May 30, 2008

It's ALL here (well, almost)

So, I just got the second of my three fabric shipments. I must say, it's ironic that the one shipment that isn't here yet is from a massive on-line only fabric company that is located about an hour from my house - and they haven't even shipped my product yet.

I'm BEYOND pleased with the fast shipment from the other two places I ordered from...Fat Quarter Shop and CatyLou Quilts (another Etsy shop - she was super fast with setting up my order, I got everything quickly and so nicely packaged - I will definitely be ordering from her again). Both shops were easy to work with and super fast.

I'm now headed up to the washing machine with about 30 yards of fabric so it can be washed and dried by the time both boys are in bed tonight. I'm currently working on two quilts from the "Baby's 2nd Step" line from Wilmington - and then it's time to use all of my new fabrics!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ahhh, the quiet.

There is nothing like the sound of silence. Especially after you have had a horrible day, had a very noisy toddler testing out his screaming skills, and a crabby infant testing out the power of his lungs via crying. I couldn't make it to the liquor store on the way home, but at least hubby came home early, so we had a nice steak dinner.

And now that Small Fry is in a deep slumber (for now at least), and hubby is putting the Monkey to bed, I'm enjoying the silence (with a little background noise of the Lakers game). I have to soak it in and head to the studio - a few hours of sewing is calling my name.

Waiting for the Mailman

I'm anxiously awaiting the mail truck (and UPS truck) today and tomorrow. I placed three huge fabric orders on Monday and I can't wait to start sewing with all the new fabric I'm getting. I re-ordered a lot of Sock Monkey fabric because I think it'll be great to make up some pants, and I need to back a super cute Sock Monkey tummy time quilt.

Also, I stumbled upon some cupcake fabric, and had to snatch it up. I've got a friend who is a cupcake fanatic, so every time I see cupcake fabric I think of her. That fabric is going to make a lot of cute baby gear.

Well, I'm off to sit by the window and hope that each car that turns into the neighborhood is the one that has my packages :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My studio

I think we are all a little voyeuristic at times, and I especially love to see the spaces of fellow crafters...I like to know how people work. When we built our house in 2005, I picked this space specifically for my studio...the windows face south east, great light, and I'm on the main floor, just off the kitchen and can see my boys' playing in the family room. An IDEAL location.

I'm a "controlled chaos" quilter, sewer, and scrapbooker. I am by no means clean, but I'm organized and I know where everything is at all times. Buuuut, I am very visual, and I have to see my stuff to be inspired. So, when I'm working on something, I've got ALL my options laid out in front of me (or around me).

The other day, in the midst of completing three large custom orders, photographing new things to list, and sewing some new projects, I thought it would be a perfect time to photograph the controlled chaos in which I work. I didn't pick up or clean up for the photos - so if you think I'm messy, I am!

The doorway - I haven't painted this room because I like having the white walls for photography and I'm not skewed when choosing colors for projects. The cutting table is a beautiful Sylvia table that I got as a Christmas gift. It folds down and out of the way if I need more room - as it is in the photo, it's only halfway extended.
The chaos. The small bookshelf holds my finished projects that are currently for sale. The huge white shelf is mostly my fabric stash. Very little of it goes into projects for sale (either won't be used and just "collected", or I use it for personal projects). The fabric piles on the floor and under the cutting tables are actually all organized - and all projects and supplies for items that will be listed on Etsy.

A head-on picture of the stash...I love the shelf, it's a Metro shelving unit I got from the container store. Each shelf can hold up to 500 lbs, and since fabric can get so heavy (I've destroyed many bookshelves in my day), this shelving unit was worth the investment. (Oh yah, and for perspective, you can see the ceiling - it's 9' tall!)

Where the magic happens! I have used this desk for literally years, it used to be my student desk when I lived at home! It works so well for me, and someday I'll be able to get an official sewing table, but this is the best fit int he meantime. I have lots of storage behind the desk - hidden behind the sewing machine is a bookshelf that actually has all of my quilting and sewing books, and a few shelves of currently in progress projects.

My typical view. (Notice the tv with the Tivo - the best invention ever!) I got this Bernina 440 QE as the best Christmas gift ever from my mom and dad in 2007. I have put almost 400,000 stitches on it to date :) (You can tell in this photo I've been working on a Sushi Tag Ball - soon to be listed).

Another great set up. My ironing board used to be a typical ironing board with a "Big Board" on top. I bought this Elfa shelving and the Big Board actually drops right on top. It is the MOST efficient ironing space ever. In those drawers are all of my other hobbies. Stamps (Stampin' Up is ADDICITING!), knitting, scrapbook paper, embellishments, tools, digital printing items and accessories, and two drawers with gift bags, bows, ribbons, etc. (notice the gift wrap holder on the left hand side).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A blankie for Emma

A girl I "know" from one of my message boards (we've got to coin a 21st century term for people you don't know in real life, but feel like you know through your computer)..anyway, I know this girl, and we have a mutual in-real-life friend too. She was pregnant and ended up in the hospital with some serious complications.

