Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Craftsy BOM February Blocks

I will plead guilty to one count of procrastination.  I waited until the night before Leap Day to finish my two February blocks for the Craftsy block of the month hosted by Amy Gibson.  http://www.craftsy.com/class/The-Craftsy-Block-of-the-Month/50.  Both are 16-patch blocks with LOTS of half square triangles (HSTs) and bias edges. 

I like the illusion of motion in the Balkan Puzzle Block.  This is definitely my favorite block of the four I’ve completed to date.  The orange and turquoise play well together on the snow white background fabric.

The Chunky Chevron Block gets an A for dramatic.  I think this block has “guy quilt” potential.  I’m rationing my Kaffe Fassett focus print fabric, but I couldn’t resist using some for a triangle in this chevron block.

Tomorrow I’ll download the March blocks.  March!  Woo-Hoo!  Only seven more weeks until the end of tax season.  I LOVE my tax clients and my tax office leader and coworkers, but I miss having weekends.

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Puppy Love

It's shameless commerce Tuesday, and today I'm featuring a cute boutique baby boy bib featuring all shapes and sizes of puppies on a blue background.  Puppies frolic past dog dishes, bones, fire hydrants, bouncy balls, dog houses and flowers in this fanciful print from the Max & Whiskers fabric line by Basic Grey for Moda Fabrics.  The reverse side features tiny dog bones on a blue background.  Because my bibs are reversible, it's like getting two for the price of one -- with free domestic shipping.

The bib has a black capped metal snap closure--no Velcro to catch in baby's fine hair.  (And I find that hammering these snaps in place with my handy dandy snap tool is a great stress reliever, while sewing on Velcro is a stress inducer.)  

The bib was made using a ModTods Baby Bib pattern:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/modtods.  It measures approximately 11.75" x  7.75" (30 cm x 19.7 cm).

A very thin layer of preshrunk cotton flannel is sandwiched between the front and back fabrics for extra softness and absorbency.  Machine wash cold, gentle cycle.  Tumble dry low.  Touch up with an iron as needed.

To see more of my bibs, see the side bar widget, or go to the Bibs section of my Etsy shop:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/pasqueflower?section id=8146356.  New bibs will be added weekly, so stop back again soon if you're looking for a cute, practical, and affordable baby gift.

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Visuals x 2

This past week I received TWO, yes TWO blog prizes in my mailbox! 

The first was an interesting and informative autographed book by Patti Dobrowolski of ou can find it on amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Drawing-Solutions-Visual-Setting-Cupyourcreativegenius.com called DRAWING SOLUTIONS:  How Visual Goal Setting Will Change Your Life.   Yhange/dp/098398560X or in the Store section on Patti’s web page: http://upyourcreativegenius.com/#store.

Through a series of exercises, Patti encourages the reader to engage the right brain using visualizations to develop a personalized roadmap for change.  Using a free downloadable mapping template, you define and draw your Current Reality, then visualize your Desired New Reality, and commit to 3 Bold Steps to get you from Point A to Point B.  You can download the template map here:  http://upyourcreativegenius.com/shop/free-printable-template-maps

My map will focus on career change.  I’m burning out juggling two jobs and my Etsy shop.  My Desired New Reality would have only one part-time day job and more Etsy and family time --- and winning the lottery.  We’ll see how that goes….

My second prize was a laminated bookmark by Canadian artist Jennifer McLean of Just Add Water, Silly.  It is truly a work of art – with beautifully rendered and unique artwork on each side!  You can find more of Jenn’s incredible (and affordable) work at http://www.etsy.com/shop/justaddwatersilly.

Thank you, Patti and Jenn!  You’ve each added a little ray of sunshine to my Current Reality.

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Oscar Picks

I don’t see many movies in theaters these days, but I still enjoy the pageantry of the annual Academy Awards, or Oscars.  This Sunday, after a full day at the tax office, I’ll kick back and tune in along with millions of other viewers to watch the 84th Annual Academy Awards on ABC.

Our local paper, the Lincoln Journal Star, is sponsoring an Oscar Contest.  The winner will receive a yearlong pass for two to the Ross theater (the one near the University of Nebraska campus that hosts all the indie films). 

So, I submitted my picks:

Best Picture – The Artist
Best Director – Martin Scorsese  (Hugo)
Best Actor – George Clooney (The Descendants)
Best Actress – Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Best Supporting Actor – Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Best Supporting Actress – Octavia Spencer (The Help)
Cinematography – Hugo

Wish me luck!  Who will get your vote for Best Picture?                                                

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Photo, Oscar Bets insert, Lincoln Journal Star, February 24, 2012.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spring Fever

The diagnosis is in.  I have a severe case of Spring Fever..

I subscribe to The Happiness Project’s inspiring daily dose of happiness by Gretchen Rubin.  http://www.happiness-project.com.  But even with my daily happiness fix, I find myself slipping into the midwinter doldrums sometimes.  I don’t believe I have Seasonal Affective Disorder in the clinical sense, but a cold, dark, and dreary environment can wear on a person. 

