Wednesday, August 29, 2012

all is fair in...

I am such a good wife and mother - you all knew that right? I'm joking of course but I am giving myself a pat on the back for braving the Minnesota State Fair this week with my husband and two boys - who all really wanted to go. The State Fair is kind of a big deal here or at least it seems that way if you live in Saint Paul where the fair takes place. 
While I'm not big on huge crowds there are some things I really like about the fair. One is the livestock displays. It is so amazing to see all the animals up close and watch them being cared for. You really do gain a whole new respect for all the hard work that goes into it. And they are such beautiful creatures, in my humble opinion.
I also loved the Creative Activities building which housed the displays for all our favorite pastimes - baking, embroidery, sewing, knitting, quilting, woodworking, preserving. You and I know all the hard work, trial and error and time that goes into these things and the years and dedication it takes to master these skills. So, to see them all proudly displayed and to see these highly skilled craftspeople being recognized kind of warms my heart. 
Who doesn't love a wall full of jelly?
I'll leave you with a shot of my boys riding the ferris wheel (probably should have brought the telephoto lens for that shot, I know). Check out that perfect blue sky - what a way to say farewell to Summer, right?

Looking ahead to September there are some fun things happening at So September (I can't say what exactly because it's a secret right now) - I hope you'll stop by and take a peek!

Monday, August 27, 2012

teeny tiny stitches

This is my favorite new ornament this year (so far that is). I am a sucker for all things cute though so I guess that has something to do with it. 
My goals for this one was to make something that didn't shout BABY - no rattles or bottles allowed in my book. I also wanted a design that could work for either boys or girls and hopefully I hit the mark. Or at least got close. And lastly, it had to be able to be personalized, which it can. This little bear can be found over at the SeptemberHouse website.

I still have a few designs for ornaments waiting in the wings - one of which has been particularly troublesome. I'm not feeling confident that I can figure out how to make it work in time for this season. That is always disappointing but it happens pretty much every year anyway. 

I'm also starting to work on a new pattern set - yay! I would love to have it ready to go in September. It might be September 30th rather than September 1st however. Of course my kids are going back to school next week so production just might pick up, who knows, right?

Friday, August 24, 2012

i'm getting there...

Hello and Happy Friday! I am happy to report that the weather and my kids and my camera all cooperated for a short while this week and I was able to take some ornament photos. Making that work can be...tricky.
I just have a couple to share this afternoon - some new, some familiar. This one is a new number for happy holiday couples. When Vince and I got married someone gave us an "Our First Christmas" ornament as a gift and I just love it. It's always been one of my favorites on the tree each year. So, I like to have something along those lines at SeptemberHouse. Mostly because they are fun to make but also because I hope that someone out there might treasure this memento as much as I treasure mine.
 You can find these Our First Christmas Ornaments in the webstore.
And you all remember these happy gals, right? Yes, the snow angels are back playing in the snow even though it's hot and sunny outside today. They just can't help themselves.
More to come! Until then have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2012

links for lunch - yum

It's coming whether you like it or not --- school. It may bring sad or happy thoughts - for me it's a little of both. Today I thought I would share some link love for anyone who is familiar with this struggle: what to put in that lunch bag! I have picky eaters so this can be a little tricky. In an effort to get more organized however, I have done some surfing to find a few resources to make this job a little easier (I hope). And of course I'm sharing them here with you!

DIY Lunch bags:

A cute embroidered number from the Purl Bee
all kinds of tutorials from WhipUp
a sweet little something from Sew Mama Sew
Lark Crafts Bento Box style lunch box
Martha's take on lunchbags

What to put inside:

A great little tool from Parenting Magazine
Great list if ideas from Wendolonia
Some make ahead ideas from My Recipes
Another meal planning tool
Cooking Light's round up of recipes and ideas

Add a bit of fun:

Lunchbox notes from Alphamom
A great list of 51(!) fun tuck ins
Ideas from Family Fun Magazine
Adorable printable notes from Weelife
Food ideas and printable fill-in notes