Long story short, she delivered her baby, Emma, at 29 1/2 weeks (for those who don't know, normal gestation is about 40 weeks, and anything before 32 weeks is considered very high-risk). Little Emma had to spend almost 8 weeks in the neo-natal intensive care unit. I was asked if I could make a blanket that would cover the isolette that Emma lived in. Something that would keep the light out and make it a little more "personal".

I was so happy to be able to do something for them, as I had followed the story, but just didn't know how to best help. Emma's mom picked out a great fabric that I just happened to have in my stash. I added a border, appliqued a name on, and quilted it using a nice batting (Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 - preshrunk), and a super soft backing (Oh! So Soft, also called Minky or Minkee). It turned out so well...and I was so happy to get to make it!
The finished product - I think it measured about 50" x 50"
Machine Appliqued name (fusible with a blanket stitch)

I did a simple cross-hatch quilting pattern with a beautiful Superior rainbows polyester thread (and a 90/14 topstitch needle). I used the backing to do a self-binding that I folded under and zig-zag stitched from the front.

Just a photo of the beautiful white backing. I LOVE the Oh! So Soft, it is addicting!

Small Fry is 4 months old!

Well, it's here, Small Fry will be 4 months on Saturday, and my, how different our life is now. I never in a million years could have guessed what it would be like to have two children vs. one child. At least I have hubby, he is fantastic beyond belief at taking over and helping out in all situations.

Little Small Fry is *this close* to sleeping through the night, which is super exciting - we moved him into his own room about 2 1/2 weeks ago because he was just getting startled too easily in his bassinet that was in our room. But, he was still waking up every few hours to eat and then not going back to bed, so it was a trying time of not getting much, if any, sleep.

But, we've been consistent with the routine, and then last week, my mom suggested trying a little bit of rice cereal before bed, just to pack his tummy full. I finally got to the store to get some cereal (it's like a 2-hour process to get us out the door these days), and the first night he got it, he slept 7 straight hours (a new record by 3 hours!!). The next night was 7 hours again, and then 2 nights of 8 hours each in a row...followed by waking up to eat and then falling back asleep in our bed. It's been great...I don't know if it's definitely the cereal, but it's nice to be getting a longer stretch of sleep at night...I really missed the sleep.

Well, my sister (the out-of-state one) is coming to visit with her two kids this weekend and I'm so excited. I haven't seen her since last summer, and she's got a son 6-months older than our big Monkey and a daughter just 3 weeks older than Small Fry.

Oh yah, and one more thing I'm currently freaking out about - our Monkey is going to pre-school starting on Monday. He's going to have an absolute BLAST and I'm soooo sad...I told hubby that it's now just a matter of time before he's in high-school, has a drivers' license and is dating girls. It's like I'm done having a little kid. (Okay, my rational brain knows it's not that bad, but my mama brain is very, very sad to see her kiddo growing up). I'll have to post about the big day next week :)

Open wide, Small Fry!

He looks unsure, but he was a happy camper!

Hubby and the Monkey enjoying the picnic at the zoo!

Another Blog!

In the spirit of having an obsessive need to add more to my plate, I've decided to start a MamaMade Baby blog. I have tons of ideas with my shop and wanted to share them, but didn't want to make things all crazy with my not-so-frequently updated "Little Fur Family" blog and my MamaMade shop blog.

So, check it out, tell your friends and enjoy! :)

So, where can I buy more time?

I'm still figuring this whole sort of stay-at-home mom, part-time working mom thing. Boy #2 is four months old on Friday, and Boy #1 is starting pre-school of sorts on Monday. He'll be going three mornings a week, and I'll be going in to my "real" job two of those mornings...but bringing boy #2 with me. Confused yet? I guess I'll just try it for a while, and I'm still a little sad that #1 is growing up so fast - I'm going to totally miss him, but I know he'll have tons of fun and love getting to be with other kids. There is no basis for this fear, but I sure am hoping he's "good" and doesn't hit or throw things at the other kids. I SO don't want to be "that" mom, lol.

That all said, I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to fit in the rest of my life. #2 is pretty high maintenance, so lately I've only been able to spend time in my studio when both boys are asleep, which is usually from about 9 pm - 1 am. I've got millions of ideas floating through my head right now, and I'm hoping that i have some time to work soon!

Also, custom orders have been consistently streaming in, which is keeping me busy, but the other stuff that I "want" to do is also piling up. I've got about 5 quilts I want to make, and right now I'm totally obsessed with baby pants. I want to be able to set up a few listings where customers can choose the size they want, since I'm seeing that larger sizes (like 12 months and up) are likely going to be more popular. I'm hoping to also make a bunch of "mix and match" type sets with pants and matching appliqued, I just need more of that TIME to actually get all of it done!

Mama wants to blog!

So, I have a personal blog, but I thought it might be fun to journal some of the "creative process" in making my MamaMade stuff. Like what I'm thinking about making next, to what it's like working in my studio, in the wee hours of the night when the kiddos are finally asleep.

I've got tons of ideas, hopefully I can keep up with it ;)