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dayton days

My first show at Dayton Days in Virginia turned out to be a beautiful fall day. Although the air was crisp in the morning, the sun came out later and I had a wonderful time! What I wasn't expecting was the crowd...thousands of people came out to see over three hundred vendors. But who can complain about that!!!

Not me, because I met so many nice people and saw quite a few familiar faces.

I thought I would share some purses I made for the day...

This one is a new style called a bucket bag, the fabric is called Folklorica by Julie Paschkis. She is a children's book illustrator and her fabrics are so whimsical and colorful. I want to try her Oceania line next. The basic bag pattern is one from Keyka Lou with my own spin on her design♥

Next is one fabric line I'm sure you'll recognize...Amy Butler's Lotus line has been so popular. Everyone likes this style!
Here is another way I used Amy's Lotus fabric...

Then there's Cosmo Cricket's Early Bird. With a retro feel, this has been one of my favorite collections this year. I love the cherry and toaster fabric in this line!

I just have to have any fabric Lila Tueller creates...the vibrancy of her color palette and the quality are exceptional. She has a new collection out now called Spirit which is on my "must have" list...but then again, I can't think of many fabrics that are not on that list :) This is a laptop/large tote pattern that I came up with. Made from Lila's Woodland Bloom line which unfortunately is very hard to find anymore. Now how pink and pretty is this?

Kate Spain (what a cute name!) is right up there beside of Lila Tueller as far as color and design. This is her newest line, Fandango...

And lastly, Alice Kennedy's Poppy, red and white is a favorite color combination of mine. The pattern is my own, created from fat quarters with a pocket in the middle...thinking about doing a pdf of it, if I can ever find the time.

Another use of the black, white and red combo, Mod Hen fabric. Robert Kaufman's Metro Market line, I think :) Isn't this a fun purse? It takes a modern girl to rock a chicken purse like this!!!

Thank you for stopping by and seeing some of my newest creations. I am currently working on too many projects, don't we all? But hopefully soon, my Etsy store will be up and running, I'm waiting on ordered fabrics to come in. Also, if you are in the Virginia area, I will be at Staunton's Art for Gifts at the Staunton Art Center in Staunton, VA from November 19 until December 30. This is a wonderful venue with many talented artists that lasts all through the holiday season. Until then, happy sewing and enjoy!!

before Prozac, there was quilting...

or so they say...

My personal motto is "Don't start quilting and you won't need Prozac."

To understand my feelings about this, you have to first know something about me. Patience is not one of my virtues...instant gratification is my game. Anything precise and time consuming awakens the suspected ADHD in me. And the second thing you need to know is that my Laura has...the patience of a saint, of Job, of the heavens and earth, of however you want to call it, she's got it and I don't. I learned this today when she called and wanted my help with appliqué. Oh, to even type the word makes me shudder....

Now, I love to sew and have been doing so for many years. You need a costume or a new dress or handbag, no need to look further, you've found your girl. What I don't like to do is all the preliminary steps before you get to sew...cutting out the pattern, the interfacing, the fabric. And then you get to iron it all before you start! Whew! If someone would do all of that for me, I could sew all day. I love the construction part. With that said, Laura, the patient one, remember? She's making a gorgeous quilt called "Petal Play" by Denise Sheehan.

It's a beautiful color scheme as you can see, with all the blue and green batiks. But it's an appliquéd (oooh, that word again), quilt and that's where the fun *insert sarcastic grin here* begins. Thank God she had all of her pieces cut out. All 96 petal pieces to be exact. So just the thought of all the work she had already done was exhausting to me. In other words, I had to get this right or ruin all of her hard work thus far.

All she needed me to do was teach her to appliqué... and even though I had never done it before, I thought to myself, "How hard can this be?" That was the just the first of many wrong thoughts that swirled through my head today.

According to the appliqué gods: "Appliqué comes from the french word appliquér which means "to put on". In appliqué, one layer of fabric is layered over another layer of fabric and is sewn into place. Appliqué opens a whole new world to the quilter allowing for many more possiblities than piecing alone."

