Saturday, December 31, 2011


I love putting the tree up and I really love taking the tree down. Some of my family members prefer to NOT pull the plug on Christmas on the 26th but I am not one of them. For their sake I do my best to be patient and let the tree stay for a few days after Christmas but I admit to plucking ornaments off here and there during that time. Finally on New Year's Eve I can get it all packed up without feeling guilty. Starting the new year off with a house that feels a little empty after all the decorations are gone seems right to me. It feels like a clean slate and I like that.

2011, you were good to me and my family - thanks for being so cool even if you were a little nutty from time to time. 2012, we haven't met yet but I am hoping we will have a great relationship! See you very soon!

P.S. I thought I would quickly give a report on how I did on my resolution from last year. I do believe I wore lipstick approximately 6 times so I think that qualifies as success, right??

Saturday, December 24, 2011

ghost of christmas past part 3!

You know how it goes - you do something two times and suddenly it becomes a tradition. The last two years I posted a photo of my dear sisters and I when we were little girls at Christmas time. This year I am doing that again but the embroidered version.
These were made at the request of my sisters for our parents. I love that the last snow angels of the season are for them. I actually do remember so many Winters full of snow play including many snow angels with 'the girls'. Those memories made stitching these even more fun for me but made me miss my sisters at the same time. I hoped to get a few more handmade gifts made this year but...oh well, that holds true every year I'm afraid (doesn't every creative person feel that way?).

This holiday season I have also been thinking so much about all the lovely people that have come into my life via my Etsy shop and my blog and I am so very grateful. You all make the holidays and everyday so happy for me - thank you!
I wish you all a magical holiday!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

office christmas party

our "Our First Christmas" ornament given to us on our wedding day
I'm revealing yet another secret here today on So September. This one is about a little something that just might be my favorite holiday tradition at our house. And I don't just say that because I thought this up myself, oh no. Although, I do pat myself on the back every now and then when I think about this. I like to call it the 'Office Christmas Party". As you know, I do not work in an office so such festivities aren't usually a part of my holiday plans. But I do work pretty hard and I do have a 'co-worker' of sorts in my dear husband and I really felt like we needed a little break during this crazy time of year to just step back and have a night to ourselves. It's sort of a holiday season date night you could say.
In years past I have even surprised Vince by just showing up at the end of the workday and announcing that it's "Office Christmas Party" night. I highly recommend that approach and I guarantee you will win some points with it. Other years it has been as simple as having dinner by ourselves in our very own dining room. Either way it has always been special and one of the things I look forward to most during the holiday season. I am so grateful to have had a chance to celebrate O.C.P. 2011 last weekend with my awesome husband who always makes the holidays merry and bright!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

we are santa's elves....

I heard this song playing in Barnes and Noble the other day and it hit me that it is a perfect holiday anthem for Etsy sellers. Here we are in our satellite workshops working frantically making handmade lovelies that will travel all over the world for Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I love it and I think most Etsy sellers would say the same. Like the song says..."we work hard all day, but our work is play..." Yes! That's exactly it! I won't be wearing a pointed hat or pointed shoes any time soon but I am so glad to be a part of the joyful chaos that is Christmas on Etsy.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

whatever works for ya

 Did you know this cute little ornament is actually hiding a dark and well kept secret? It's true.
 It's actually sitting atop a very handy dandy [and thoroughly washed] plastic juice container. Why you say?
Well, when I finish an ornament and secure it in it's hoop I trim the edge of the fabric and glue it to the inside edge of the hoop with an archival adhesive. I like the fabric to stay put while the glue dries and these Old Orchard juice containers happen to fit perfectly inside a 3 inch hoop. They keep the fabric nice and snug against the hoop as the adhesive dries then they slide right off when it's done. I'm guessing I'm not the first to have found a little household item that doubles as a crafting tool. So let's hear it, what works for you?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

these are a few of my favorite things

Well, the frenzy of the Holiday Season has begun over here and while I am happy to be so busy I am also finding it hard to come up with much to share here besides, "AGH! I'm so busy!!" Oh, I'm sorry, did I let a wee bit of panic creep into that last statement? Forgive me, I meant to hide that a little better. No really, it will all get done, it always does, right?

Anyway, I thought I would at least check in here and share some of the things I have been loving lately that you might love too. 

1. The Target Daily Deal. Wow there are some bargains there. Definitely worth checking out. They have great prices and free shipping on the selected items each day. Thanks Target!

