~ Here is my story, told one 'Spunky' moment {and craft} at a time. ~

Monday, August 30, 2010

Quiltaway at Craftopotamus - ends 9/12/2010

Cecily over at Craftopotamus is having a Quiltaway to celebrate reaching 100 followers!  She quilted this fabulous quilt using fabrics from her stash, and has a very moving post about the design.  Entries are open until Sunday (Sept 12th) at 6 p.m.  I love being a follower of hers, and checking out her new creations!



 

Weekend Wrap - 8/30/2010

I had so much fun this weekend!  Ms. Diva and I spent a lot of time in the pool.  My little bro made it to Texas for a two week vacation.  The music for church service went very smoothly, and we did Amazing Grace/House of the Rising Sun version (I play violin, and hubby plays guitar and sings on the Praise Team).  I got some craft time in, and got both the Book Reviews I had pending posted and turned in (Forgotten and Captured By Grace).  Just in time, since I have three historical fictions on their way from Bethany House Publishers, LOL!  All in all a good weekend.

Now, for the coincidence (God's way of staying anonymous) of the weekend.  My mom and I went to go shopping on Saturday.  I needed to get supplies to make more Stay-Put-Towels, and we stopped at the Super Wal-Mart completely by accident (we did continue on and stop at Hobby Lobby, Sam's Club, and another Wal-Mart).  They didn't have the item I was planning to buy there (of course not, LOL), but I decided to buy some stabilizer there since that Wal-Mart still has a fabric cutting counter.  While waiting for my turn to have the fabric cut, I noticed that the lady in front of me was cutting fabric that I had previously purchased.  Being the ever curious craft I am, I asked what she was using it for.  Turns out that she has an Etsy shop, and makes BooBoo Rice Bags.  We had a great conversation about Etsy, and different issues with having a store on-line through Etsy.  I truly believe that God placed me in that store to have that conversation.  Isn't cool how He can do something that personal for me?  Now, I am just that much closer to taking the plunge and getting an Etsy store open.

Check out how to put your own image by your web address. See the pretty purple flowers?  Soooooooo easy!  Create Your Own Favicon (the official name for that bit of html code)

Posts planned for this week:
More Giveaway Links
How-To: Getting your craft on, tips to make more in an organized, time-saving way.
More finished product photos (I just keep making these keyfobs you see, LOL)
Also, in progress photos of the new Stay-Put Towels currently in production.
Five Question Friday (as always:))

Here is a picture preview from the How-To post. 

Linking up with:
Keeping It Simple

Making

I also linked up my Reverse Applique Tutorial to...
BWS tips button

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My first custom order is in the mail!

The set of burp clothes for Kasey is in the mail.  I love how the package turned out.  I also added a Keyfob with Pocket to the order with Mom's initial.  Anything to help keep a mom's hands free when she has a new baby to juggle is helpful, LOL!




Book Review - Forgotten, by Melody Carlson

{I received a FREE copy of this book from NavPress Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.}

~ Seventeen and Homeless ~


What would you do if you and your mom moved to a new town, and then your mom skipped town leaving you alone to fend for yourself?

That is the problem that faces the main character of this book. It shows us how many times we look at others with blinkers on. We want to see the pretty side to everything, and oftentimes we fail to see beneath the surface to the chaos. In this, the first book of her new series "Secrets", Melody does a very good job of taking us below the surface of Adele's life.

This story begins with Adele's bi-polar mom getting a new job in a different town. She and Adele pack up everything and move hoping for a fresh start. Adele begins her Senior year of High School as part of the “in” crowd, and begins to live a life of fiction. Using the difficult situation that Adele faces, Melody explores the difficulties in maintaining friendships when you use pretense to mask the chaos going on in your life. You can only have true friendships if you are being true with them and yourself.

I was very taken with Melody Carlson's writing style and storytelling in this book. The ending of this book could have been fleshed out a lot more, but overall I enjoyed the book. It is written in the first person, but that did not annoy me in this instance as it has with other authors. It is the first book by her that I have read, but I can assure you that it won't be the last.
 