A wonderful description, no doubt, but then they tell you how many different ways there are to appliqué. But I, a self confessed know-it-all, figured within the five minutes it would take Laura to get to my house, I would learn appliqué. Hah! So much for being a smart ass. Ms. Sheehan's detailed instructions, which would suffice any another human being, left me going "wwwhhhaattt"?

You see, she graciously included the "freezer paper method" which, if I had You Tubed it, would have understood it. I have to emphasize here, it was not her instructions, but my "don't give me any direction, I know the way there" ego. So when I got to the "liquid starch" part, my brain shut down and refused to think any further from that point on.

Not wanting to seem "inexperienced"...wise ole' sewing guru that I am, I proceeded to tell my poor Laura how I would appliqué the petals...with one major flaw. You see, it appears my brain has about a five minute delay between my thoughts and my mouth, and as I am spouting all of the directions to Laura, I am... (and this is confession time)... trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing as I'm telling her what to do. Make sense to you? I thought not, it didn't even make sense to me! Here I am desperately, silently, trying to reinvent my own way to appliqué...and there sits my trusting Laura obediently following each step of my frantic brain. After all...didn't I say to her, "Sure, come on over and I'll show you?" How was she supposed to know the unnerving chaos that was about to engulf her?

So after a long and tedious afternoon on her part, which involved cutting, interfacing, spray adhesive and numerous confusing stops and starts on my part, she managed to come up with a stunning first block. And bless her heart, she even smiled at the camera. Oh wait, I think I see a little tear at the corner of her eye...hopefully that's just bad photoshop.

She left for home after many reassurances on her part that she was satisfied. Geez, she only had 11 more blocks to do with my quirky direction...and she would have done it my way, without question, because, well because that's just the altruistic soul she is. I, on the other hand, am eating "what were you thinking" crow and feeling so guilty...

After all, I don't want to discourage her from doing this again and with my way, I wouldn't have done it the first time! If I had been her, I would've thrown my hands up and declared, "Never mind!" Or at the very least, "Never again!"

Not to mention that she had already put in numerous hours cutting it all out.

So, I sat down at my computer and did my research, which admittedly now, I should have done in the first place. And after I researched appliqué methods, I did find that it's not hard to do at all! I called Laura and 'fessed up and gave her a much better solution to the fiasco I created earlier. She loved it! Now, I can't wait to see her beautiful work of art. Quilts are art pieces you know, somewhere I heard, "Asking a quilter to mend is like asking Picasso to paint a garage."

That's my Laura, the quilter, the fabric artist. I am so proud of her, she tackles any task with a smile. Even crazy, nonsensical ones...

As for appliqué methods, you better believe this old girl knows what she's talking about now! Here a good link from Quilt. com about the basics. If you are a visual learner, You Tube it, there are so many wonderful quilters out there who share what they know. As for "my method"...I learned my lesson well today, enough said.

Paul Sweeney once said, "How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners and instant cameras teach patience to its young?" I got your answer, Mr. Sweeney, teach them to appliqué a quilt! could just give them a mom who thinks she knows it all...

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams

raindrops keep fallin' on my head...

So here's the scene outside my booth at the Heritage Festival... hmmm, not very inviting is it? We braved it out though thinking that it would stop at some point throughout the day, but the skies above proved us wrong. It rained all day long!

Gratefully, my son Josh was there to set up my canopy and he put up some "lovely blue tarps" from the hardware store since I don't have any sides. I usually put the curtains around the side poles and use pink polka dot ribbon to tie them know, the whole girly frufru vibe.

Despite all the drip drops and decorating issues, we managed to get set up and ended up having a wonderful day! Believe it or not, there were quite a few shoppers and we made some new friends. One of which was a sweet lady named Rachel who gave me some flattering blog love on her site. Thanks Rachel for the compliments! She sells cute little organic baby toys...please visit her at prettylizzielu. My sister Sandy, (trying to hide in the picture) hung out with me all day... we got soaking wet and laughed the whole time!!!

Even Bob the Monkey Man perservered the weather and managed to put a smile on lots of little faces! Don't you love his little companion? She's rockin' her little dress, isn't she? Now, that's my kinda girl, still stylin' underneath those gray skies!!!

Now that it's over, I'm once again sewing for my next venue, Staunton Art Center's Art for Gifts. This time of year is always so busy for me with the holiday season right around the corner. But that's another blog post...until then wishing you sunny skies and lots of laughter during the rainy ones. Enjoy!

“Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain” - Author Unknown
(Hey, who is this guy Author anyway? Maybe he is the brother of "I Dunno" - he was my boys' best friend when I used to ask them, "Who did this?" :)

timberville heritage festival

Wow, I have certainly become a "lazy" blogger lately, but, as is a "sneek peek" of my new purses that I'll be showing at the Timberville Heritage Festival. In celebration of the town's 125th aniversary, this event is Saturday, September 26 from 9 till 4 on American Legion Drive next to Food Lion Plaza. They'll have food, entertainment and about 40 crafters there, so come on out and see me and Laura. That's right, my baby will be showing with me and it will be her first! I'm so excited, she's made some really nice bags...

Forgive the imprompto photo setup, my sister would faint if she knew I didn't iron the backdrop before taking these pictures :)
The top totes are made with Michael Miller, Mary Engelbreit and Debbie Mumm fabric. I don't usually use novelty fabrics, but the cherries on the Engelbreit and the little farm animals on the Mumm fabric was too charming to resist :) And Engelbreit purse has "Princess of Quite-A-Lot" on it...those of you who know me, well, let's just say it fits! Actually, I think that will become my new alter-ego, Princess Quite-A-Lot!
These are fabrics I use regularly, I just love the quality of it. Pictured are Amy Butler and Paula Prass.

At my last show, I had so many little girls looking for purses they could use. I forget sometimes that we grown-ups are just "little girls grown tall". So not to forget the "divas in training"...I made some tiny ones. I want to carry a kitty cat purse! You can't read it from the photo but the front middle purse says "dance, bloom, play, and imagine"...and isn't that what all of us "princesses" want to do? Let's all remember to take time to laugh, love and especially's too short not to! Enjoy!

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein

if I stitch fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise?

Posts have been too far between lately, but I've committed myself to two fall shows and have been wildly stitching! Found this video on You Tube and it's so appropriate for how I'm feeling now...seems like every spare minute of mine is spent at my machine. For those of you who participate in shows, I'm sure you can's alot of work! But for me, nothing compares to handmade♥ Enjoy this little ditty by Betty Hutton until I find time to put together a decent post. I have so many new purses that I have to photograph in order to share them with you, promise that won't be too much longer. Oh, and for those of you who are not as old as dust like me, Betty Hutton was a movie star in the forties...


What you want could be miles away,
but you’ll never get it until you start walking...

"The road to happiness lies in two simple principles; find what interests you and that you can do well, and put your whole soul into it - every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have." - John D. Rockefeller

laura's having a purse sale !!!

When God created my Laura He must've been thinking about cheerful and kind-hearted, I know it sounds cliche, but she really does brighten up everyone's day with her continuous smiles.

Not only is she one of His happiest creatures but wonderfully talented, she also makes the cutest purses. I love her sense of color and style, the construction is perfect.

But then again, I may be a bit biased, since I taught her how to sew :)

She just listed several of her bags for sale on her blog. My favorite is this one in lime and teal...don't you just love the dragonfly buttons?
All of them have interior double pockets on one side and a zippered one on the other, just right for all of our needful things. I don't know about you, but I could probably live for a week out of the contents of my purse! She has lots of juicy summer colors and some fall ones too, so here is a sneak preview of some other favorites of mine...

This one is Michael Miller's Patti Paisley fabric. Anyone who knows me can tell you they are one of my favorite designers. I love the retro look...basic black with a rainbow of splashy colors.

The girl in me has a love affair with the color pink and I love the summery feel of this one...isn't this a happy purse? The lining is so sweet in pink and lime which she shows on her site.

She has these and many more to choose from at, so if you have a moment, please stop by and visit her. At twenty dollars for a handmade bag, you can have a new look at a very affordable price. She'll even make you a new wallet to match for $8.00! Thank you and as always...lots of love from me to youEnjoy!

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves" - James Matthew Barrie

sunshine and good times...

A juried show, I was honored to be selected to participate with many talented artisians at Art in the Park show held in Staunton, VA.

Sponsored by the Staunton Augusta Art Center, it's held annually during the month of May.