 2. My little pick me up and keep me goings: mmmmmmm..........
 3. Netflix! If you embroider you know that one of the great things about it is that you can often do it in front of a screen. Thank you Netflix for sending me some lovely movies to stitch by this season. Three recently watched goodies I recommend are: Temple Grandin, Tree of Life (I came so close to sending this one back 20 minutes into it but am so glad I didn't!), and then for something a little lighter - Bridesmaids.
 4. Sleeping Queens. I searched for this card game for months after my 6 year old nephew introduced it to me in June. We finally found it at Barnes and Noble about a week ago and have been playing it ever since. It's easy to learn, great for all ages, and the graphics are adorable. You can't go wrong with this one. Plus each round is just 15 - 30 minutes long so you can squeeze in a game or two amid the Holiday madness.
 5. Go-Gos (no, not the 80's band). Okay I admit, when Peter decided he had to have these I did have my doubts. I wasn't too excited about having them all over the house and about another 'collection/obsession' to deal with. Turns out I love these guys. They really are so innocent and with so much other garbage out there that he could be into, I'm glad he picked the cute little things that don't carry weapons. Plus he actually plays with them. He makes up scenes, organizes them, trades them, writes stories about them, and draws them. Currently we are even helping him make a stop motion animation video starring go-gos of course (with a small cameo from a Bionicle). I admit, it's really fun. So when Peter's Christmas wish list is comprised of 90% go-gos I'm okay with that.
So, there is my round up of current loves. What are you loving these days?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

the more things change...

the more they stay the same. I'm kind of a super sentimental marshmallow mom so seeing a handprint turkey come home in my preschooler's backpack still fills me with delight. I'm guessing that my own mother still has a handprint turkey made with my own tiny hand (plus at least one from each of my sisters) somewhere in a box.
They are just too sweet to part with. After making these my kids have officially put more effort into Thanksgiving this year than I have. I admit I am getting off easy this year and will be visiting relatives who are doing all the hard work - and believe me, I am grateful for that.

I hope you all have a happy and fun Thanksgiving full of laughter and good food. I'll be trying to catch up on some stitching as we zoom down the highway (it's okay, I won't be driving). Assuming I don't have to do too much backseat refereeing I should be able to make some progress.

I'll take one last moment to say how thankful I am for everyone who stops by my little blog, it means so much to me!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

just a few short days...

Oh my gosh, I'm so excited. Guess where I'm going on Sunday (with a handsome 8 year old). Are you ready? Peter and I are heading over to the Fitzgerald Theatre to see Kate DiCamillo (Peter's favorite author) and (drumroll please)...Chris Van Allsburg - one of my very favorite author/illustrators. This week Peter and I are reading our way through the new Chronicles of Harris Burdick - the book that prompted the presentation. The stories, written by various authors, are a bit dark, mysterious and clever - just like the illustrations that inspired them - delicious! I promise I won't cry or make a fool of myself although it will take some restraint on my part. I can't wait!

Friday, November 11, 2011

feathered family

Hello from the testing lab. I've been doing a bit of experimenting here and there and am trying to make sense of the results. This little bird family ornament is variation of a few designs I have done for ornaments in the past. I wanted to try it out in some muted colors this time. I am usually a fan of non-traditional colors for the holidays but ... I don't know, these almost seem too pastel to me. It's starting to look more like and Easter ornament than a Christmas ornament!

I'm also playing around with different backgrounds for my photos as well as different places in the house to take photos. I wanted to try a white background but I can tell I need some more practice. I still haven't found the perfect window to use for my tiny little photo studio but by golly I am going to try every single one until I figure it out.

My next photography project for today is to try to get a good shot of the boys for a Christmas card photo. I expect that will be a bigger challenge than changing up my background color. First, I'm making brownies though, I'll need to have some chocolately incentives on hand!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

i, corinne, do hereby pledge...

...that I will try to be a better blogger. October was my WORST month ever for blogging. But it's a new month and I am freshly fueled by pounds of Halloween candy and guilt. I would love to share the holiday season with you all if you will still have me.

How was your October? Mine was a bit of a rollercoaster. Lots of good with some bad thrown in the mix too. In the good category was a visit from my sisters (all three at once!) The four of us are in three different cities and we all have kids so get-togethers can be tricky. I am so thrilled they made the journey though! Vince and I also marked our 12th anniversary. I'm still not sure what kind of awesome karma I racked up in a previous life to deserve a husband like him but it must have been amazing. Seriously, I think I hit the jackpot here folks.

