Tuesday, June 9, 2015

SUMMER TRAVEL - What's in your Rolling Tote?

I know you are familiar with this bag. Many of you probably have at least one. I have two. One is for my good sewing machine. This one is my hotel travel bag. I was prompted by my sister to take pictures of this when we did our yearly Sister Weekend. She wanted to show her SO how prepared I am for a weekend.  I like having the comforts of home when I travel but have no desire to drive a motor home or pull a camper. Hotels, and their pools/ hot tubs suit me fine :-D

So let's peek inside.

I use the front zipper pocket for utensils:
Flat ware and a pairing knife (in the purple pencil box)
Can Opener
Cork Skrew
and for lack of room, I've included a tuna and a chicken snack boxes.

You can just see the beginnings of the contents in the main part. The nesquick container is my fluffy coffee mix. But here's what takes up most of the room...

If I'm going for 2 days or longer, I don't go anywhere without my Hamilton Beach K-cup pot, bottled water (those little 8 oz. chub jugs are perfect for single serve cups). The Baby Wipes Box has an assortment of K-Kups then I also have my Mocha Latte cups.

What's in your travel bag?

Thursday, June 4, 2015


I make frequent visits to my local quilt shop, The Hideaway Quilt Shop, in Birch Tree MO. The owners and I have become good friends over the years. When I stopped by yesterday Jean told me about a new Shop Hop to take place from June 21 - September 8. What a Shop Hop this is going to be!

If you are not familiar with a Shop Hop, here's the quick scoop. A group of quilt shop owners plan an event to take place over a set time period. Each shop offers individual specials, and spotlights new fabrics and products. Often times there is a prize if you have your 'passport' validated at every shop involved.  I traveled through a Shop Hop back in 2011. You can see my post HERE

But this Shop Hop is going to be different from any I've ever been on. Row by Row Experience began in 2011 with 20 shops participating and has grown to include over 2500 shops covering all 50 states and some in Canada!

Each shop will have a FREE pattern for a 'row block' they've designed. Many will have kits for their unique block available. 

The Hideaway Quilt Shop will be participating for the first time. Jean designed this cute little parade of ducks for her row. She wanted something that would be perfect for even the most novice of quilters. Aside from having the FREE pattern and kits to sell she says shoppers can also select fabrics to make the row their own. 

Another part of this unusual shop hop is the opportunity to collect fabric license plates. Each shop has created their own Vanity Plate that makes theirs unique. Although for example a shop in Maine might have Quilty Pleasure for their vanity plate, the Missouri version belongs to The Hideaway Quilt Shop.

Shops will offer a variety of specials throughout the event. Jean will be rotating 20% off various items and doing demonstrations of techniques.

So what happens when you have all these lovely fabrics, patterns and completed rows? 
Each shop will be giving away 25 fat quarters to the FIRST PERSON to bring in a completed quilt made from a minimum of  8 different rows by October 31st. The quilt must be quilted, bound and labeled. 

While I won't be visiting all of the shops on the hop, I am going to look over the list and see how many I can cover near to me. I've already spied one on the list for Collinsville IL - yet another incentive to attend the stamp show there in July. Maybe next year I can wait til fall for my Texas trip and visit a few of those on my travels. 

If you take part in any of this shop hop, I'd love to hear from you and see pictures of the quilts you make.

Creative Blessings!

Monday, June 1, 2015


This is what my original blog scheduling board looked like. A full sheet of poster board, grid off to accomodate the specific blogs as well as dates to post. While I liked being able to see what I had posted and for which days at a glance, I hated having to recreate this every month. 

So I created this! I used the same size of sheet of white foam core, gridded off and color coded to match my blog notebook (where I jot ideas for upcoming blog posts). Then I covered the entire thing with clear contact paper.

I use the color-coded strips of post its with repositional adhesive. As I schedule a post, I mark it on the blog board. For now, this hangs on the front of the upright freezer across from my temporary desk. But I already have a spot picked out for it in the new office. 

At the end of the month, I strip the post - its off and start fresh... except for the ones that repeat such as WOYWW for this blog and The Party List for the music blog. 

How do you keep your blog posts organized?

Thursday, May 28, 2015


HI everyone!

I will have pics in a few days. In the mean time, I'm using a MorgueFile pic of the Dallas Texas skyline. Although I'm not a fan of big cities, I fell in love with the mix of historical and modern architecture. All the building seemed to live in a harmony like I've never seen before.

I spent eighteen days traveling around Texas. The first seven I visited friends in the Hill Country, particularly the Llano area. Mostly for my work as a music promoter and entertainment journalist but my day job truly is more fun than work most days. I listened to live Americana music, ate awesome food and did a radio promo for my book and some of the artists I network with.

