Tuesday, April 24, 2012

American Quilter's Society-Day One!

The Momcat and I left South Bend bright and early this morning to head down to Paducah, KY for the American Quilter's Society Annual Quilt Show! This is our fourth time going down to this show, and I think we've FINALLY gotten this whole adventure down to an art form, leaving bright and early and stopping at the Outlet Mall for a few hours for mid-afternoon break. After driving a few more house and checking into our hotel, we headed into Paducah for our first stop at Hancock's of Paducah!

I'll take some pictures of the inside tomorrow (so you get the full idea of the craziness), but needless to say we found a few things! 

These are our happy "we love fabric!" faces. 

After our first shopping adventure we headed to Texas Road House for dinner. It's become one of our traditions to go here each year, and this was the best night in our schedule to do so.

One of my favorite things is how so many of the businesses welcome the quilters with special signs and banners! Yay for quilter love! Last year there was a lot of tension with the local community and the quilt show because of evacuating from the flooding, so I'm hoping we'll see more of a welcome this year.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel where I photographed the damage for the day:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mondays are for Muggles...or Moms!

Holy smokies that weekend was FAST. Luckily I only have one day of work this week before the Momcat and I head off to Paducah for the AQS show! [insert ridiculously happy and muppet like dance here]

This last week was highly unproductive, in part because I was super busy trying to catch up from being at a meeting last week, and in part because I just had other things to do. Like accompanying friends the Apple store, because clearly my supervision was required.

I did however:
-Work out two times
-Host book club on Monday night
-Have a good time at the craft fair on Saturday with the Momcat

-Feel like we're almost-kinda-sorta ready for our trip

Not bad for a busy week with lots going on.

This week I will:
-Have a great time with the Momcat!

Seriously, that's all I want us to do. Have fun, be safe, and buy lots of fabric! This show always reinvigorates our love for quilting and give us lots of new ideas. Our hotel has wifi, so I'm hoping to post as we go through the week this year with updates from our adventure.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Festive for Friday...Paducah Time!

This Friday is especially festive as the Momcat has now arrived for our fourth annual trip to Paducah, KY for the American Quilter's Society Quilt Show. She decided to drive out this year, so after unpacking the car we headed to Rocco's for pizza and beer!

Needless to say we're both SUPER excited! We have a busy weekend planned before we head down south next week, with a lot to get done here before we go!

On Saturday we're setting up a booth as Prairie Sewn Companion at the Great Cloth Diaper Change event at Concord Mall in Elkhart. Even though we don't have kids yet, the N-boy and I would really like to cloth diaper so I'm really looking forward to being a part of this event. And even more excited that I get to wear the new vendor apron that the Momcat and her friend Christina made! It's a little hard to see in the picture from Audrey the iphone, but Christina embroidered "Prairie Sewn Companion" on the top pocket! It's so festive!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Houston....our Etsy site has liftoff!

We actually launched it officially a few weeks ago when the first listings went up, but now I've added a few more things and feel like it's possibly on its way to becoming an actual shop. It's also been fun to spend more time on Etsy exploring the site and looking at other people's shops. There are so many cool things to look at, that I'm pretty sure I could waste A LOT of time just browsing around.

The Momcat and I are super SUPER proud of the work we've put into this little adventure, and excited to see where it takes us. I think we're going to get to do a craft show after she arrives this week (for the grand Paducah Pilgrimage-more on that to come!) and I'm excited to have the chance to talk to people about Prairie Sewn Companion when she's actually there, instead of just describing our collaborative efforts to people.

So if you're reading this (which likely means you're related to us or I've cornered you in the office) take a minute to check out our Etsy site! Here are a few of my favorite things that we've posted.

The Momcat has been working super hard on drafting some new patterns, too, so I'm excited to see what she's come up with when she arrives TOMORROW!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mondays are for Muggles

So...awesome weekend. I'm super proud of getting that PR for the 5k on Saturday. And for limiting myself to only one bowl of marshmellowy deliciousness this morning.

It's a BUSY week for me. Work is ramping up like crazy. We head to Paducah in just over a week. I still haven't finished the Challenge Quilt for this year. And I'm hoping to be doing another craft fair on Saturday at the Great Cloth Diaper Change at Concord Mall in Elkhart. The Momcat and I were contacted through the the Michiana Team we joined with our Etsy Shop, as they are looking for vendors who support a green lifestyle. Although most of what we've been focusing on is not baby related (although the Momcat is whipping up a few flannel baby items), fabric bowls, table runners, vases and napkins most definitely support a green lifestyle! So I'm sending in our information today and keeping my fingers crossed that it works out!