Last Tuesday, The Happiness Project shared this quote by Anne Bradstreet, and I thought I’d share it with you:

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
 Anne Bradstreet

So as I hunker in for at least another month of winter, I will browse the seed catalog dreaming of flowers and fresh home grown veggies, and search Pinterest and Etsy for pretty images of Spring.  

It will awhile before we see a robin or a crocus in Nebraska!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Photo shows the Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. 2012 Spring Catalog.  You can also order online at www.gurneys.com

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fat Tuesday

 It’s shameless commerce Tuesday, and also Fat Tuesday.  So in keeping with the Mardi Gras theme, I’m featuring this cute little reversible bib with Louisiana State University fleur de lis in purple and gold.  Here’s a link to the listing:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/86995192/boutique-baby-bib-reversible-lsu-purple.

I’ll be wearing my Mardi Gras beads to the tax office today.  No, I didn’t collect them in person.  They are a souvenir from a friend.  

I celebrated Fat Tuesday a day early this year….I guess you could call it Fat Monday…or Fat Quarter Monday.  I had the President’s Day Holiday off at the day job, so I went fabric shopping.  I give up buying fabric for Lent (exceptions made for custom orders) to focus on creatively using my existing fabric stash, completing UFO’s, and to devote more time and energy to  sewing for charities:  ConKerr Cancer pillowcases, cuddle quilts, and Project Linus.   I also picked up this year’s NE Shop Hop bag while shopping at the Cosmic Cow, one of my favorite local quilt shops.  Thankfully, the shop hop is after Easter!

Today also marks my One Year Anniversary on Etsy!  What a year it has been!  I have learned so much in the past 12 months from Newbie Chats, forums, team members and blogs!   It took almost three months to get my first sale, but I’ve now had 138 sales, and  I’ve averaged almost one sale per day the past two months.   I am cautiously optimistic that my second year will be bigger and better.   I’m still a little fish in a big Etsy ocean, but I’m alive and swimming.  Like Dory in movie Finding Nemo, I’ll “just keep swimming!”

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mission Accomplished - The Basic Charity Challenge 2012

 With milder weather and an evening off at the tax office, I finally made my purchases for  The Basic Charity Challenge 2012 hosted by Cara Quilts.  http://www.caraquilts.com/2012/01/basics-charity-challenge-2012.html   It’s not too late to participate.

The toilet paper, shampoo, body wash, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, brushes, combs, and hair bands will be delivered to a local shelter, Friendship Home:  http://www.friendshiphome.org at their drop-off point at Eastridge Presbyterian Church over the long weekend, then.    

My day job observes the President’s Day Holiday on Monday, so I am looking forward to that day off, although I’ll be working Saturday, Sunday, and Monday night at the tax office.  The first “peak” of tax season is over, so we’re entering the long slog until the next peak in April when the procrastinators show up in force.

Wishing you a great weekend!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine Clearance -- A Poem

My mother, Janice Anne (Quist) Larson, died seven years ago today---the day after Valentine’s Day.  She was 75.  She grew up during the Great Depression and World War II raged during her high school years.  She was valedictorian of her high school class and an incredibly fast and accurate typist, able to type 110 wpm on a manual typewriter with a return carriage. 

She taught second grade on a two year teaching certificate until she married my father and became a farm wife and mother.  She taught me to love books and she taught me to sew and embroider.   

She was widowed at age 37 and struggled with depression for many years.  But she was in her element as a grandmother, and my children were the beneficiaries of her unconditional grandmotherly  love.

As she was dying of emphysema and inoperable heart disease in a nursing home, I wrote this poem, which was later published in an anthology of poetry entitled Whispered Words, edited by Amanda Read, and published by Dogma Publications in 2005:

Valentine Clearance

Beneath the dusty cellophane,
faded ribbon, and
wilted silk rose

Soft-centered chocolates
in their heart-shaped box

Awaiting their expiration dates.

Still sweet.

I miss you, Mom.

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Image from PetiteCreation featuring 1/12 scale doll house miniature food and accessories: http://www.etsy.com/listing/66680027/heart-shaped-box-of-chocolates-112th

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Roses

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Hope your sweetie sends you roses....or something else your little heart desires.

It’s shameless commerce Tuesday, so today I’m featuring one of my best sellers, pretty tumbled roses oven mitts made with gorgeous fabric from Amy Butler’s Love collection.  The lining is a fun red and wine sun spot print, also from Amy Butler’s Love fabric line: http://www.etsy.com/listing/85083235/pair-of-pretty-oven-mitts-floral-and .

Amy Butler’s husband, David Butler, is also a fabric designer.  So much talent under one roof!!  His Parson Gray fabrics would be perfect for a guy quilt or some great pillow covers for a bachelor pad.  Here’s a sampling from Material Girl Chic:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/92728207/david-butler-parson-gray-curious-nature .

Who knew when I started my little shop almost a year ago (February 21 will be my One Year Etsy Anniversary) that oven mitts would be my best sellers?   I made the first pair of oven mitts with this Amy Butler fabric on a whim and listed them in my Etsy shop.  And the rest, as they say, is history.   I’ll be adding more fun oven mitts in the near future (now that the first “peak” of tax season is slowing down a bit).   To check out current listings, visit the Kitschy Kitchen Stuff section of my shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/pasqueflower?section_id=10144150.

