Friday, February 27, 2015

Pasqueflower's Book of the Month - February 2015

I resolved to read at least one book per month in 2015, and to share my thoughts about the book with my readers.  After last month's intriguing but thought-provoking read, I went looking for something a bit lighter.

While strolling through my neighborhood library, this book caught my eye.  Okay, I confess, sometimes I DO judge a book by its cover:

The Pink Suit: A Novel by Nicole Mary Kelby immediately brought back images of the stunning pink suit worn by Jackie Kennedy on November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.  Although we only had black and white television back in the day, I remember seeing colored pictures of the First Lady wearing that beautiful pink Chanel-style suit and a matching pillbox hat -- soaked in blood. 

The story is historical fiction, based on events leading up to that fateful day in Dallas.  Kate, an Irish immigrant seamstress, works at Chez Ninon --  a haute couture fashion house that caters to the rich and famous, including the First Lady, who is referred to in the book as "The Wife" or "Her Elegance" from Maison Blanche. 

As a sewist, I loved Kelby's description of the fabrics, and the intricate processes used to create high fashion garments --- many of them boldfaced rip-offs of French designer originals.   And I was intrigued by the cut-throat competitiveness and politics in the world of high fashion.

There is a constant tension in the novel as Kate lives her life in two worlds -- one the high fashion studio where she works her artistry, and the other the Irish neighborhood where she drinks half pints of dark beer and eats fish and chips with her butcher boyfriend, Patrick.

After the assassination, both of Kate's worlds are shaken.  Innocence lost, she longs to return to Ireland. 

The book was an engaging read.  I'd give it 4 stars.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - More Scrap Management

Hubby's Handiwork

Yikes! Bikes!

I have a love/hate relationship with Custom Orders.

I LOVE the creativity of my customers, and the challenge of finding just the right fabric or design, and the satisfaction of making something that is an extra special gift for someone. 

I HATE the enormous amount of time and extra expense it takes to special order fabrics or supplies, and (sometimes) unreasonable demands.

But recently I was asked to create a custom order for a wonderful repeat customer:  four bicycle oven mitts, all from different fabrics, for her adult kids and kids-in-law who are avid bike racers.  This was a custom order I loved.

Here are two of the custom mitts, packaged and ready to ship:

My walking foot (a gizmo that helps me quilt through multiple layers and includes a spacing bar) broke. 

(Since I've now sewn well over 1,000 oven mitts, it had probably outlived its useful life!)  I have a new one on rush order (no time to go to the local sewing machine repair shop when I am working 7:00 am to 8:00 pm).  So the other two mitts will be delayed a bit.  Thankfully, my sweet customer (whose name, appropriately enough, is Candy), doesn't need them until April, so she was fine with a slight delay for the last two.  Whew!


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Treasury Thanks

Each week I devote my Sunday post to thanking curators of Etsy treasuries who have featured items from my Etsy shop in Etsy treasuries over the past week.


As February draws to a close, many Etsians appear to be looking ahead to March -- and Spring!  I know I have a bona fide case of Spring Fever!

Bonnie Sernesky of BonniesSewCrazy, a Baby Boomers teammate, featured my crocus oven mitt in her treasury, Spring Is Coming Soon.  This cosmetic bag in green floral has a fresh Spring look.

Nika of YaNikaJewelry featured my poppies on blue oven mitt in her treasury, Feb0915,  I love these openwork copper earrings from Nika's shop.

SeductiveBodyWorks featured my pink floral oven mitt in a pretty Pink and Teal treasury.  This heart belly button ring is pretty in pink.

Claude Freaner of ClaudesWoodcarving featured my colorful birds oven mitt in his treasury, Birds -- the sign of Spring! - A TEMPT Team Blast Off Treasury  This hand-carved bluebird would feel right at home nesting in Claude's treasury.

Pauline Clarke of polsknitsnstuff featured my pencil-shaped pencil pouches in her treasury, Ready...Steady...Blast Off!  I love these light green cable-knit fingerless gloves.  They'd be great to sport on St. Patrick's Day -- or any chilly Spring day.

Natalie Skollay of TheVintageBoho featured my green chevron oven mitt in her treasury, TEMPT Team - The Things I Love on TEMPT.   I love purple, so I found this beautiful amethyst and crystal jewelry set very TEMPT-ing. 

Brenda of brendamade featured my colorful abstract pillow cover in her treasury, Spring Inside Home D├ęcor.  This mini notebook cover would be a perfect gift for those of us who still like to jot "stuff" down.  The old thumbs are not as nimble as the grandkids'--and my phone is not so smart.

Liz from TheLittleEmptyNest featured my lavender floral oven mitt in her beautiful pastel-themed treasury, Soft Effervescence ,  I just love this 18 inch blue and brown necklace from Liz's shop.

LaurenceCollection featured my aqua chevron oven mitt in a lovely treasury, Blue Thoughts .
In keeping with the blue theme, I chose to feature this beautiful blue ceramic bead necklace from LaurenceCollection.

And last, but not least, Kathy and Wayne of Rocks2Gems2Wire featured my green chevron oven mitt in their bright and sunny treasury, Tempting Florida Citrus .  This shell charm necklace  with its pretty coral beads reminds me of a day at a beautiful Florida beach.

And there you have it!  Another great week for Etsy treasuries.  Special thanks to my TEMPT Team teammates whose weekly Saturday Blast Off Treasury promotions have brought lots of new views to my little Etsy shop.

53 days until the end of tax season ... and counting!


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Treasury Thanks

Each Sunday I devote a post to saying THANK YOU to curators of Etsy treasuries who have featured items from my shop, Pasque Flower Creations, over the past week.  This week, Valentine's Day was the trending theme.

Wine Charmers and More featured my gray chevron oven mitt in the beautiful neutral-themed treasury Nice Gifts !!!  These autism awareness puzzle charms would be a unique gift that could also support a good cause.

Jackie T. from FlossFlowersandCraft featured my pink chevron oven mitt and pink floral baby bib in her treasury, February in Baby Boomers Pink.  Jackie makes the cutest hand knit critters.  This knit bunny toy and this knit chick would be fun additions to an Easter basket.

neta gov of NGTAcreations featured my orange and gray baby bib in her treasury, 11:20,  This leather and beads necklace is one of the unique jewelry items you will find in neta's shop.

Linda B of lindab142 featured my lavender floral oven mitts in her treasury, Mardi Gras Colors - Purple, Green and Gold and More.  As most of you know, I love purple, so I was immediately drawn to this gorgeous amethyst gemstone bracelet -- one of the stunningly beautiful jewelry pieces available in Linda's shop. 

Susan McAnany of McAnany featured my red linen bow clutch in her treasury, Love Tokens.
I chose to feature this modern wall art photograph print from McAnany.

Rossiter Lisa of PNLJewelryDesigns featured my Parson Gray masculine key fob in her treasury, Today's Picks.  Today I'd like to be sitting on a warm beach, watching sailboats skim by, so I chose to feature this unique opal sailboat necklace from Lisa's shop.

Drolleries featured my autumn leaves oven mitts in the treasury, Orange You Glad You're In the Kitchen?  Hmm...most days the answer to that is No, but the pretty items in this treasury could make cooking fun.  Most days, however, I'd rather be curled up with a good book in a comfortable chair covered by a cozy afghan -- like this wishing well afghan. 

Marion S of couva12 featured my green chevron oven mitts in the treasury, TEMPT Team Greens,  If Valentine's Day comes, can St. Patrick's Day be far behind?   But in the in between days of a cold and snowy winter, I'd like to sport this pretty purple crochet scarf.

Janyce of pineconeandsparrow featured my golf key fob in the treasury, Turquoise and Teal (Kind Of).  Janyce makes beautiful collage art.  This white birches collage is one of my favorites.

Viktoria Deripaska of ARTZO featured my red linen bow clutch in the treasury, Red Romance
This lovely double hearts ring would be a romantic gift for a special someone.

livesmira of SEVILSBAZAAR featured my zebra stripe key fobs in the treasury, Successful Studies . . . .  This beautiful handmade scarf is a study in beautiful needleart. 

Lacote of LACOTEDESIGN was on a treasury-making binge last week, and created over a dozen treasuries entitled Treasury for You.  I was lucky to be featured in one of them.  This beautiful tulip wall art makes me long for Spring.

SeductiveBodyWorks featured my purple and gold key fob in the treasury, Plum.  This belly button ring in purple is something I might have worn 40 years ago.  Now it would be lost in a sea of stretch marks and belly fat. 

MaryBeth Willis of LittleBitCrazy featured my red floral oven mitt in her treasury, RED RED RED for TEMPT Team's Treasury Blast Off.  These red red red sphere earrings could be sported all year round in Nebraska.

Kathy Read of DixieVintageShoppe featured my fleur de lis baby bib in her treasury, Weekend Shopping.   I love this vintage porcelain bead necklace from Kathy's shop.

Cassie of CassieVision featured my black cream and tan foldover clutch in her treasury, Peaceful Gray, a calm mid-winter collection.  I'm longing for Spring, and this forest spirit bracelet would be just the thing to wear on a casual stroll in early Spring. 

Jessica and Bryan of Feath and Kee featured my red linen bow clutch in their treasury, Happy Valentine's Day!  These red heart earrings are in keeping with their Valentine theme.

Brenda of brendamade featured my pink floral oven mitt in the treasury Floral Amore Galore.  I have some floral love for this pretty fabric covered notebook from brendamade. 

Liz of TheLittleEmptyNest featured my colorful abstract pillow cover in her treasury, Peaches and Cream.  These lovely peach earrings from Liz's shop add a touch of understated elegance.

Peachy Keen!

And there you have it.  Another great week for treasuries.  Thanks, again, to all the curators who help to promote the work of fellow Etsians.

Only two more months until the end of tax season....and counting!


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Froggy Hugs

Look what I found perched atop my sewing machine on Valentine's Day!  A sweet surprise from my hubby, whose nickname was Froggy.  Made me smile.

Wishing you a Valentine's Day full of sweet surprises.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Hubby's 50-Year Reunion

It's Throwback Thursday, and I just couldn't resist sharing this Save the Date postcard my hubby received from his alma mater, Bemidji State University, located in chilly northern Minnesota.
The Class of 1965 will be holding a 50th reunion July 31-August 1. 

My hubby is the handsome short guy in the center of the photo.  Were we ever really that young?


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Think Spring!

February is the shortest month on the calendar, but it always seems to be the longest somehow.
Valentine's Day can be a colorful, happy interlude.  But for the most part, February is a series of cold, gray days, and extra-long work hours that leave me longing for Spring.

So this Shameless Commerce Tuesday I will showcase one of my Spring-y floral oven mitts, made with pretty fabrics from the Dear Stella fabric line -- perfect for Mother's Day gifting.

Perhaps after tax season I will dust off the old purple bike, and hit the bike trails.  I love biking out in the country on the Mo-Pac Trail (abandoned Missouri-Pacific Railroad right-of-way) -- to feel the sun and wind on my face, and to see an ever-changing display of wildflowers.   One of my latest custom orders is a request to make bicycle-themed oven mitts from four different fabrics.  Here is one of my favorites by Timeless Treasures:

Time to hit the snowy trail that leads to work today.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Treasury Thanks - An Eventful Week!

What an eventful week!!  TWO big snowstorms, crazy-busy days at the tax office, my part-time job as a Legal Assistant at the UNL College of Law Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic changed to full-time,  I signed up for health insurance, and we had a delightful, laughter-filled dinner chat with our two oldest grandchildren who are undergrads at UNL. 

It was an eventful week for Etsy treasuries, too!  I am so grateful for the collaborative spirit that still manages to survive amidst the many changes on Etsy that have foreshadowed its urge to go public.  I firmly believe that going public will mean the greed desires of shareholders to make a profit will put smaller-scale Sellers and Etsy's handmade / no-resellers values at risk of being severely compromised. 

Okay.  I'll jump off my soapbox now and get to the point of this post, which is to extend a huge
THANK YOU to the curators of Etsy treasuries who featured items from my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations, over the past week. 