In the meantime, may I present the recap from last week and the goals for this week:

LAST week:
- Work out two times [completed 1/2]
- Run 5k on Saturday! Try and PR! [Rocked this.]
- Inventory and organize items from the craft fair [Major fail]
- Post three items on our Etsy Shop [And again a fail]
- Finish Bel Canto for book club [Done! Book club is tomorrow!]
- Three blog posts [Done here, here and here!]
- Two items of correspondence off my never ending and ever growing list [1/2]

THIS week: 
- Work out four times
- Submit materials for craft fair on Saturday
- Inventory and organize items from craft fair
- Three blog posts (including this one)
- Two items of correspondence
- Finish prepping for our Paducah trip!
- Host book club on Monday night

And I leave you with this festive image. I can't believe it's almost time for our trip again! Happy Monday everyone! 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Festive for Friday...errrr Saturday...

Festive for Friday comes a day late this week, as I was out of town for a work meeting on Thursday and Friday. And since Festive for Saturday lacks that alluring alliteration, we'll just run with the Friday theme.

Two festive events to report on this muggy and steamy day.

1. I PR'd my 5k time with 31:14! Woohoo! This was one of my goals for 2012, so I'm super excited about this! After the race we went out to eat at a new breakfast joint, Macadoo's, which is the self proclaimed "Biscuits and Gravy Outlet."  And you should ignore how hot and sweaty we both look. We're healthy and festive. And about to go enjoy a blueberry cheesecake pancake with blueberry syrup!

2. After dinner with friends, I went to the grocery store where I found the below on sale. And I said, "self, you ran a race today with 10 minute miles. You can most definitely get a box of generic Lucky Charms." And so I did.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Google + Family Hangout

One of the hardest things about the N-boy being overseas this year is not having him around to talk to whenever I need someone to bounce ideas off of. And while I can call his cell phone through Skype, that pesky nine hour time difference keeps getting in the way. Especially when I hope those moments where I need to, as Daddo would say, "grab hold of the reins, Laura." Not that that EVER happens of course.

Thank goodness for the invention of the Google+ hangout.

Because your family may not be your husband, and they may not be in the same state, but gosh darn it they're awfully supportive and helpful most of the time. Gold star, family, gold star. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mondays are for Muggles...Hop hop hippity hop

It was a fabulous Easter weekend, and I am very sorry to see it over. Here are the highlights:

- I visited my aunt, uncle, cousin, his wife and their awesome children, plus five dogs, two cats, two tanks of fish and a very unwilling toad. Which meant that there was lots of this...

- I got to stay in "my room" at my aunt and uncle's house...

- I had a SUPER amazing time at the craft fair for Prairie Sewn Companion. Although I only sold a total of three items over the weekend, I had so much fun and made some great connections! 

 -How can any weekend that includes these two faces not be absolutely fabulous...

Let's do a quick recap of last week before setting up this week's goals.

LAST Week:
- Work out five times [three out of five]
- List five new items in our Etsy shop [two out of five]
- Prep for the craft fair on Saturday [finished!]
- Finish Bel Canto for book club [not quite done]
- Four blog posts [three out of four]
-Start a running list of correspondence and cross off two items [made the list, but didn't cross off any items]
- Shine my sink each night [of the four nights I was home, I'd say two out of four]

THIS week:
- Work out two times
- Run 5k on Saturday! Try and PR!
- Inventory and organize items from the craft fair
- Post three items on our Etsy shop
- Finish Bel Canto for book club
- Three blog posts
- Two items of correspondence off my never ending and ever growing list

Friday, April 6, 2012

Festive for Friday...What Quilters Do

I came across this somewhere out in the Blogosphere and thought it needed to be shared. These memes have been all the rage on Facebook, and you could probably find one for just about any category of people!

Also festive on the start of this lovely three day weekend, Prairie Sewn Companion (post on this to come soon!), the sewing and quilting company that the Momcat and I started this year are going to be at a craft show in Goshen, Indiana on Saturday. It should be lots of fun, so come by and check it out if you're in the area!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Studio Space-Fabric Storage

I think this is the time of year when lots of people look at spaces in their homes and get the urge to reorganize. For me, that overwhelming desire to go out and acquire coordinating boxes and new organization system always seems to hit home the hardest in my studio. When my studio is clutter and messy, I have NO desire to go in there and work on projects. This is compounded by feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of UFOs (Unfinished Fabric Objects) and WIPs (Works in Progress) that I have sitting up there.