I received a FREE copy of this book from NavPress Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Book Review - Captured by Grace, by Dr. David Jeremiah

{I recieved a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson to read and review. 
The opinions in this review are 100% my own.}


“No One is beyond the reach of a loving God.”

Dr. David Jeremiah compares the life journey's of Paul and John Newton in this book focused on the far reaching power of God's grace. If God can accept and extend His grace to a slave trader and a radical Jew intent on arresting professing Christians of the early church, what is keeping you from accepting this same grace?

I recommend this book very, very highly to you. It was an engaging read that held my attention and my wandering mind (quite an accomplishment these days, LOL). There are so many interesting tidbits about Paul and John Newton, that it really helped to flesh out my understanding of their lives. It was also very interesting to see the influence of these mens' Christian walks on others, and how that affected the issues of their times.

John Newton's conversion had a far reaching affect that influenced and added strength to the movement to abolish slavery through his unique testimony. While Paul was influential in the development of the early church and it's leadership. Dr. Jeremiah shares hardly known facts regarding each life from both before and after their conversions. Looking at Paul's life, Dr. Jeremiah shows us how small seeds of the knowledge of God were being planted in Paul's mind and soul by seeing how Christians acted during and after their capture. As Christians we often times forget how God can use us every time we interact with others, no matter the circumstances.
 
This book has left me with a better understanding of God's grace, and how it should impact my daily walk.  Dr. Jeremiah referenced many different versus, and this was the first time for me to feel that I understood what the Romans Road is all about.  It has inspired me to be more conscious of how my interactions can be affecting someone else's life, and to work on being more Christ-like in my everyday life.
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


I review for BookSneeze

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Create your own Favicon

The ultimate in creating a personalized blog is having your own little image pop up next to your web-site address.  Instead of the "lovely" orange and white B.  Kelsey over at The Tip Junkie posted a wonderful tutorial under Blogging 101 that shows you how to create your own favicon

All I did, to create the lovely little (tiny) purple specks you see by my web-site address, was to follow her directions.  I am not even going to pretend I could figure this out on my own, LOL! 

One hint though - to create my little specks, I cropped down the image used for my signature to 15x15 using PhotoBucket.  Everytime I need to figure something out, PhotoBucket seems to be able to easily do the job for me.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Fuzzy Trim Tutu

{This post was originally a guest post for Sugar Bee}
The idea for this tutu came after I found the leopard print chiffon at Hobby Lobby.  I had been wanting to use a feather boa as trim on a tutu for a while, and I felt that this fuzzy boa looked sturdier (plus it was cheaper) than the more extravagant feather boas available.


Ingredients for Furry/Fuzzy Trim Tutu:
1 yard of chiffon or novelty fabric (tulle would be to "thin" to use for this project)
1 yard plus of coordinating 1.5" ribbon
2 yards of Fur trim (found with the Feather Boas)
Fabric to make ribbon casing (1 yard by 4", this fabric can be pieced together if needed for length)

First: Take your main fabric, unfold it, and match the selvage edges together right sides together (if you have questions about right versus wrong sides of fabric see description in the next step).  Sew with a zig-zag stitch through the selvage making sure to use reinforcing stitches at the start and end of your stitching.  I have my zig-zag set to 5.0 width by 2.5 length, which worked very well for this project.


Next: Take your fabric and fold it in half matching up the raw edges.  This creates the "skirt" of the tutu.  Make sure that you fabric has the right side out as you will not be turning this project. 

Normally fabric has a right and wrong side.  The wrong side will be a paler version of the print on the right side.  Some fabrics it is harder to tell than others.  This printed chiffon didn't have a "paler" side per say, but did have a shiny and dull side.  So, I made sure to have the shiny side on the outside for this next step.