As you can see, the weather was picture perfect, the people were fabulous and I sold sooo many of my bags. Whoo hoo!

Now I can buy more fabricHey, I gotta feed my cloth addiction somehow...didn't your mom ever tell you more fiber? How was I supposed to know mine meant cereal?

It was my first time at an outdoor show - this is my small table where I had wallets, key fobs, organizers, etc. - you know, all the little necessities we girls can't live without :)

I made the bag on the left with Paula Prass' Flights of Fancy Beach Stripe and Zinna Path in Ocean while the one above is Lila Tueller's Woodland Bloom Colossal Blossoms and Sunny Day Dot in Cloud.

Marjorie Post's Fete De Fleurs Poppies was the inspiration for the bag above along with Robert Kaufman's Hot Couturier on the left.

Covered button bracelet and earring sets...

Michael Miller's Peace Flower, Wendy Slotboom's Feathered Friends and Alexander Henry's
Sloan Paisley to name a few...
Kitty Yoshida's City Girl, Sandi Henderson's Ginger Blossom, Amy Butler's Tree Peony, Patty Young's Andalucia and a few more Michael Millers. Okay...insert note here...if you follow my link to Michael Miller's site - check out Laura Gunn's new fabric line "Lantern Bloom". Looks like watercolors... pretty!

More Amy and Wendy along with Timeless Treasure's Love a Tree fabric. These little totes are so cute...when you sew the straps on it creates outer pockets all the way around.

Left to Right: Jennifer Moore's Mod Hen and Beaded Curtain (my sister's favorite), Jane Sassaman's Coneflower and Paula Prass' Flights of Fancy. This bag style is the one I like to design and sew the most. I love the front panel with the coordinate on the sides.

Thank you for stopping by and letting me share some of the fun of my day with you. It has inspired me to continue with another show at Blue Ridge Community College's Fall Festival in September. Until then, check back soon for an Etsy store I have in the works. E-mail me... I would love to hear from you

Staunton Art in the Park

First, I must apologize to all of my regular readers for not posting in so long. I've spent the last month sewing every night preparing for an art show I participated in this weekend. I met so many wonderful people and had an incredible time! I have so much to tell you...including plans for a new Etsy store! I have to get all of my pictures from the show together first, so please check back soon and I will have everything up to share.

Love to you all, Candy

your smile for the day :)

Found this and had to share it...maybe this is why I'm a sewer and not on American Idol :)

Happy Easter!

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

I wish you a blessed Easter with those you love

ooo la la...

Ahhh...spring is in the air - young lovers are out everywhere and where am I you might wonder? Well...sewing a poodle skirt of course! Silly you, I bet you thought I had spring fever too :) I do, I do, but first I have a PILE of sewing to finish.

The poodle skirt is for my little friend Madeline. She and her daddy are invited to the Girl Scout 50's Sock Hop and she had to call her "Granny" Candy to hook her up with a girly look! Actually, I'm not really her granny, I think I'm just the oldest person her mommy knows that can both sew and remember when they wore poodle skirts :)

Here's how it turned out (it's folded over a hanger, I wasn't gonna iron that puppy twice just for a picture!) Of course I used felt for the skirt - what an easy sew - no hemming needed! And instead of being really creative and cutting out my own, I used an applique I bought at Wal-Mart. Good ole' Wal-Mart...when we're in a pinch, what would we do without 'em?

Next, I added some bling for the leash. By the way, a bit of trivia here, I read that back in the fifties if you wore a poodle skirt with a leash it meant you had a beau and was tied to him already. But if your poodle was without a leash, you were available for dancing that night...

Finished it with a matching hair bow and a little scarf with hot fix crystals that say "Sweet"...which is just what my little friend Maddie is...the sweetest little five year old I know

Want to make one of your own? They only take an hour or so and I found an adorable poodle applique pattern from Love in Stitches. And good directions on how to make the skirt here. Enjoy!

Life lessons learned from a dog...

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy-ride.
Get the most out of the experience of fresh air and wind in your face
When family members come home, always run to greet them.
Be obedient; when it’s in your best interest.
Protect your territory.
Take naps and stretch before rising.
Run and play daily.
Eat with enthusiasm.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you’re not.
If you want what is buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close and nuzzle them gently.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Don’t bite when a growl will do.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t feel guilty and pout. Run right back and make friends.
Bond with your pack.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk
If it's not wet and sloppy, it's not a real kiss

a new handbag blog to visit...