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Recharging My Batteries

I am almost through the first “peak” of tax season, but I’m still facing a full calendar of back-to-back appointments at the tax office this Saturday and Sunday.  I LOVE my tax job and my loyal tax clients.  But much as I love my work, it is, dare I say, taxing.  

It is good to be busy, especially as I recover financially from December's month long furlough from my other job.  But I am tired.  Really tired.  Bordering on exhaustion.

I spent most of the week burning the candle at both ends – juggling two jobs and staying up WAY past my bedtime several nights in a row to complete another batch of Etsy custom orders .  Added  to that was the stress of my serger ending up in the hospital (aka Husker Sew n’ Vac) for 7 to 10 days.   The physical and mental fatigue was taking its toll.

So last night, after an early supper and a load of laundry, I preheated the electric blanket (it is below zero this morning in  NE) and without even taking a second glance at my To Do List, I went to bed early.  I needed to recharge my batteries.

Sometimes, we all need to give it a break and REST!!  Even God took a day off after creating for six days.  
Wishing you some quality R&R time this weekend.

(Image source:  insweetnessandinhealth.com and sabermas.net)

TTFN (or, as we say in the tax office, many happy returns)

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pantone Fall 2012 Color Report

Pantone's Fall 2012 Color Report has just been released.  To read more visit www.pantone.com.
Olympian Blue is my favorite.
Which one would you pick?

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Heart Hearts

It’s shameless commerce Tuesday. 

Valentine’s Day is only one week away!  There’s still time to order a cute little reversible bib for Baby’s First Valentine’s Day, made using a Mod Tods pattern:   http://www.etsy.com/shop/modtods.

Your favorite little tween or teen would love a ZippideeDoodle Bag made using the Dumpling pattern by Keyka Lou Patterns: http://www.etsy.com/shop/keykalou   (Keyka Lou was one of Etsy’s Top 100 Sellers of 2011.)

Wishing you a warm fuzzy sort of Valentine’s Day!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Monday, February 6, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

I would like to thank Theresa from Chatter from Texas for awarding me a Versatile Blogger Award!
Theresa’s blog is one that I follow regularly.  http://chatterfromtexas.blogspot.com
(We’re both blogging grannies.)

One of the requirements for receiving the award is to share seven random facts about yourself:

Fact 1:   I attended a one-room country schoolhouse in Lake County, SD, for grades 1-4.

Fact 2:  I love to read:  My great-grandmother, grandmother, and husband were all librarians.

Fact 3:  Two of my great-grandfathers were Danish-born immigrants named Jens Peder.

Fact 4:  :  I’m a fabric addict.  (But you already knew that if you read my blog!)

Fact 5:  I was the first woman appointed to the SD Board of Pardons & Paroles ( 1987-1991).

Fact 6:  I have 3 children, 2 stepchildren, and 9 grandchildren who are the joys of my life.

Fact 7:  I am a lawyer and an IRS Enrolled Agent who actually enjoys doing taxes.  Weird, huh?

The other requirement is to nominate 15 other bloggers to receive the award, so here is my list:

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snow Day

The groundhog made good on his prediction.  Winter definitely has arrived!

The snow is beautiful.  My inner child wants to build a snowman and go sledding.  But my inner adult is grumbling after shoveling heavy,wet snow for three hours, only to risk being high-centered on an unplowed street.  Even 4WD vehicles are stuck.

I was scheduled to work at the tax office today from 11:00 am until 8:00 pm, but 7 of my 8 appointments rescheduled, and one of my coworkers who was able to make it in will cover #8, so my benevolent boss (he really is the BEST boss I've ever had) called and told me to take a Snow Day.  It is my first day off since President's Day.

Once I finish shoveling (yes, there's still more to shovel---I just came in to throw my coat and gloves in the dryer and grab a cup of hot chocolate), my Snow Day will be a Sew Day!  Yay!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Thursday, February 2, 2012

No Do-Overs

Today is Groundhog Day in the United States.  According to tradition, if a groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania sees his shadow, he will be frightened and head underground, and we’ll have six more weeks of winter.  If he does not see his shadow, we’ll have milder weather.
Every Groundhog Day I am reminded of the 1993 American comedy film Groundhog Day, directed by Harold Ramis, and starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.  The script was written by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis.  Although it wasn’t an Oscar contender, it was placed in the United States National Film Registry in 2006 for being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant, according to Wikipedia.
In the story, a TV weatherman who is really annoyed about being sent to the boondocks to cover a corny groundhog festival keeps repeating the day over and over again until he finally gets it right ---and gets the girl.
In real life, though, there are no do-overs. 
We must live with our mistakes.  We can learn from those mistakes, try not to repeat them, and ask forgiveness when necessary.
On the positive side, life is not a dress rehearsal.  Time is a precious and limited commodity. Life is short. We must make the most of each day, trying to live a life consistent with our values and belief.  We must make each day count.  We must not be so focused on checking items off our To Do List that we miss the gifts each day brings.  We should take time to smell the roses…because there are no do-overs.
Happy Groundhog Day!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower