Archive for July, 2009

A few days ago I blogged about Ribbit, this adorable frog pattern designed by Susan B. Anderson. As I mentioned, my yarn arrived from Spud & Chloe, and I couldn’t wait to get started on this adorable little toy for my grandson Asher!

The first step was to make the bottom. There’s a surprise hidden behind all these stitches!

It’s a tennis ball! I think this is going to be one FUN FROG! Tucking the ball in the knitted body wasn’t hard… could be my stitches are a bit looser knit, I don’t know, but it’s snugly closed up in there now.

A froggy bottom.

I am working on the last leg of Ribbit. The others are in the bag, waiting to be attached.

Here are the three completed legs and the “toes”. You’ll see there are some really LONG strings of yarn hanging off. That is because the pattern calls for the toes to be added separately. I left extra length to make sure they are as secure as possible so little Asher can’t pull them off. He’s just six months old, the age where everything goes in his mouth, so if that’s the case here, then I want to make this super safe for him.

The “feet” look vastly different from one another. The one on the left looks correct, but I like the other two also, so I’ll probably just use them as they are. Check back later in the week to see Ribbit finished!

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Calling this a “redo” isn’t quite accurate as we’ve lived here for three years and have never actually “done” the guest bath before. This is its first coat of paint and by choosing a color to coordinate with items I already had, I didn’t have to buy anything but the paint!

I had this fabric, a heavy, 60″ wide cotton drapery weight called “Madeline” from Moda. I have had a bolt of it for a few years now and am still not tired of it. I love its celedon green and soft pinks… perfect to obtain the look I wanted in the bath.

I used it to make the drapes over the shower curtain. It was slightly tricky because it has an up and down repeating pattern and I had to be sure to check that I didn’t sew the designs upside down. Here, I was preparing to cut a length from the bolt. Note that my cutting mat is on a BED… yeah, don’t try this… it isn’t ideal at all. I was trying to knock this out and didn’t move to the kitchen counter. It worked but I do not recommend it!

I always make a mess when sewing.
This is the painted bathroom after Ninja Man turned the walls from “construction man white” to a buttery cream that actually has a green tint to it. Pretty good, since my towels and rugs are green.

I recycled those wall decorations, putting them back where they used to be. It was cheaper than buying new and besides, I really still enjoy them.

Before the curtains are put in.
Because there was so much fabric to work with, I found that it was highly possible to mix up which was the top and which was the bottom. I placed a safety pin at the top of each of the four panels. It is an absolute must to press your seams in first if you want a crisp finish. I find it so much easier to sew the prepared lines… no guessing or extra measuring!
This is a coordinating fabric I chose for my tiebacks. They are just lengths of fabric hemmed on both ends and sewn into a tube. You turn them right side out, add buttons and button holes and Poof! You have tiebacks!

Of course, you know me… COVERED BUTTONS! Yeah… have I sewn anything lately without them?

The finished bath. Full curtains, “Paris” above the shower, a nice hanger above the toilet for wet towels and we’re all ready for guests!
OOPS! I fibbed. I did buy the new “Paris” sign you see in the photo below. It was originally $10 at Hobby Lobby, but I happened to find it on sale at 50% off, so WOO HOO! A $5 sign came home to stay in my “new” guest bath! More about that sweet pail of hankies in just a minute….

I just loved this reproduction Rexall ad when I found it years ago. A friend of my son’s said she was scary. Obviously I disagree! I love it!

This is a special display of my mother’s vintage hankies. I received a bag of them when she passed away in March of 2008 and I have gone through them several times since, not sure what I wanted to do with them. I decided today that I would enjoy them so much if I could see them each day. There was this blank spot on the wall and I already had the metal pail, so I put the two together. I think mom would approve.

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It’s time to put on your seat belt for some CUTE!!!!Oh, yeah, Hoover is just so stinkin’ cute you could just squeeze him, but we’re not talking about puppies who take naps with their cute heads on pillows….


These are my first ever baby booties that I really like, made for a friend who had a baby girl. They are going to have to be “winter” shoes because of their rather large size (I think my needles were size 5) but cute is cute, so I hope in time she will enjoy them! I made little knitted balls instead of buttons since the baby will be older when she wears these and might have the dexterity to pull at a button.

The pattern was free (I’m all about FREE) and you can find it here Also visit Saartje’s blog and see her beautiful creations from the Netherlands. Thanks, Saartje, for a very fun pattern… and easy too!