In the crafting realm there are ornaments and ornaments and oh, did I mention ornaments? I love this time of year, really I do. I'm settling into the pace a little more and before you know it *poof* it will be January so I'm going to just enjoy it while I can. I would LOVE to have a free pattern, a tutorial AND a giveaway on So September ALL before Christmas. It probably would not be wise of me to make any promises but you should know that that is indeed my goal. So, crank up the Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby and Andy Williams everyone - it's time to falala.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

lucky lady

Just a quick note today to share a little link. I am feeling like one lucky lady because Mom Inc. Daily asked me to participate in a blog feature! As you may know, the spotlight and I have a tenuous relationship but I took the leap and there I am. They are just lovely over there and the blog is exceptional. Thanks Mom Inc. Daily!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

preschool preoccupations part two

I made a promise ages ago that I would share a second little project from my preschool bag of tricks. I really didn't forget - honest! 
Do you remember these little contraptions often referred to as a 'cootie catcher' or a 'fortune teller'? We were wild about them in grade school though I am pretty sure the ones we made had boys' names scribbled inside to tell you who you would end up marrying some day in the future. The version I made with Adam is far more innocent, I promise. It's full of bright colors, numbers and happy little affirmations tucked inside. I honestly did not expect this to be as big a hit as it was but I'm tellin' you, you should see Adam's face as his 'fortune' is read to him. He LOVES it. He'll let out a squeal and say "I knew it!!" Seriously, it's about the cutest thing ever.

So I felt like I should share it here as well. You can find a printable copy right here.
After you download and print it just make one cut along the dotted line at the bottom. The photo above shows one that has been cut already. This leaves you with a square sheet of paper.
 Fold corner to corner one way.
 Unfold and then do the same thing with the opposite corners.
Open it back up and fold each corner to the center. The intersection of the first two folds appears at the very center of your square and will serve as a guide for where the four corners should meet.
 Turn it over and do the same thing again.
 You'll end up with something that looks like this on one side.
 And like this on the other.
Ease it open until it looks like this and you are ready to play!

How to play:
(If you already know this part go download your fortune teller and start playing!)
Use your thumbs ad forefingers to manipulate your fortune teller in one of two ways:
like this:
 or shift to this:
We start with me holding the fortune teller closed and I ask Adam to choose a color (you could also ask players to choose a shape instead). He picks one of the four and I shift the fortune teller in opposite ways as I say each letter aloud. (i.e. open it to the blue and green numbers and say "B", shift it to the yellow and red numbers and say "L") and so on until the word "Blue" is spelled. We would end up with the fortune teller open to the red and yellow numbers. Then he would pick one of those numbers. I would shift the fortune teller again as I counted up to the number he chose. Finally when the counting is done he chooses one more number. I then open up the fortune teller to reveal the words or 'fortune' underneath.

I have started tucking one of these in my pocket for those 'waiting around' moments when you have to keep a little one occupied while you wait in line at the grocery store or have to do something equally mundane. It really comes in handy!


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Thursday, September 29, 2011

hello long lost blog

We're here! I'm here! I swear I have not abandoned 'So September'. It's just been a little, well, nutty. A lot has happened in the last two weeks. One of which was my youngest boy turning 4! When Peter turned four I was just about to have Adam so this feels like a bit of a milestone and a bit like new territory. Once again Adam's birthday arrived amid a flurry of activity in which it almost was lost. That has somehow managed to happen every year, poor thing. We did have a small celebration though and I don't think he felt cheated at all. whew!
And even though Vince begged me to wait with any photos until everything was in it's place (which it is sooooo NOT), here I am with a couple of little sneak peaks. A fireplace! Something I never really thought I would have in a house I lived in but dreamed about it anyway. And there it is. Weird how that happens sometimes, no?
A lovely little row of evergreens in the back. That's where the squirrels and birds and rabbits like to congregate. Oh, and the people too. Good grief I love those trees.
Other trees are winning our hearts as well.
and just one more. A little built in space to put you fiestaware and what not. I (not my kids or husband but ME) broke TWO pieces of the vintage fiesta in the course of the move and I swore I would tuck it away for it's own good from now on. Turns out this is a pretty perfect little nook. 

So, we are settling. There is a LOT of crafting paraphernalia that still needs to find a home but I at least located my needles and floss so I'm good. I have missed the craft blog world and can't wait to catch up on everyone's projects and plans. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

summer goals reviewed

So, now that Summer has raced on by like it tends to do I thought I would take a look back at some of the goals and plans I made when the season first started to see how I did. You might remember this post where I laid out my lofty plans.