When the parentals were here over Christmas, we stopped at Ikea after I took the N-Boy to the airport for his flight back to Siberia. I wish I could live in one of the little displays at Ikea. Seriously. I could spend hours there. I have on occasion, been there so long I have to eat multiple meals. And when the Momcat and I are together...well I wish I'd gotten pictures but Daddo would just take his kindle, find a nice couch or chair in one of the displays and wait for us. When we'd catch up, he'd just go on ahead a few and do it again. He knows what this process is like when the two of us get together. I think the N-boy was VERY happy to be on an international flight during this latest Ikea excursion.

And again I digress.

ANYWAY one of the items I was looking for at Ikea was some kind of cupboard or storage unit to store my fabric. During our annual pilgrimage to the American Quilter's  Society Paducah Show a few years ago the Momcat and I discovered Polar Notions. They are these plastic inserts that you use to make mini bolts with your fabric. They are super easy to use, and make it so much easier to store and see your fabric. Previously, I'd put a lot of my fabric onto these bolts, but they were begin stored on their sides in big canvas under-the-bed style boxes. So while they were protected from the sun and from the Helper Cats, the setup was less than ideal.

When I was home in October, the Momcat showed me how she'd started putting her fabric onto Polar Notion bolts, but was putting them into bookcases with doors on them. I liked the new system an awful lot, and so wanted to get something similar for my studio. After looking at every possible bookcase/shelving unit/storage case on all three floors, the Momcat spotted this beauty in the "As Is" section.

It was a floor model and was still in great condition. And the doors! Look at those doors! It was perfect and so I bought it and loaded it into the car. It was a VERY tight ride home, but at least it fit and we didn't have to assemble it.

Then it was time to load it up with the goods!

The bottom shelf has holiday fabrics and fabrics that I have already planned for projects. The next shelf up has backing fabrics, panels and Jinny Beyer border prints.

Third shelf up has the majority of my fabric cuts that are at least one half yard, but most are a yard. Fourth shelf up has some solids and some I just purchased that coordinate with each other. There's also a very small pile of precuts.

Next shelf up hold fat quarters. I'm not happy with this shelf yet, but it's better then it was before. And then the top shelf is a bit random. Up there right now are some odds and ends for a specific project, and some larger pieces that have already been cut into in weird ways.

In the three months since we set this new system up, I've managed to keep it fairly tidy! Fabric has more or less ended up on bolts and on as shelf, even if it sometimes takes a few days for that to happen. I'm exited to pick up more of the bolts at the Paducah show at the end of this month, which I will then have to load with all of the fabric that I'll also buy there! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mondays are for Muggles...April Already?

Welcome to another rendition of Mondays are for Muggles, during which I share my to do lists for the week in all of their gloriousness goodness.

The title of this post says it all for me this week. April? Really? Although it has sometimes felt like these last seven months have taken forever to go by, at the same time it feels impossible that it's already April and there are only three months until the N-boy returns from the Russian tundra. The next three months are super busy for me both at work and at home, so I know the time will continue to fly by. 

Given that a full one third of the year is already over, I thought I'd better take a minute to check in on my goals for the year. Overall, not too shabby. I've read a lot of books, worked out pretty regularly, and have made some real progress on the sewing business that the Momcat and I are trying to start, including the launch of our Etsy site (post about this to follow). I still have quite a few unfinished goals on the list, but since many of them are ongoing items or things that are tied to a later time of the year, like voting, I'm ok with that. So full steam ahead and all that. 

Goals for this week, a short work week due to Good Friday!!!!
- Work out five times
- List five new items in our Etsy store
- Prep for the craft fair on Saturday!  
- Finish Bel Canto for book club
- Four blog posts (and oh yes, this one totally counts)
-Start a running list of correspondence and cross off two items
-Shine my sink each night (this really does work)

And to end the week, I leave you with two pictures demonstrating one more reason it really doensn't feel like April. Because St. Patrick's Day in Northern Indiana should not be 85 degrees. 

No, I do not know why there were Teletubbies in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. But they were HIGHLY festive.