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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Iris Fields

What will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26 (think about it)
I finished Todd's billing last night!!!! Hooray! It feels like a party now. We have the most beautiful Japanese irises blooming in the garden, so I included a picture.

Here is the dress I made myself for the wedding. Then I got really self conscious about showing too much skin, so I made a shrug to go with it this morning. I tried it out at church today. It is made of Heather Bailey's Freshcut fabric. From what I understand, that line is getting hard to find anymore. I really like it. Maybe better than her PopGarden (gasp)! The dress was not hard, and I made it over several days. I don't like when dresses aren't lined, so I made another one and fully lined the dress in an eyelet fabric.
Today I also made the girls some summer dresses. This is my pattern, but it was super easy. When we lived in town, I made kitchen curtains from old embroidered table cloths. When I was cleaning out my sewing room, I came across them again and thought how cute they would be as dresses. They're very, very casual. Emilie's other fabric is Chez Moi Charisma from Moda fabrics. Anna's is Tina Givens treetop fancy once again. She picked it herself (good taste). I may still make them some matching headbands. They plan to wear these for the big rehearsal on Friday.

It's beautiful today; I can't wait to get outside.

Love, Melissa

Saturday, May 30, 2009

a New Love

Here is my latest bag, for sale at Creations Gallery and on my etsy store. It is a big, beautiful thing in Tina Givens treetop fancy fabric. We have one week until my brother's wedding. How exciting! My long quilt class was today. I'll soon have lots of good stuff to show.

Love, Melissa

Thursday, May 28, 2009

as Promised

Does this look better?
And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? Romans 10:14

Here is Anna in her Olivia dress. If you don't have a preschooler, let me fill you in. Olivia is a pig on TV who wears the most ridiculous dresses, usually red. She wears one jumper quite often and Anna wanted an Olivia dress. I made it awhile back but it really was too short once legging weather finally got over. So, she used to sleep on a pillowcase with crocheted lace on the edge. It ripped, but I reuse everything, so I cut off the edge and then used the ripped part for purse linings. Anyway, I knew it would come in handy someday. So today when she wanted to wear it, I sewed that edging onto the bottom of the dress. Now it's much longer and we're both happy.

Love, Melissa

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Retirement Party

Today the kids and I went to Hill City where my dad retired. You can see us in the picture, along with Mom and Dad and my little brother Wyatt. Dad has been a teacher for 32 years! Wow! Incidentally, that's how old I am. My mom would like to retire too. But, unfortunately, the schools base retirement on how many year you've worked. Mom stayed home with us when we were kids. It's not fair, is it? I will never forget the sacrifice she made for us though. I hope she thinks it was worth it.

I made the Pardon Bag again. But this time I just put one adjustable strap on it. I love that. It can be anywhere from 20 to 40 inches long. The bag is made of Amy Butler's chrysanthemum in olive and Tina Givens Treetop Fancy Chacha in raspberry. I just love how it all came together. It has a back pocket and four inside pockets. And the fabric covered button closure is really cute.
But thinking of the closure, as you can see, it has a problem. It gets a little gappy when it hangs, whether on a hook or on your shoulder. It's because of the one strap. I think I'll put a zipper across the top and that will solve all the problems. You know me, I'll probably get that done tomorrow and then show you another picture.
Hope you are having a great kickoff to your summer!
Love, Melissa

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hello everyone! Happy Memorial Day! It has been a busy weekend for me . . . and fun! Todd and I went out with our friends Jada and Luke on Saturday. We had a fun meal in the little town of Menlo, at their only establishment. I'm not sure it had a name. Anyway, it was an experience. Only buffalo meat (and I'm a vegetarian. sort of) Then Sunday, we drove through some creek bottoms between Atwood, Bird City and Levant. It was beautiful. We did this with Todd's dad and brother Bert and his wife Lisa. Lisa is due to have a baby (any guess on the sex?) any day now. That evening we went to a barbeque at our friends house who we went to Menlo with. Today, we went to the Robidoux house in Wallace for lunch. Click the link; it's totally worth it. The house is a beautiful Victorian. The meal was roast beef and mashed potatoes with salad and dessert. And a special bread made from pinto beans. Yummy! Todd ate my roast beef. Lisa and Todd's sister Tami went with us. Whew! What a weekend. To top it all off, it has been raining since afternoon. That is a treat around here as we are fairly arid.
I made a few more coin purses. These are a little bigger. The round ones are 4" x 4" and the small square one is 2 1/2 " by 2 3/4". So cute. And fun to make. The brown round one is a Tina Givens' fabric called Fairy Tip Toes Silouhette Polka Dot Chocolate. Isn't that a mouthful? There are no fairies on it, just little birds. See, I did a closeup. The small one is also Tina Givens. It is called Treetop Fancy Chacha in Raspberry.
The girls wore their Easter egg hunting outfits today, so I finally got a good picture. Plus you can see my peonies which I am very happy with this year.
Love, Melissa