Then I spent a night in Belton TX as an overnight to see The Bellamy Brothers in Salado TX. I've known the guys for most of their career but we see each other so infrequently. I saw their performance at Johnny's Steakhouse and BBQ then spent some time on the bus. The visits are always too short and far between.

From Belton I parked my truck at a friend's house in Garland TX and she drove me into Dallas where I stayed at the historic Adolphus Hotel (a haunted hotel even). I had access to their car every day to take me back and forth to the Hyatt for the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. I met tons of authors, learned some good points for improving my own writing and made new friends. As part of the convention, I took two field trips. One to the Ft. Worth Stockyards. The other was to the infamous Southfork Ranch in Parker TX. I'll share more info about those trips in the coming weeks as I get photos sorted (I took over 300 over the course of the 18 days!)

I returned home the night before Bob had to go back out on the boat. We have seen each other a total of 2 days since April 18th. LOL Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

So that tells you why there has been no creativity on this blog for awhile. Partly because my stuff is still in multiple places around the house. Bob's surgery still is preventing him from using power tools so no work on the office/ studio. Hopefully soon. His younger brother is going to come spend a few days and see what they can accomplish.

I WANT... NEED to create so will try to have something soon.
In the mean time... where would you go if you had 18 days to travel - ALONE!

Creative Blessings!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Technique Tuesday - Organization - SU Catty's

I've been promising this post for over a week. Things are just not the same with Bob home 24/7. Not a bad thing in that our time together is so important - and he does NOT encroach on my work time. I just limit my work time so as not to totally ignore him. Thank you all for understanding.

So today is all about how I am going to organize the SU Catty's in the new space. Because that part is not done yet, I can't show them in place. But I am going to show you what I've done in prep. When the time comes, I'll just need to put them on the shelf.

I wanted a way to display the catalogues while still being able to see them. My other goal was to keep Sale A Bration and Mini's with their same yearly Big Design Book. I thought about a 2 pocket folder but the sturdy ones are expensive. Then I found an in-house shipping envelope amongst my stash and knew they would be perfect.

On an internet search I found them in pkgs of 12 on line with a company called ShopLet. They have a wide inventory of office supplies to choose from and their service was FAST! I ordered on a Friday morning. The invoice went through that afternoon and I had my package the following Tuesday!

While I waited for the envelopes to arrive, I prepped the spine tabs.

I photocopied the spine of each catty. This involved laying the catalogue open on the scanner and getting way more than I needed. Then I cut the spine from each picture and adhered them to strips of white cardstock that I had cut about 1/8 inch wider on each side. 

Then I cut them apart and sealed them in clear contact paper. I wanted them to be substantial. So while the front is wrapped in the clear contact, I kept a wide enough strip to wrap around and attach to the inside of the gusset on the side of the envelope.

Now when I stand them on the shelf, I can see the tab showing what year the catty is. 
These envelopes have 2 pockets. An inner pocket with the string closer. I chose to put the catalogue in so that the front faced out... 

Then on the outside pocket (used for slipping in the shipping invoice) I put the special sale flyers and minis as well as a retired list for the ones I had.

I will either custom make a magazine holder to store them or use Totally Tiffany's 12x12. In the envelopes, they are a tad too wide for the standard holder. While Tiffany's might be a bit over overkill, that might be easier than making my own. 

One more organization item situated for when I can get in the new office... at this point we've slid to sometime after June. Getting Bob's hands in working order are more important right now. 

How do you store you cattys?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

NEEDLE & THREAD THURSDAY - A bit of non-sewing

What do you do when your eldest granddaughter calls and says 'Grandma, I need new nightshirts."  You ask her what she wants on them then proceed to do them up as quick as possible so they can go in the mail.

I sent Adrian a store-bought nightgown to tide her over. Poor Abby is getting all of big sis's hand-me-downs so I bought her a jammie set with a cupcake on the front. I call her cupcake so could not resist.

So along with their St. Patty's day treats, Adrian is getting six new night shirts and Abby is getting one. I made them each a Frozen night shirt then the 5 white ones are Adrian's by request.

I did both frozen's on blue t-shirts purchased at Hobby Lobby when I purchased the fabric. The rest of Adrian's were boy's XL shirts. I cut out the images and applied them to the shirts with Wonder Under. Quick and easy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WOYWW #301 - On to the next milestone

Not a lot of change in my desk from last week. Been a busy work week. I did get the other 4 Christmas cards 'almost' finished. I need to stamp the sentiment on the inside then they are ready to file. I haven't had the chance to tag the cardstock yet but I did get the poly-shipping envelopes in for storing my SU catty's in. So maybe I can work on those Friday while Mother Nature is giving us a good pre-spring soaking.

This is my stop on a very long list of blogs by creative minds. Check in at Julia's Stamping Ground for all the details and let us have a peek into your space if you'd like. We do enjoy a good snoop ;-)

Creative Blessings!