Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mommy, We wanna go to the HAPPY Rooooom!

I heard two voices sweetly begging me to go to the Happy Room today and when I approached the stairs this is what greeted me.... ;) How do you say no to that? And after all, I've got some tiding up to do before I can get started on the sewing room makeover...... and from looking at my watch we had 2 hours before time to go pick up Nora at school...

So while they played, I cut up a few shirts... and since I had my camera with me I took some photos in hopes that this will help other Quiltville.com fans in their shirt deconstruction... It really can be fast and fun!

The 3 things you must have to make it fast and fun are -

  1. a cutting mat,
  2. rotary cutter and
  3. Fiskar's "spring" scissors.

I always start by laying out the shirt as if I were getting ready to fold it... face side up. and rotary cut on each side of the arm seams. Doesn't even matter to me if I'm close or not... I try not to be close on purpose to avoid hitting that bulky seam - not only does that slow you down but could dull my blade faster than needed... remember - the whole shirt cost me only $0.50 so I'm not hung up on saving every little cm of fabric.... Close enough is... close enough :) Cut the arm off then move down to the cuff.

Slice! That takes 2 seconds... flip over and grab Fiskar "Spring" scissors... and chop, chop up the area that you button the cuff... 5 seconds tops.

and hang on before you move on to the other sleeve... one final step - SLICE up the seam that holds the sleeve together.... another 5 seconds. Easy Peasy! ;)

Now you are ready to reposition the shirt and make the same cuts to the other sleeve.

Next, I like to start at the shoulder and cut over to the collar. Repeat on the other side.

cut all the way out to where you button up the shirt. Snip, snip, snip! :)

Then you're ready to fold out the fronts of the shirt - where it's open like this..

Then I make a rotary cut along where the "yolk" I think it's called? In the center you may roll over a big BUMP aka pleat - if so either cut above, below or grab the Fiskars and snip over it...

Now that the yolk is gone - readjust to work with where the "shirt back" meets the front pannel (either left or right) and make a snip along both sides of that seam.... now pick up and RIP! RIP! each of your snips! :) This is the fun part! Repeat on the other side.

Then I flip around the shirt so that the shirttail is on the mat... and use my rotary blade to roll around that bottom hem. Fast and easy... :)

Repeat cutting off the shirttail hem on the front panels of the shirt parts using your rotary cutter. Then snip beside the buttons and button holes and rip them off! :) Love that sound! I end by grabbing my Fiskars and cutting off the buttons. Snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip...

I do not worry with the threads or any tid-bits of fabric left on them. I'll worry with taking those off WHEN & IF I ever need to use the buttons! The kids love playing with them all the same and I bet some of it will fall of from their pretend baking and money exchanges. ;) Plus I have things on my "to do list" to spend my time on - not on using a seam ripper to cut off threads!

As you can see from the pile above - very little waste... and I didn't time myself, but very little time too! :) Moving on to the next shirt.... Ooough! Aa nice Docker's brand... too bad it's only a L and won't fit the hubby. :(

Speaking of buttons - I just heard a spill behind me... Ought-OH... time to pick up!

Today I cut between 15-20 shirts in less than an hour. The only parts I folded were the "shirt backs" the rest went into a bin to be cut in to strip sizes at a later date and filed into drawers according to size and light or color. ;) like Bonnie Hunter's Scrap Users System.

Wanna see some of my "shirt backs" collection??? Here's just one diaper box... and one drawer.

There are many many more.... which reminds me after I fulfill my obligations on the pink project (which is nearly complete) I'm gonna get back to my Hand Me Downs project I stared last summer!

So here are a few more photos I took of Paul Thomas & Olivia here in the "Happy Room" today. Won't they love it once I get a small kid sized table for them to sit at here with me in the sewing room..

Oh and here's one more thing that I bought for only $0.50 at the Goodwill... a denim skirt for Nora with shorts built in! It's a size 8 so it will have to be put into our "waiting to grow into" bin :)

and guess who loves to make little stick people with the smiles from ear to ear.... Miss Olivia... even on the wood top to my table *sigh* I can't watch her ***ALL*** the time... and thanks to my Mr. Clean sponge I'm sure it will wash off... so I'll let it slide.

and guess who la,la,loves to use the iron!!?

Not a real one of course... actually he calls it "doing his homework" and he does a great job. Spends just as long getting it ready, straight and no wrinkles as he does ironing it :) The last time we were at Joann's I let him buy this football FQ and he has ironed it at least 4 dozen times!