Friday, May 22, 2009

Magic Carpet Ride

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (words of Jesus) Luke 6:38

Here is my latest quilt, which has been at the Quilt Cabin. Junelle showed it last month. It was a block of the month class that my mom and I took together. When you finish, you have 12, 12 inch blocks and you can put them together however you want. She always has suggestions. (This was my own idea, not a suggestion.)

I set this one with lots of scraps. I didn't buy anything except the backing. I made lots and lots of eight inch and four inch blocks and put the whole thing together. The pattern is called Sampler Magic but I replaced the pattern's 12 inch squares with my block of the month squares. The color was called pink and brown but it also had lots of olivey green and burgundy. I pushed the colors a bit and went up to red, some really pink pinks and almost any green along with the burgundys and browns. The result is totally me. Can you see the binding? Pink with polka dots! How fun! I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. It was supposed to be a throw size (in my mind) but is actually somewhere between twin and full.

Anyway, I love it! My favorite block is shown here:

It has sixty-four pieces in an 8 x 8 (inch!) block. Tiny! But my mind gets tired of repetition; I love a good challenge. And this was one.

Look at the intricate border.

If you were wondering, we are all doing much better. Even poor Todd, and he really has had a rough go of it. Thanks for your prayers.

Love, Melissa

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Random Thoughts

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowlege him and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5
I made another cute coin purse. This one is with the bigger top; I think it's 3 1/2 inches across. All these little clasp top purses remind me of my Grandma. She used to hold her cigarettes in a little clutch like these. Someone else told me today that her grandma used to hold bowling chips in a similar clutch. So these are nostalgic and vintage. But I love them. I've always been a bit of an old soul.
The other two pics are custom coloring bags. They came out nice. Mom reminded me that my nephew also like Scooby Doo. Hint hint!
I need more time in the day. I'm helping ease Todd's stress by taking over his billing. Until that is all under control (hopefully by early June) I will be dividing my time.
Love, Melissa

Monday, May 18, 2009

Penny for Your Thoughts

I found these cool coin purse frames awhile back and finally set about making them. They came out really cute, I think. I have two sizes, but only made the tiny ones. Just 2 and a half inches across the top. But, oh, I have to keep one. Even if only coins will fit in there. Maybe a tiny lip gloss.

A couple of them match bags down at Creations Gallery that I've shown here before. The green Amy Dot stripe one has the matching print from the inset of the Giving bag. And then there's the blue toile that matches the Light bag. The big flowery one is Heather Bailey's PopGarden fabric. And the polka dot brown and green one is a Michael Miller fabric. It matches the Understanding Bag shown earlier. So fun!

They're going to Creations tomorrow. So, if you need one, enjoy!

Love, Melissa

Sunday, May 17, 2009

a New Joy

Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's spirit lives in you?

1 Corinthians 3:16

We have all been really sick around here. Some of us are getting better and some are still in the throes of it. Luckily, I'm on the better end. Unfortunately, I'm also the mommy and get to take care of everyone even when I'm sick. Today I cleaned like crazy since illness makes me feel like deep cleaning.

I also made this fabulous bag. It's the Joy bag again. It may not be for sale because I am really loving it. I bought the fabric from JCaroline, a wonderful online fabric store. It is really soft for a cotton. And the Joy bag is really a shopping bag. It's so fun. For a market bag, I didn't really think it needed pockets. However, since somebody may want a place for coupons, I put one pocket on the inside. Then I made the cute little bow, which is removable because it's a pin! You could also put it on your jacket. The Joy bag is nine inches wide, thirteen tall and five and a half inches deep. It could hold a nice little shopping order. Or some new clothes! Since all nine bags are designed, here they are once more with their names and prices. I'm so proud!