For those of you who don't already know, this is my son Michael's girlfriend, Laura. Hopefully, someday she will be my daughter-in-law, but she already seems like a daughter to me now

Last year, I taught her to sew and she was a natural at it. She caught on very quickly and has been at her machine ever since! Now she sews more than I do and I am so pleased that she loves it as much as she does.

Recently she created her own blog - where she has started selling her creations.

The best part is that she shows you, on her site, several different styles and lets you customize it the way you want it. You decide your own colors, style, how many pockets, etc. and she will work with you to create a bag just how you want it to be! Isn't that a cool concept? It really is a one of a kind - just for you... And I have to say her prices are really reasonable.

So if you need something special for a gift or just want to treat yourself to a new spring bag, please be sure to visit her. She really is a sweetheartand makes everything from large totes to cute little clutches. And she sews the neatest wallets I've ever seen.

If you click on her banner below, it will take you to her site. By the way, you may be asking why she named it Loora's
Handbags instead of Laura's - well, Loora is a silly little nickname my son calls her. And why the x-ray hand? She's going to college to be an X-Ray technician and is getting ready to graduate in May. Way to go Laura - we're all proud of you!

this little piggy goes to market...

shhh...I've got a secret... someone very dear to me is going to have her first baby. I can't give away any details, but I am thrilled for her and her husband! They tried for a long time to get pregnant and it finally happened. I believe God's timing is always right

Thinking about their happiness and remembering the joy I felt with my three makes me want to create soft tiny things...

So, my inspiration for today's post is this photo I found on Flickr. Amazing isn't it? You can count each little toe. It reminds me of my oldest son Matt. He used to do this and there were times when I thought he was just going to kick his way out! I was sure I had a NFL player on the way :) And it also reminds me of the sheer miracle of having a child growing inside you.

And with tiny feet in mind, here are some adorable patterns I found...

Little shoes from Stardust's Shoes. Don't you just love babies little toes....and little hands....and little noses...I could go on and on.

While Stardust's shoes are made with fabric scraps, Heather Bailey's Bitty Booties uses felt.

Another style using felt is from Martha Stewart. These remind me of those Mary Jane strap shoes I used to wear...

For you knitters, here's one from Saartje Knits

A clever tutorial from Bare Maked shows you how to make reversible ones. Two different looks from one shoe!

Aimee Larsen from Homespun Threads has a pdf pattern for kimono shoes. I've made these before - easy to do!

This style comes from OHelene. Don't they look so soft and warm? When your baby starts walking, she shows you how to make them in leather too.

Although I love all these ideas, I think this one is my favorite. Firefly shoes made with tiny led lights that light up when baby walks. How adorable is that? I could see these for boys too - maybe fire engines with lights on top? The tutorial made by Ana Pires and Joao Silva is on Craftzine.

Lastly, I wanted to show you this pattern from Precious Patterns available for purchase on Etsy. Aren't these sweet? They have several other pdf patterns - bears, monkeys, etc. and they're prices are very reasonable. Enjoy!

Tell me, what is half so sweet, as a baby's tiny feet,
Pink and dainty as can be, like a coral from the sea?
Talk of jewels strung in rows, gaze upon those little toes,

Fairer than a diadem, with the mother kissing them!

It is morning and she lies, uttering her happy cries,
While her little hands reach out, for the feet that fly about.
Then I go to her and blow, laughter out of every toe;
Hold her high and let her place, tiny footprints on my face.

Little feet that do not know, where the winding roadways go,
Little feet that never tire, feel the stones or trudge the mire,
Still too pink and still too small, to do anything but crawl,
Thinking all their wanderings fair, filled with wonders everywhere.

Little feet, so rich with charm, may you never come to harm.
As I bend and proudly blow, laughter out of every toe,
This pray, that God above, shall protect you with His love,
And shall guide those little feet, safely down life's broader street.
-"Baby Feet" from the book "Rhymes Of Childhood" by Edgar Guest ©1924

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