Sometimes he gets a little frustrated b/c the plastic ironing board tips over easily... and it doesn't help that he thinks he has to be sitting down to iron... guess his legs get tired standing with all the time he spends on it. lol

Here he is getting it straighten up again for the 13th time.... and all the while Olivia is dancing and twirling around the room.... yelling LOOK at ME! LOOK at ME!

I love those little piggies sticking out in the photo above left to help hold it from slipping off the edge.... I'm telling you he could spend 30 min on this! Too bad he's not old enough yet to really iron! One day little brother..... one day!

Finally. Either he's ironed it enough that it meets his satisfaction or he just can't resist any longer... he calls it a day and jumps up and joins Olivia in a round of Swing your partner!

.....Or this could also be observed as just run around your sister as fast as you can and if you knock her over and she doesn't cry then I won't get in trouble and then I can laugh! .......if she cries quickly yell I'M SORRY! then repeat!

and here's one more photo that I have to share.... the perfect ending to my day. Nora reading a bible story to me! :)

Love from Texas!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wishes really do come true!!!

When was the last time you made a WISH? I'm talking about the kind you really, REALLY wish for something and actually have hopes that it will indeed come true..... honestly, I can't really remember the last time I made a real wish either. Although my 6 year old makes these REAL wishes ALL the time... but for someone my age, I guess I'm too practical perhaps.

I'm sure you're more like me, as in often saying yeah, I wish I had.... or I wish we could.... but never really expecting it to happen.

A while back I noticed really bad shoulder pain when sewing at the dining room table with my machine. At first you don't notice it but after long periods of time.... you start to think - I wish my shoulders didn't hurt!!! So after taking along this little nightstand table to the workshop last summer to the guild workshop, when I got it home I tried setting my machine on it to sew... and you know what - it helped! No more tense shoulder pain! ;) ...but on the down side, not a lot of room to sew.

For months I've surfed around the web wishing and dreaming of a sewing cabinet...one that you can fit your machine down into the cabinet. Try not to be jealous, but this has been my sewing station for several months now.... seriously. Cannot even begin to tell you how bug of a pain free motion quilting has been - even with that acrylic plastic attachment...
I've used the dining room table as project table but sewn on this small nightstand above. While surfing and dreaming, I've sent dozens of emails to myself and CC'd the hubby at work - showing him cabinets that would be nice to have "one day" with next to nothing as a reply... *sigh* well even if it's not in the budget it's still fun to dream right? ;)
I almost purchased this... a folding table! Hey, it's not fancy, but the price is affordable! I thought I could recreate the set up I have now in the dining room and move everything upstairs and use it to be my work area and put the yard-sale-find-nightstand this folding table, like I do downstairs in the dining room...? The goal after all is to MOVE OUT of the dining room..... the sooner the better according to hubby!

Well guess what! Recently on facebook - Arrow Sewing Cabinets was promoting their fan page trying to get 1000 fans... earlier they gave away a Gidget II table and reminded fans that once they got to 1,000 they'd be giving away an "Olivia." I'm here today to tell ya that wishes really do come true!

Have you already guessed where I'm headed with this post???

YEP, MY name was randomly chosen
as the winner of the OLIVIA sewing cabinet!!!!!!!

Special thanks to my friend IowaLisa for calling me at home and greeting me with, "Hello is this Bonnie M____? Good morning Bonnie, you obviously do not have your cell phone on you (she had been texting me) nor have you been to your computer yet have you?" Me= "Uammm, no I had to get all the kids ready and take Nora to school this morning since David is working outta town." (looking at my watch - it's only 8:30am) Then she said, "You need to RUN, don't walk, to your computer right now while I'm on the phone with you... I want to hear your reaction." :P

Oh my heavens!!! I could not believe it!!??! Me!?? For Real??? Yes, there was my name in their status line - I about passed out when I read it!!

Arrow Sewing Cabinets
Drum roll please.......Bonnie NXXXXX MXXXX - do you have room at your house for Olivia??? You're our winner!!! Congrats! Please email XXXX@arrowcabinets.com to claim her!
WEEeee! Wishes really do come true!!!!!!!!!! Oh I cannot wait until next Wednesday when Alisha said my Olivia would be delivered!!!

It was a hard decision between the green or the white... and while the green sure would be a fun color - I made the safe choice and went with the white.. After all I think it will go with a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g and I've already made plans to go pick up some paint and paint the far wall in the sewing room.....GREEN! :)
This room has been lacking color since we moved in and I think painting just that back wall will give it what it needs... and if I ever get tired of green, I can go blue, or tan, or _____? :) When I told Nora about my big win and that the cabinet was called "Olivia" she let me know that I was not being a fair mom.... b/c Paul Thomas' favorite color is green ya know! So I think they will all be happy once the make over is complete, don't you? ;) The HAPPY ROOM is going GREEN!