1. Reading.

I actually impressed myself on this front and did more reading this Summer than I have in years. I can't believe I let this hobby slip away from me from time to time and I shutter to think of all the books I have missed out on when I have been in a 'lazy reader' phase. Just about everything I read was good and a few things were great. My favorite read of the season was The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. That one is going on the favorites list for sure. What were your favorite reads this Summer?

2. Travel. oops I forgot to do this one. Remember how I said I was going to learn my way around Minneapolis? yeah, that didn't quite happen. But hey,  I can always make that my Autumn goal, right?

3. Bike riding. YES! I didn't get out every single day but I'd say just about 2-3 times per week which is pretty good for me. I'm already sad about putting it away when the weather turns so I guess I better squeeze in a few more rides before that happens.

4. Quilts. Well...I didn't get as far as I wanted. I did get almost all the quilting on one of the quilts done and then got ...distracted. Is it normal to take 3+ years to make two twin sized quilts?

5. Visitors. Yes, the highlights of our Summer! Thanks everyone who made the journey!

6. House browsing. Okay, I failed on this front as well. I promised just to look and not buy but then...
Well, we bought a house.

I know I know, it's a little nutty. I really fell hard for this one and just felt like we should move on it before someone else did. So we did and we got it and we move tomorrow! It wasn't exactly what we planned to do but we do feel a certain sense of destiny with this house in spite of a lot of stress that has come along with the closing process we feel like it's 'meant to be'. And yes, this means that for the past few weeks I have been packing up everything we own for the second time in a year but I swear, I am not doing this again for at least another decade, if not more. Seriously.

I'll be in internet limbo for a few days and then I hope to get settled and maybe even share some photos! 

I hope you all are looking back fondly on your Summer and looking ahead with eager anticipation to the coming Fall!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

new beginnings

Yesterday was the big day folks - Back to School! Little Adam started preschool with great enthusiasm and excitement. That certainly made that first drop off easy for me. Yep, I think he is going to do juuuuuuust fine. Plus it's only two afternoons a week so I am pretty sure he can handle being away from me for that long - I mean, I'm cool and all but I'm not that cool. His teachers seem to be about as sweet as is humanly possible and they also seem to LOVE their jobs so what more could I really ask for?
Peter rather reluctantly started third grade. I think that will be fine too but it's so hard at that age to leave behind the sleeping in, staying up late, playing outside, riding bikes and all the other fun that Summer brings. I remember what a tough transition that was at that age and I don't envy him. On the other hand, after a Summer of spending all day with his mother and 3 yr. old brother, I think he will welcome a chance to hang with the big kids and do 8 yr. old boy stuff for a change.

And of course you know what all of this really means, don't you? That I will have about 4 hours each week completely to myself!! I'm pretty excited about that as you might guess. I had a list a mile long of things I wanted to do that first day (this post being one of them) but only got through about 3 of them. Oh well, I will have to learn to pace myself and plan realistically. It's going to be good!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

getting personal

Guess what? More ornaments. I just have two to share today. These were both designs that are meant to be personalized. The sweet little angel makes me wish I had a little girl to stitch for and the trike makes me giddy that I have a boy so I suppose it all worked out.
The streamers on the trike were an afterthought but now I think they are my favorite part. And the grown-up bike lover in the house (i.e. Vince) thinks it's pretty cool too. So, we've got something new to hang on our very own tree this year.

I will probably have to come up with one for Peter just to even things out. What do you think...a ninja or a yu-gi-oh monster?? Hmmm...tough call. I'm joking of course - I can respect the things he is into right now but they are not going to make it onto the family Christmas tree. Sorry Peter!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

preschool preoccupations

I've got not one, but TWO fun little projects from this Summer to share. They were both geared toward the younger set since I have a three (almost four) year old in the house who often needs a diversion. Before you get too excited I'll warn you that I only have one of the two projects ready today - I'm working on the other. Also, I admit, I did not come up with this idea, I read it in a magazine somewhere but it's so fun and easy I'm sharing here anyway even though chances are that you have seen this somewhere before.
So, the first one is the much beloved "I Spy" jar. All you need is an assortment of little doo-dads and what nots (we always seem to have plenty in our house). I used things like a paperclip, a thumbtack, a crayon, a button and well, you get the idea. Then you need a clean empty jar and some rice. I decided to color my rice just for fun using this recipe.
Toss everything in the jar and seal it shut (I used E600 for this). All that's left to do now is turn it and shake it until you have found all the hidden treasures inside. I added a tag to it that lists what is inside as well. Fun and super dooper easy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

