Thursday, May 26, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

Hi everyone! I'm back from Houston! I was there attending a work-related conference and am happy to say that I came back excited and inspired. I'll be sure to share more about my trip later.

For now, though, we have some important business to attend to... announcing the giveaway winners!

The first winner, selected by, is Margot from Newfoundlander at Heart. Margot will receive the set of four quilted notecards, along with some vintage buttons. Congrats Margot!

The second winner is Irina from the blog el petit taller. Irina will receive the owl dish towels along with another bunch of vintage buttons. Congratulations, Irina!

I will be contacting both of you shortly for your mailing addresses.

Thanks everyone for participating in the giveaway, I had a great time reading all of your responses! This was lots of fun - I hope to participate again next time! :)

P.S. My favorite springtime flowers are lilacs and lily of the valley.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Giveaway Day!

Even though I'm out of town for a few days, (more on that later!) I just couldn't resist participating in Sew, Mama, Sew's semi-annual GIVEAWAY DAY! I found out about it in December, when I had a great time visiting hundreds of different crafty blogs to enter many all sorts of fun giveaways. Unfortunately I didn't win anything, but that didn't dampen my excitement and I vowed that on the next Giveaway Day, I would participate by hosting my own!

Well the next Giveaway Day is here and I have some treats for you! True to form, I couldn't decide on just one item, so I have TWO different prizes.

First up are a set of two cute flour sack towels. I sewed brown bobble trim along the bottom edge and finished it with adorable owl ribbon. You know these would be fun in your kitchen!

owl towels

Second prize is a set of four quilted notecards (tutorial here). They each have a variety of colorful quilting fabrics, mostly patterns from my grandmother's sewing stash. We all need to write more letters (at least I think we should!) and these cards will help you do it in style!

quilted notecards

Also, just to sweeten the pot, I'll throw in a handful of vintage buttons with both of the prizes. :)

So by now you're probably all wondering how to enter. Well, it is simple, simple, simple!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post answering these 2 questions.
1. What is your favorite springtime flower?
2. Which prize would you like to win - the towels or the notecards?

Only one comment per person!

This giveaway is open to anyone, even my international friends - you don't even have to be a blogger or a crafter to enter! All I ask is that you PLEASE leave a way for me to contact you in your comment. If your email is attached to your Blogger profile, that's great, otherwise please leave an email address in the comment [if concerned about spam, please leave it in the name(at)email(dot)com format]. If I have no way to contact you, I'll will have to pick a different winner! Please don't make me do that!

The giveaway will be open from now until Wednesday, May 25 at midnight CST. After that time, I will randomly draw two winners, announce them, and contact them to find out where to send their prizes.

So glad you came to visit me... GOOD LUCK!! :)

Also, you should definitely click the button below to check out the Giveaway Day list over at Sew, Mama, Sew... enter a few (or a lot!) more giveaways while you're at it... and have fun!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes!

 I like cupcakes. I like rainbows. So I guess it's not surprising that I couldn't resist the recipes for rainbow cupcakes have been popping up all over the web (like here and here). My only problem? I couldn't just make cupcakes for no reason at all...

Enter two crazy cats with spring birthdays.
We had a joint kitty birthday party with rainbow cupcakes.

rainbow cupcakes

Too bad the birthday boys were off sleeping in a corner somewhere. I didn't even get a picture with the poor guys before the cupcakes were gone! Guess I'll have to make another batch soon.


rainbow cupcakes

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A cover for my little sewing machine

This weekend I sewed up a quick cover for my sewing machine. The fabric I used was from a torn and stained apron I found in my grandmother's fabric stash. I was able to cut around the worn-out areas and had just enough fabric for my project. I thought the pattern was pretty and I'm so happy that it's getting a new life and will be enjoyed again.

I can't share the pattern because it's from the sewing class I took (Home Ec with Freckled Nest - which I wholeheartedly recommend if you like learning on your own time, at your own pace. It was great!). However, it's a very simple idea. Basically, two pieces of fabric cut to fit over your machine, trimmed with bias tape and whatever decorations you desire - I desired buttons - and completed with a tie on either side. Super simple! And it's great because it can easily be adjusted to fit any size machine.

handmade sewing machine cover

Speaking of sewing machines, I've never shared mine here before. It's a little (3/4 size!) Kenmore Mini Ultra in baby blue. I think it's adorable and I smile every time I see it. It was easy to learn to use and hasn't given me any troubles at all. Of course, it is a pretty basic machine and someday I'll probably want to upgrade to something with a little more functionality, but for now, this does everything I need it to do.

cute blue sewing machine

And I think it looks so happy in its new fabric cover!

handmade sewing machine cover

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Perfect Night...

... for a bike ride to the lake!

ducks at the lake

Seriously, if you ever plan to visit Texas... please take my advice and visit in the spring. After living here for almost a full year (just a month short!), I can say with authority that spring is without a doubt the nicest time of year here. Beautiful weather. Yes, there is the chance for rain and storms... but soooo much nicer than summer. Ugh. Unless you're into the 100+ degree weather with 100 percent humidity, visit in the spring. [can you tell I'm getting all pumped up for summer?]