I am really hoping that all these great ideas floating around on the internet will inspire me to move beyond the peanut butter sandwich this year. I still have a few weeks to get organized since we don't start school here until after Labor Day. Who knows, my kid's lunch might end up being the envy of the whole cafeteria - you never know.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

great service shout outs

I just LOVE posts like this one. I get to go on and on about some great experience I have had with a shop and it just makes me feel so good. It's way more fun than complaining about bad service - trust me I know because I have been known to do that from time to time. Today I'm sharing the goods on some new favorite shops. 
First in the Roundup is The Ribbon Retreat. I used to run to the fabric store for ribbon every few weeks during the holiday season because I had inevitably run out of one color or another. They would always be sold out or didn't have just the right shade or something. I decided this year to get organized and stock up before the holidays. I tried out Ribbon Retreat and was so glad I did. They have so many colors it will make your head spin. It made me want to come up with some ribbon projects just so I could try some more of the gorgeous colors there. They have very reasonable prices for both ribbon and shipping. You don't have to buy 5 miles of ribbon to place an order there (some places require a pretty hefty minimum). And finally, I swear I blinked my eyes and my package was in my mailbox. Just all around great. 

Next is good ol' Spoonflower. You know I love those guys and I think they must love me because they treat me so well. Nah, they treat everyone that way. The other day an order I had placed landed in my mailbox with this super sweet note on the receipt. Oh my goodness that made my day! 
This last one is not supply related but I just have to share. I found this gorgeous winged creature over on Etsy at a shop called Bug Under Glass. In an attempt to hang something on our walls in this house (because we never did in our old house that we lived in for almost 10 years!) I have let myself choose a few new things here and there. I've kind of been going through a butterfly thing lately and these really caught my eye. So I went for it and am so happy with this purchase. What a great shop. Within 30 minutes of placing my order I had a note in my convo box from the shop owner - a real message written specifically to me. Within another hour or so this little guy had been shipped. It arrived so fast I could hardly believe it. When the postal carrier brought it to the door I thought, "That couldn't possibly be my butterfly, it's too soon" but it was. I honestly have never seen such care and thought put into packaging either - wow. When I first looked at it, it took my breath away. These are even more beautiful in real life than they are in photos and they are pretty nice in photos. 

Thank you thank you thank you to all the people who provide service and products that go above and beyond!! Do you have a great service story to share?

Friday, August 10, 2012

new friends

We have a new family member - for one week only. Meet Storm E. He is a bearded dragon who has come to stay with us for a short time while his family is on vacation. This is about as close to pet ownership as I want to get at this point in my life and I admit it has been fun. I had never spent much time around lizards and I have to say, they do seem to make really good pets. They are quiet, interesting, they don't stink or bite and they seem to have a bit of personality. Okay, I'll just say it - I might - might be a tiny bit sad when it's time for him to go. There, I said it - but don't tell my boys or my husband who all have a pretty bad case of pet fever right now.

And yes, work on holiday prep continues. I don't post about it much because I don't imagine anyone cares about my stocking up on mailing envelopes and embroidery hoops or even the trial and error and guesswork of designing this year's ornaments. You know how unsure I get about these things and my frantic indecisiveness can be kind of embarrassing so I probably shouldn't share all that. I do know that the snow angels are coming back for another season and I am actually still making color and stitch choices on the rest.

If I am posting photos of lizards - one that doesn't even belong to me - you can tell that my blogging superpowers have taken a kryptonite hit lately, I know and I apologize for that. A fellow embroiderist who I really admire, Kelly Fletcher, recently wrote a blog post about the challenges of blogging and tackling big embroidery projects. I thought it hit the nail right on the head. You can check it out on her embroidery blog.
Thanks Kelly!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

thoughts of olympic proportions

Are you watching them? You know, The Olympics?

I have been watching more than I thought I would which happens every time they roll around. I'm not a sports person - I mean I am really not a sports person so it always surprises me how much time I end up parked in front of the tv to see who wins whatever competition happens to be on at the time.

Here are some of my thoughts and observations so far:

* Gabby Douglas - sooooo cute!
* Have you ever seen anything more tragic than winning a silver medal?? Oh my gosh, the looks of disappointment in their faces! I swear it's like you are better off coming in last than getting that dreadful horrible silver. That seems weird to me but I haven't dedicated my life to a sport either so what do I know?
* Someone simply must re-design the headgear in water polo. I know it's a tough sport - so why do they have to look like ninnies?
* The royal family - you guys are great and I know you are having a moment and all but I'm a little royaled-out.
* While I adored the Google doodles for the 2010 Winter Games I have been less impressed with this year's illustrations. The synchronized swimming one today was pretty great though.
* And finally....I should really get in shape!