You will use your zig-zag again to stitch the two raw edges together.  Then use pinking shears (which dramatically cuts down fabric fraying) to trim your fabric about 1/4" from the zig-zag stitches.
Measure along the edge you just trimmed to get the length you will need to make your ribbon casing.  Cut your ribbon casing fabric the length you just measured plus 1" by 4" wide (you can cut it 3.5" wide, but I prefer to cut wider and then trim the fabric after ironing).  Fold each end over twice, iron and stitch closed to create a finished end.  Folding each end should take up about a 1/2" of fabric.  If it takes up a little more than a 1/2" that is okay.  This encloses the raw edge to prevent fraying, and is a great trick to use on lots of different sewing projects.

Iron your fabric in half lengthwise.  Use starch to create a stiffer, crisper fold.  Also, stiffening the fabric with starch will also make the fabric easier to sew.


Now, take your ribbon and lay it out the length of your casing.  Cut the ribbon 4" longer than the ribbon casing, and trim your casing down for width.  You want to leave the casing at least 1/2" wider than the width of the ribbon.

Pin the top edge of your skirt/tutu (the edge that you trimmed with the pinking shears) and the ribbon casing together.  Center the ends of your ribbon casing in the front of the skirt/tutu.  The ends should met end to end, but not overlap.  Use a straight stitch to sew the two together.  Then use your iron (on the setting that won't melt your skirt/tutu material) to smooth out the seam.

To create a more finished inner seam, stitch 1/8" along the seam catching the raw edge of the skirt/tutu. 
The top arrow shows the "uncaught raw edge", and the bottom arrow shows how catching the raw edge will make for a more "finished" edge.


Now set your zig zag to 5.0 width and 0.0 length, or use your button attaching stitch to attach the fuzzy trim!  Start attaching your trim at the back where the seam in the skirt fabric is.  I wanted to include this fuzzy picture to show how I used my fingers to separate the fur before stitching the bar tack (stitches with no length to attach something).  To make sure the trim was sturdily attached I anchored it every 4 inches, about 1/2" from the folded edge at the bottom of the skirt/tutu.  When I reached the beginning of the fur trim, I cut the end so that there was a little overlap, and did two bar tacks about 1 inch apart to make sure the end was secure.


Thread your ribbon through the casing, stitch it in the center of the back with a straight stitch to prevent little hands from pulling the ribbon out, and you are done!


If you would like to see how to make the Zippy Flower Tutu, you can check it out at The Spunky Diva!
Many thanks again Mandy for having me over!
~Kimberlee




AccuQuilt Fabric Cutter Giveaway at Sew Many Ways

When I went over to check out Tool Time Tuesday I found out that Karen is hosting a Giveaway at Sew Many Ways for a fabulous AccuQuilt Fabric Cutter!  She has several ways to enter, and entries are open until Sept. 1st.  Check out all the different things she has done with hers!  What a way to use this little machine, and to show off what it can do. 

What would you do with one of these machines?
{photo curtesy of AccuQuilt}

I think I would love to start by making one of these Tumbler Table Runners.  Maybe in fall colors, or Christmas fabrics.

Five Question Friday - 8/27/2010

Where did this week go???  For that matter... where did August go?  Can you believe that next weekend is Labor Day?  Or, that Ms. Diva is already 10 months old?

Ms. Diva aced her Well Child visit this week.  The doctor asked all these questions: Does she crawl?  Does she push things?  Is she interested in trying solid food? etc.  The answer to all the questions he asked was a resounding YES!  She crawls everywhere, she crawls faster when there is any type of door open (especially if you don't want her on the other side of it, LOL).  She pushes and pulls things to move them out of her way.  One of her favorite things is to put her hands on things, and then start to this crawl/slide thing across the floor kinda pushing her hands in front of her.  Solid food, are you kidding!  The child begs food with more talent than any pet I have ever seen!  When they did percentiles, she was over 100% on height, and only 50% of weight.  She is one tall, skinny chicklet.

Finding the perfect ambush spot.