Well it looks like I better get busy getting ready... gotta find a new place for those shirts along the wall.... stay tuned....

Love from Texas!

Monday, February 7, 2011

a little paper work during the Super Bowl

Yesterday afternoon while many were preparing and getting ready for a Superbowl Party, I was busy getting caught up on a little "paper work" ;) David got the kids set up with the new small TV in the computer room and DVD so that he'd have the BIG screen in the den all to himself and I was just ear shot away in the dining room sewing and keeping an ear out for the kids and also for David.... a handful of times during commercials he would laugh and I'd have to run in to have him rewind and let me see. :P
So have you heard about EQ's 2011 Bloc of the Month??? I hadn't until I stumbled upon it while blog hopping over the weekend. Thankfully the January Block (January Jumble) due date isn't until Feb. 17th so click over to take a look and find out all about it and jump in! :) I really wasn't planning to begin yet another project - but this little block looked too cute and I've been wanting to practice my paper piecing skills.
Each month they are giving away prizes to people who submit photos of their blocks. There is even a post that you can see everyone's Jan. blocks - I just emailed a photo of mine below this morning so it's not posted yet... but I'll be checking back later this week to see if they add it. Until then, here's a look at mine.
They have several examples for colorway ideas but you can choose anything you'd like. I grabbed some FQs and didn't really know how they'd turn out but in the end I'm satisfied! When I showed the hubby his reply was, "Nice. That looks rich." ??? I about fell over! That is nothing like his usual comments on my show-n-tell. :)
Maybe next weekend I'll be able to do some more "paper work" and get February Frolic made as the pattern is already posted and so are the February Show & Tell pics.
Here's something I started using - a baby wipe tub with the lid off to use as a table top trash can for trimmings and such. :) kinda like a trash bowl for when you're cooking. Also, I love my handly little nail brush to keep my cutting mat nice and clean from threads.
Besides paper work, I also had some other very important things to do last night. As you know Nora's in Girl Scouts this year and sold cookies for the first time last month. Did I tell you that out of her troop she sold the most boxes!? Saturday, David went with the leader to pick up the shipment and we now know what 234 boxes of cookies looks like! We can barely get out of the van when we pull into the garage! :P
I still don't have the sales sheet to know who gets what type, I'll get that sheet Monday night - but David did bring home her badges that she earned for selling over 140 boxes - the little owls, aren't they cute? I sewed them onto the back of her tunic along with some other fun badges she's already earned this year. I also sewed the center of her Daisy flower onto the front of her uniform for memorizing the Girl Scout Promise. :)
My little man was really into the game last night but don't let the FQ of fabric with footballs fool ya.... While Daddy's game was on the BIG screen, Paul Thomas' game was on the small screen of his new Leapster 2 game system. :)
Star Wars aka "boy power" game! :) Thanks Jessica!! :) For any of you mommas (or grandmommas) out there who's kids have these, you know that keeping up with the small cartridges can be a challenge. Well a couple weekends ago when we were at Joann's look what I found!
One of those DMC floss storage boxes. It works PERFECTLY! My kids take forever before choosing the game they want and of course have to see them all - this clear box is just the solution they can look thru the lid and decide then let me know - nothing gets dropped like when they use to toss them about digging for their favorites... and see the bottom right corner - that one spot holds Nora's new Leapster Explorer camera video recorder cartridge and under it 4 of those TINY games!
Guess what my little princess Olivia did.... crowned me "Queen Momma" just after the halftime show last night. :) It was so light weight that I forgot about it being there and didn't discover it until when I went to bed... what's that in my hair??? lol
What a fun weekend! :) Oh and I also bought a new camera!! I was on the fence between 3 different brands and price ranges... we've been Canon fans for the past 10+ years .... but since I jsut returned the one David gave me for Christmas b/c I wasn't happy with it... I decided to take the leap and go with the Nikon CoolPix S4000. It's very compact which is perfect for keeping in my pocket at all times - 2.3" x 3.8" and weighing less than 5 oz! and it's WAY faster processing between photos than the one I took back which was a lot more money than this one. It even has a touch screen... which is great for me, but not sure how I'll like that once the kids try to help take a photo?? I'm afraid they might delete unknowingly?

Well - I have things to do so I better run for now... I'm happy that as I work I can take photos again! :) Pink Project, here I come... again!
EDITED TO ADD - I just found a blog of one of the EQ BOM participants Joann - over at Thread Head. She is the organizer of the new quilt along... have you seen? Click the logo to take you there. :) So pretty using 1800's fabrics.

Love from Texas!