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I discovered Spud & Chloe through Susan B. Anderson’s newsletter. Anderson designs patterns for the new yarn line Spud & Chloe. Check it out the free patterns (Ribbit is one!) here.

This little cutie is called Ribbit, a knitted frog pattern that opts to use a tennis ball instead of stuffing! I’m going to start on this tonight and make it for grandson Asher. He is almost 6 months old now and will probably get a giggle or two out of a bouncing frog!

I found the bamboo needles on eBay, a full set in all sizes for $12. I’m “okay” with them, but would like to have some nicer ones some day.

This yarn is just dreamy. My friend Heather ordered mine with hers and it came in time for our knit group meeting last Saturday. What fun it was to see her after several weeks of summer travel, complete with Ribbit’s yarn!

So I’m off to my recliner to try and get over a bug I’ve been fighting, and all the while working on a little frog friend. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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I’m sewing up a storm of pillows while visiting daughter Aubern Michelle and her hubby Ian. Each of them are pillow covers with removable pillows inside.

These are for Chelle and Ian. They are a perfect match for this antique leather side chair. I’m hoping to find a large wooden button for the front of the envelope pillow. The edge features the Tommy Bahama fabric casing canvas cord as trim.

Here’s the mountain of pillows. I still have a few left to make!

Ian chose this black background tropical indoor / outdoor Waverly as the feature fabric. The photo doesn’t do justice to the vibrant colors.

The back is a soft upholstery-weight fabric. And of course, covered buttons!

Back to sewing and a teeny bit of vacation. I’m never really “off” work due to deadlines, but I travel with laptop AND sewing machine so everything gets done!

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I’m traveling right now and took a small folding table to my daughter’s house along with my sewing machine, necessary notions and fabrics so I could make my sofa pillows while Ninja Man helps our son in law with some barn work on their farm.

Here’s what my Traveling Sewing Corner looks like! Yes, it is crowded but most of this stuff isn’t on it when I’m actually sewing.
So I found this Tommy Bahama fabric at JoAnn’s and having a friend who was generous enough to share a coupon with me, I was able to get it at half price. It is the one with the print on it and is indoor / outdoor fabric and very, very nice to sew. The striped is Waverly, also in/outdoor, while the blue is a microfiber and the ribbed cream (you can barely see it at bottom, tiny triangle by the blue) is an inexpensive upholstery remnant.I made the pillows with the beige cotton fabric and polyfil stuffing. I do prefer pillow forms but the ones on clearance were $8 each, which is more than I was budgeting for. Once you make the pillow form yourself and cover it with the actual pillow cover, you can barely tell it isn’t a form, so I often use stuffing instead.

So here’s my first finished sofa pillow. It is about 2′ X 2′ and I’ll make a second one just like this. The others will be various styles and sizes and will incorporate the other fabrics.
Here’s the back with, well, you know me….covered buttons!

Ninja Man likes this button the best. If it didn’t waste so much to fussy cut, I’d do them all like this one.

Stay tuned to see the rest of the story of Tommy and the Traveling Sewing Corner!

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I recently received word of something called a “blog tour” and signed up to review a few books. The first one I received was an autographed advance copy of The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn, a Christian romance / suspense novel where the characters rely on God’s direction.This is author Liz Johnson’s first book and I look forward to her growth as a romance writer. Johnson’s story line is great but in the first few pages it was revealed that hero Myles Parsons was falling for Kenzie. I would like the author to have allowed us to discover that a bit later, providing more intrigue to her story.

Still, Johnson’s story has a great plot and would be a terrific quick read. It is filled with adventure as Parsons, who is sent to prison as an inmate, has a mission to protect prison G.E.D. teacher / granddaughter-to-the-governor Kenzie Thorn. Twists and turns keep the reader intrigued, revealing a surprise villain and ultimate love.


Liz Johnson grew up reading Christian fiction, and always dreamed of being part of the publishing industry. After graduating from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a degree in public relations, she set out to fulfill her dream. In 2006 she got her wish when she accepted a publicity position at a major trade book publisher. While working as a publicist in the industry, she decided to pursue her other dream-becoming an author. Along the way to having her novel published, she completed the Christian Writers Guild apprentice course and wrote articles for several magazines.

Liz lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she enjoys theater, ice skating, volunteering in her church’s bookstore and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her nephew and three nieces. She loves stories of true love with happy endings. The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn is her first novel. Keep up with Liz’s adventures in writing at www.lizjohnsonbooks.com.

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