In other news... we had our dishwasher repaired today. It's been giving us trouble for longer than I care to admit. Turns out that the drain line had disconnected from the dishwasher, so whenever we ran it, all the water was running straight out... down into the floor. So the sub-floor is all rotten and we have to replace everything. Oh joy.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Soda Pop Story

I was going through some of my old photos and I found some from a fun little day trip that I took with my husband last fall. It was before I even started my blog, but the photos are so cool I just had to share!

My favorite kind of pop (soda, if you insist) is Dr. Pepper... and guess what? Dr. Pepper was invented in Texas! Last September we decided it was necessary to visit Dublin, Texas, the site of the first Dr. Pepper bottling plant. It's a couple of hours from Dallas, but it was a beautiful drive for a beautiful early autumn day.

Dublin Dr. Pepper

Even though Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco, Texas, the first bottling plant was opened in Dublin, about 80 miles away, in the year 1891. The name "Dr. Pepper" is a little bit vague, but the story is that the founder of the soda named it after the father of a girl he liked in Virginia. Unfortunately it didn't help him get the girl.

Dublin Dr. Pepper

When the Dublin plant was founded, it only sold (and still does to this day) to stores and businesses within a 44 mile radius of the plant - the distance that could be traveled in a day by horse.

Dublin Dr. Pepper

The most unique feature of the Dublin plant, however, is that while in the 1970s all other Dr. Pepper plants switched from the original cane sugar recipe to corn syrup as sweetner, the Dublin plant has always used cane sugar. It is the only plant that does... but since it only distributes to such a small area, not many people get to enjoy it! And if you think it doesn't make a difference... it really does! The cane sugar gives it a more refreshing flavor with less of a syrupy aftertaste.

Dublin Dr. Pepper

The only problem is that the bottling machines at the plant are old and only work with bottles that are slightly larger than the glass bottles used today. In fact, the correct size is not even manufactured anymore. So the only way you can buy genuine bottled Dublin Dr. Pepper to take home is if you bring your own bottles! People gather the correct size bottles from antique stores, thrift stores and anywhere else they can find and bring them to Dublin on bottling day to stock up. If you visit the plant you can buy a bottle of Dr. Pepper, but you must return the bottle. Luckily, however, the Waco plant has begun bottling some of the original recipe cane sugar Dr. Pepper which can now be bought in some grocery stores around our area!

Dublin Dr. Pepper
The tour was certainly fascinating and it even came with a free drink! Definitely a place I'd like to visit again sometime... and I'd recommend it to anyone who lives in the area and likes both Dr. Pepper and obsure history.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New phone fun

Guess what? I finally caved and got an iPhone this weekend! I've used a hand-me-down phone for over a year and hated it the whole time... and I kept telling myself that I didn't need a smart phone (this is still true)... but when I received a coupon in the mail to buy an iPhone for cheap, I decided to go for it.

I must say... I am having fun with it. It can do so much. I can totally see how people get addicted to these things! And I have texting too! I've never texted in my life until this weekend... how crazy is that?

Well, I'm off to play with my new phone. (Dont' worry, I won't let it take over my life!) Any suggestions on apps that I should download?

For now, enjoy a not-so-great photo (from my new phone, of course) of the fun old fashioned drive-in/diner my hubby and I found tonight. They have amazing root beer in frosty mugs. Yum. We'll be back there soon for sure! :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there... especially my own beautiful mother and grandmother!! I love you both so much! My mom is amazing... always willing to talk on the phone, even when I talk on and on about nothing for hours... always a positive voice when I'm having a bad day... one of my very best and closest friends... Thank you, Mom!!!

{This photo is several years old already, but it's the best recent photo I could find... I need to remedy that soon!!}

Thursday, May 5, 2011

We've been bombed!

Yarn bombed*, that is!

A group of crafters visited our local library branch this week and went to town!

Looks like a lot of work, but the trees seem happy! :)

*(Yarn bombing is a type of non-damaging graffiti or street art using colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn rather than paint or chalk. This particular display was stealthily installed in the cover of darkness... to surprise the entire neighborhood the next morning!)

yarn bombing

yarn bombing

yarn bombing

yarn bombing

yarn bombing

yarn bombing

yarn bombing

yarn bombing

yarn bombing

yarn bombing

yarn bombing

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meet my new little man

About a month or so ago, I found the cutest little guy at an antique store. I fell in love with him immediately, but I talked myself out of buying him.

Ever since then, I have wished and wished that I had just brought him home with me... so when we were in the area this weekend, I talked my husband into stopping back at the antique store... just to check. I had a very bad feeling about it... thought for sure that someone else had probably bought him by now. But when I ran to the booth, there he was, sitting all alone on a high shelf, just waiting for me!

Come on, how could you resist this face?


He is super-cute, but the real reason I just had to keep him was the little story written on his tag:

This little Marine was made in 1951
for a bride-to-be to snuggle with
while her fella was off to Korea.
They wed in 1952.

Too sweet. It just made me want to cry to think that there was no one in the family who wanted this precious heirloom. I felt the responsibility to bring him home and give him some love.

Now he just needs a name... I'm thinking Harvey... or Clarence... or maybe Vernon...

Any suggestions?

Update: Clarence it is, folks! :)