Irina Mastikova of Fajnasmuka featured my olive, brown orange and cream oven mitt in her treasury, 01/16.  This treasury is a delightful mix of unique finds!  For those of you longing for Spring, this  genuine leather cross body bag in coral would be a fantastic accessory.

Margaret of SplendidLittleStars featured my hearts and pink gingham baby bib in her treasury, Sweet.  This heart t-shirt in pink would be a sweet Valentine's Day gift for a special girl in your life.

Rossiter Lisa of PNLJewelryDesigns featured my Valentine's Day baby bib in her treasury, Red Hot Gifts.   This red coral tree of life necklace would be a lovely Valentine's Day gift that could be worn year round. 

Diane Waters of muddywaterscc featured my roses oven mitt in her treasury, My Dear One.  Our 9 grandchildren are "dear ones" to me -- and this whimsical Felicity Pig piggy bank would be a wonderful gift for a child -- and a fun way to encourage a habit of saving.

Janyce of pineconeandsparrow featured my horses key fob in her treasury, Something for Everyone.  I love Janyce's simple tree hand painted collage.  And isn't her photo beautifully staged!

Rossiter Lisa of PNLJewelryDesigns featured my pink and red hearts bib in her treasury, Love Handmade Gifts.  This pretty heart bookmark would be a lovely little Valentine's gift for your favorite bibliophile. 

Rossiter Lisa of PNLJewelryDesigns featured my lavender floral oven mitt in her treasury, Lovely Lavender.  These lavender heart earrings are truly lovely.

Cassie of CassieVision featured my blue and purple baking-themed oven mitt in her treasury, Turn It Up.  These dark crystal earrings would add a modern edgy vibe to a date night outfit.

Valerie of NandysNook featured my red and gold pillow cover in her treasury, Home Is Where the Heart Is.  Valerie's shop offers coffee mug cozies in a rainbow of color -- and she offers buyers the option to create their own sets of four.  Hmmm-- a cup of hot tea would be nice, nestled in one of these colorful cozies.

Deborah of VelveteenGarden featured my rainbow chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Color My World III: Neon Rainbow.  I love, love, love this circa 1930 handmade quilt from Deborah's vintage shop.

Cake Topper Design featured my red and pink Valentine's Day baby bib in her treasury, No. 22.  This wedding cake topper silhouette is one of the unique cake toppers you will find in this shop.

Lacote of LACOTEDESIGN also featured my Valentine's Day baby bib in her treasury, !!!Treasury for You!!!  Lacote makes delightfully detailed one-of-a-kind nursery wall art

Lisa Lavender of TheBumbleBeadCompany featured my green chevron oven mitt in her treasury, TEMPT Team's Spring Can't Come Fast Enough.  This shamballa bracelet in yellow (although it looks like Spring green on my monitor) makes me think of bright Spring days. 

Lisa also featured my Valentine's Day baby bib in her treasury, TEMPT Team's Romance Is Alive and Well.  This crystal necklace with heart could be worn on a romantic dinner date. 

Kathy Read of DixieVintageShoppe also included my Valentine's Day baby bib in her treasury, Hearts and Flowers for Her.  This vintage bow heart Avon brooch with September birth stone is one of the lovely vintage finds you can browse in Kathy's shop.

Julia of Draiguna featured my lavender and forest green floral baby bib in her treasury, Forest Heart.  Julia is a talented crocheter, as evidenced by this elaborately detailed Valentine's Day doily.

Liz of TheLittleEmptyNest featured my textured brown pillow cover in her treasury, Calm.  Her treasury showcases lovely earthtones.  This olive wood bracelet would feel right at home in her treasury. 

Nancy Tozier Sieling of GreatEastEmporium featured my studs and chains key fob in her treasury, Basic Black.   Nancy's shop features unique creations made of beeswax, like this adorable little lamb.

Kate Brooks of PiecesofHomeMosaics featured my ribbon-trimmed tea towel in her treasury, Get Me to the Church on Time.  Looking for a statement bracelet?  Check out this incredible aluminum fused glass cuff bracelet.  Definitely Pin-worthy!

And there you have it!  Another great week for treasuries.  Thanks, again, to the curators who included items from my Etsy shop. 

Valentine's Day is only 6 days away!