eight is enough

when posing in front of an underwater themed mosaic you must, of course, act as though you are underwater
Okay Peter, you can stop growing up now. You can just stay right where you are. How could he possibly be eight already? It just doesn't seem possible. I have been struggling a bit with Peter's birthday this year. I guess part of me just feels as though change is on the way. I have loved ages six and seven and I think I will love eight too. I don't know though, maybe it's this new "tween" label that has cropped up in recent years. I see him heading that way and just want to grab him and run in the opposite direction.
One minute I'm quietly panicking to myself about how I'm on the verge of losing him to manga and video games and any number of other things that I am not fond of and then the next minute he is making up a goofy dance or chasing butterflies and I can take a deep breath and realize that he will NOT grow up all at once. Thanks goodness too because that is more than this marshmallow mom could handle.

We did have a wonderful weekend celebrating this 8 year milestone. We visited the Minnesota Zoo, did a bit of hiking and ate a lot of junk food. Everyone was exhausted but happy for two days straight. Not a bad way to start a new year is it?

Monday, August 15, 2011

angels in august

Okay, so I am so excited about these! In part because they took sooooo long to get here! I sketched this idea out 2 years ago and just couldn't seem to get it right in time for the 2009 or the 2010 holiday season. She would get pulled in and out of the project pile over and over until finally this Summer she emerged! yea!
I decided I had better throw a blond into the mix for good measure. Usually I get scared off by blond. I'm afraid I will make it 'yellow' and all the blonds in the world will hate me. I hope I got it right here (crossing fingers).

Besides getting these on the shop shelves this week I am plugging along on a custom order - I swear one day there will be photos, I swear! I have also designated this week as "wrap up week". The week when I finish up a number of half completed 'to-do's' that have been nagging at me and also catch up with people I need to catch up with. That part will be fun - assuming all the people I have been neglecting haven't written me off for good for being so out of touch (sorry guys!). We also have a birthday at the end of this week in our family and I am so NOT prepared for that. Again, I have work to do but it will be the fun kind of work!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

august is...

Christmas ornament time! Didn't you know? None of this "back to school" season stuff for me. And Halloween and Thanksgiving?? Forget about it! The bells are jingling over here even with the air conditioner blasting. I'm joking for the most part of course. I don't enjoy jumping the gun on the holidays but I know I have to do it if I want to have anything at all on the shop shelves in time.
So, these are the first of the season. Remember my trials and troubles with shisha? I really did stick with it and even though I don't yet find it to be easy, it is getting more fun. I thought it would add just the right sparkle to a Christmas ornament and I love the idea of something non-traditional on a Christmas tree.
More ornaments should be hitting the shelves in the next month or so. I am really excited about all of them!

And by the way, I have been back to school shopping recently. While I do love this particular chore (fresh crayons, new notebooks, super clean lunchboxes and backpacks - whoo hoo!!) I am glad that I only have two kids to buy for!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

show and tell

As promised (or threatened perhaps) I am back in the blogosphere. My very dear friends, Julie and Jen, who were visiting all the way from sunny California left today and I immediately wanted to share some of the fun things we made this year. If you are a regular reader then you have probably heard about this flurry of crafting that comes along with any visits from my friends and fellow Etsians. I am pretty proud of us this year although I think it's safe to say that we never get as many projects done as we would like.
 This year we made some lovely mugs using Vitrea paints. They can be heat set in your oven so they are dishwasher-safe. How Julie gets her handwriting so perfect is beyond me. I didn't even try. I opted for flowers (imagine that).
What we spent MOST of our time on this time around was a set of dolls for a very special baby girl born just this Summer. We used this tutorial which I had bookmarked ages ago but never honestly thought I would ever have an opportunity or reason to try it. When this precious new family member came into Julie and Jen's lives I threw the idea out there and was thrilled when they said they wanted to try it. I think we would all agree that this is a labor intensive project but well worth it.
There is a lot of embroidery going on behind the SeptemberHouse scenes but I don't have any decent photos to share. What I will share is this scan of the new 'love' stamps from the US post office. LOVE these! I think I gasped a little when the woman at the counter pulled these out. She seemed less impressed of course but I was one happy girl when I took these home. Yes, I have been known to be a bit of a stamp nerd, it's true.
And now, I'm off to check in with some blogs I have been missing, I can't wait to see what everyone else has been making!