Unsuspecting Victim (daddy-e-o)

Sneak attack in progress!
1. How many pets do you have?  Which ones can I count?  2 horses, 2 dogs, 5 barn cats (currently no birds and no fish)  PS - do the craw fish living in the pond count as "pets"?

2. If you could switch places with anyone in the world for one day, who would it be?  Someone that doesn't appreciate their family.  I can think of all these amazing people to switch with, but wouldn't be a better experience if you could bring something to that person's life?  I think that way to many people in America take their lives for granted.  We have so much, that when you sit down and truly look at it, you realize that you have way more than you have to worry about.

3. What is your favorite money saving tip?  Don't spend your money.  Seriously, people spend way to much money on "extras" and don't even realize.  Do you really need that fast food today?

4. What do you want your kids to be when they grow up?  I want them to be happy children of God.

5. What is your favorite quote?  Be flexible, Deal with it.  If you can laugh at it, you can handle it.  These are just two of my favorites.  I have a spot in my sidebar (Thought for Today) that I love switching out anytime I find a new "favorite" quote to share.

I Owe It All To Him's question of the week:  What is your favorite place?  I love any place out in nature.  Love being up in the mountains (either in summer or winter), love the beach, love the deserted beauty of the desert.  I find it very hard to pick one type of place as my favorite.  Right now I would love to go somewhere "tropical", and hang out at the beach and snorkel.

Five Question Friday is hosted by My Little Life.  Check out how other people answered these questions at her link party!






Have something funny from this week you want to share?  (Like Ms. Diva's doctor's appointment) Or do you need a good laugh to get your weekend off to the right start?  Check out Bee Funny Friday hosted by Family and Life in Vegas and Crazy About My Baybah.




 
Punkin Seed Productions
 
 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Blog Guidebook

What if there was a place you could go and find blogs on a specific topic?  Maybe fine ones that you have never heard of through the blog hops you participate in.  Guess what!  There is a place, and it is called the Blog Guidebook

You can list your blog with the Guidebook for free, and until August 30th they will include your button on the category page you select to list your blog under.  How cool is that?  I sent off my blog link to them this morning.  You should go check them out, and see what you think of them!

Giveaway at The Speckled Dog

Kristi at The Speckled Dog is have a great giveaway for a copy of The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin.



Entries for this giveaway close on Sept. 3rd, and the winner will be announced later that Friday!  Kristi gives you the opportunity to enter 8 times.  I included how you can enter below.  Good luck!

Be or become a follower of The Speckled Dog. This is worth 2 entries.
Tweet about the giveaway. This is worth 1 entry.
Post on your blog about my giveaway. This is worth 5 entries.
 - Post your entry comments to this post: Giveaway!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Wednesday Window at Frugality is Free

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Frugal Mom has a fun link party going today that lets you bring attention to your favorite post from the last week (or so). I am linking up my weekend wrap from this week, because I have received so many nice comments on it that I wanted to get a few more, LOL!  Actually, I love this post because I finally was able to get great photos that really represent these latest creations at their finest.

I am also linking up with:

 

Great source for wool rooving!


Today I want to showcase The Pines Farm in Maple Valley, Washington.  This farm is owned by friends and, they produce some extraordinary wools and meat.  Lin has many different colors of roving available for you to order.  The roving I purchased was very clean, with just a few pieces of debris that were easy to remove while spinning.  You can also buy sheep and goats from them. 

I got hooked on spinning after getting a couple lessons from Lin.  I loved spinning wool, but never could figure out what to do with it once I had it spun, LOL!  Neither knitting or crochet is my forte.  Plus, after moving to Texas working with wool seems a little pointless.  While working to thin out some of my craft paraphernalia, I sold my Ashford Kiwi Spinning Wheel using CraigsList.  I do miss spinning, but my embroidery machine sure makes up for it! 