Love, Melissa

(clockwise from top left) Joy $30 Light $30 Faith $35 Hope $35

(top to bottom) Pardon $38 Love $42 Peace $45

Understanding $45 Giving $48

Friday, May 15, 2009

the Giving Bag

I've been hit by the flu bug. Auggh! I hope it's not the piggy type. Nathan too and it seems like Emilie is coming down with it. So this will be short and sweet. Lots of pictures of the last bag in the series. It's the Giving Bag, and it's easy to see why. This bag is absolutely huge. Eighteen inches wide, 13 inches tall and eight inches deep(!) You really could put the kitchen sink in here. And definitely everything else. The inside is just as lovely. A divider pocket, a 22 inch zippered pocket, and five small pockets. Wow! This one is made in Jennifer Paganelli's Bellbottom dot stripe. And the stripe is called Zoe. It has magnetic side snaps to keep it looking snazzy. But if you need the room, they'll unsnap for lots of space. And the front has a nice covered snap as a closure. I can see it as a great diaper bag. Especially for daycare since you have to haul a lot of stuff back and forth. Also would make a good overnight bag or project bag. I actually made myself one to haul my sewing machine around in. The straps on this one are particularly nice. They are adjustable, anywhere from 19 inches, clear up to 35. So it should cover every need. Pray for us; we need it.
Love, Melissa

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Total deLight

The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. Isaiah 60: 19-20

I am introducting the Light bag today. It is a petite little thing. Super cute too. Just perfect for an evening out. I put my checkbook, lip gloss, coin purse and a pen in there and it all fit just right.
There is a little more room if you would want to put something bigger in there. The blue toile reminds me of the packaging on some French soaps someone once gave me. The Light bag is 7 inches tall, 9 1/2 inches wide at the bottom and 4 inches deep.

I made this apron for my friend Mary Maxwell. She is the creator of Double M Designs and makes the most beautiful jewelry. It's southwesty with lots of turquoise and silver. I'll include pictures one of these days. She wanted horses and just look at this fabric. Fabulous!

Make it a great day!
Love, Melissa

Monday, May 11, 2009

Introducing Peace!

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, thou hast tought me to say,

"It is well, it is well with my soul." --Horatio G. Spafford

This hymn was writ­ten af­ter two ma­jor trau­mas in Spaf­ford’s life. The first was the great Chi­ca­go Fire of Oc­to­ber 1871, which ru­ined him fi­nan­cial­ly (he had been a weal­thy bus­i­ness­man). Short­ly af­ter, while cross­ing the At­lan­tic, all four of Spaf­ford’s daugh­ters died in a col­li­sion with an­o­ther ship. Spaf­ford’s wife Anna sur­vived and sent him the now fa­mous tel­e­gram, “Saved alone.” Sev­er­al weeks lat­er, as Spaf­ford’s own ship passed near the spot where his daugh­ters died, the Ho­ly Spir­it in­spired these words. They speak to the eter­nal hope that all be­liev­ers have, no mat­ter what pain and grief be­fall them on earth.

I got back to the bags finally today. This one is for Mrs. Shirley, my kids' preschool teacher. She needs a big thank you for all she did this year. Aren't teachers wonderful? My parents are both teachers, so I have always had a lot of respect for the profession.

The Peace bag is 18 inches wide and 13 inches tall. It is five inches deep at the bottom. It has a back pocket, divided in two. One of the sides has a little magnetic snap so a cell phone or something small could go in there and not fall out.

The real story with this bag is the inside. There are five pockets across one side. Some are thin. I'm thinking pens or crochet hooks. The other three could hold anything: lip gloss, hair brush, little wallet, coins, what do you put in your purse? The other side is a huge pocket divider that snaps shut.

This bag could be a replacement for a briefcase. It could be a project bag (crochet hooks!). I could see it being a diaper bag because it is large and that divided side would be really handy for separating outfits from diapers, etc.

My sister Julie gave me candy molds for my birthday. The kids and I tried them out today. They're easy and beautiful. Thanks Julie!

Love, Melissa

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