Here is a picture of some of the roving available at The Pines Farm.  If you know someone that spins, getting them a pound or two of this gorgeous roving would make a wonderful gift!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I finally cleaned up my sidebar -sorta-

I have been wanting to add to my favorite blogs list, but felt that the room the current list took up on the sidebar was already to long.  So, taking the advice of Design It Chic, I took all of my "favorite" buttons and created a separate page for them.  Now they don't take up precious "real estate" on my sidebar, and I can add more without increasing the loading time of my main page.  You can check out their new page at My Favorite Reads.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Check out what Boost Mobile has to offer you!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Boost Mobile. All opinions are 100% mine.

Who do you have your cell phone service with? I have AT&T as I am a hopeless iPhone addict, but... I have to say that after looking at what Boost Mobile has to offer I am very tempted to try the Blackberry Curve. At just $60 a month you get unlimited nationwide talk, text, web and e-mail. You can connect with up to 10 e-mail accounts (including hotmail, something my iPhone won't do), and all this is without a long-term contract. The BlackBerry Curve also gives you the option to expand it's memory (another thing the iPhone can't claim). Staying connected with friends on Facebook and Twitter is a breeze with this phone. If you don't yet have a phone that can do this I seriously recommend getting one. It is true that you can't miss something you don't have, but I absolutely adore being able to check out my facebook page while waiting for an appointment or during any other down-time I may have away from home.

Boost Mobile has offered no-contract service since 2002. To get started with Boost Mobile pick out and buy your phone, pick one of the many flexible plans they offer, add money to the account, and off you go! There are no contracts and no credit checks. You can choose to pay by the minute, or by the month. It is easy to replenish any Boost account with your debit or credit card.

With Boost Mobile's Re-Boost feature you can replenish your account on-line, in person or by phone. They have a great store locator by zip code that is easy to use. Give family members and friends something they can really appreciate by adding money to their Boost Mobile account by credit or debit card. That is a gift we can all appreciate!

 
With Re-Boost you can also sign-up for worry-free automatic payments. There are two options that Boost offers for automatic payments depending on which type of plan you have chosen. If you sign up for a Per Minute or Daily Plan Boost offers a Low Balance Auto Re-Boost program.  This allows you to select the amount (between $10 and $99) that you want  automatically charged to your credit or debit card when you account drops below $5. By signing up for this service you don't have to worry about service being cut-off because your account is running low. For those with a Monthly Plan, you can have your monthly payment charged to your credit or debit card directly. With the monthly payment you will receive a text message before your monthly payment date.

 
I will definitely be checking out more about Boost Mobile as I seriously think about switching cell phone providers. Maybe when the iPhone goes public Boost will able offer service for them? I can always hope!
Visit my sponsor: Reboost

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weekend Wrap - 8/23/2010

~ 15 ~

Fifteen Keyfobs with Pocket are now complete!  I told you I wasn't sure how many I would end up with after a weekend alone with my new design from Five Star Fonts, LOL!  Here are pics.  Check out the new look.  I am working on getting a "better/more consistent" style to my finished product photos.  What do you think of how these photos turned out?
{UT keyfob is for a friend, the "K" is to go with my purse set.}

{The "B" is for a friend at work, "C" for Kasey's Mom, "K" is for a childhood friend}

I just adore the swirl fabric of the "K" keyfob, but only found the one fat quarter.  I have a matching burp cloth that I may just keep for myself to use with this next bundle of joy.

{"B" is for a friend, "S" is for my mom's friend}

These next ones are up for grabs, and I will be posting them on my Artfire site shortly.




Bloopers from the "photo shoot":

I will be posting some crafting time tips later this week.  Get the most out of your crafting time by following these simple steps.  Whether it is children, or a full-time job, we never seem to have enough time to get all the crafts we want to get done completed.

Question of the Week: Do you have sweet memories, or memories of terror from your first days back to school?  I never did quite fit in at school.  Many times the first days of school were just filled with figuring out how to keep my head down and staying out of the way.  I am one of those that are very happy that their school days are long gone.

Linking up with:
Keeping It Simple


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I am a fun loving mom of two, that fits in reading a book whenever possible! Come see what I am reading and what free eBooks I have found to share with you! ~Kimberlee
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