Wednesday, October 31, 2012

my mom likes chocolate. duh

hope everyone has a successful and safe halloween. may the chocolate be in your favor.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

V and Co: things i've learned at my LQS

 as i've written, these past couple of weeks i've been hanging out at my local quilt store (LQS <--yup just learned that acronym like this year and have been waiting to use it at just the right time!) i've been learning a lot of cool stuff on the  780 .
my LQS who also happens to be my bernina dealer has been nothing but helpful in teaching me how to use not only this machine, but to learn some of the things that i can use once i have to give back the machine.
sadly i am needing to let it go and soon. and have it go back to bernina so it can travel to it's next destination.
just today they taught me how to digitalize my bloom pattern and put it in to the computer, so that i can, cut out petals:

 using the design works software.
i had a blast learning to and using this little tool:

to basically create with the machine what i had to do by hand before.
truly this software and machine is a-maz-ing.
watch the videos here of this amazing software and tools. i just scratched the surface on it but am excited to keep working with the software even after i have to give the sewing machine back. yeah i'm a little sad.
in the videos you will also see that there are possibilities with 

paint, jewels and of course what i showed you the cutting. and lets not forget the embroidery...which i'm going to try out some fun stuff on that as well. :)
the owner of the store wanted to have a picture of me working on the 780 series, and with the bloom quilt that we were able to digitalize the petals for on the machine.
i was having a bit of a bad hair day so i thought to better represent what i would really look like if i had taken the time to get all dolled up, would be of the celeb lucy hale, that i'm pretty sure i get mixed up for ALL the time. no one has ever said i look like her but i'm sure everyone is thinking it. no really. why are you laughing?

anyways, i've considered living the life of a criminal and just taking the 780 and hitting the road, but i figured i'd miss my family and friends. so fine. bernina take it. :/ i'm not at all moping or anything.
i do want to say that i am grateful for the time i was given with the 780 as it also has given me the opportunity to get to know the crew at my Local Quilt Store).
any who, my local quilt store is pretty cool.
and i am pretty excited to keep working with them.

i like learning at the store, up till now i've learned most of what i know through friends who have patience with me, reading online how to's, and self experimenting on my bernina.
one thing i've learned through this process is that i really like hands on learning and teaching. i like the interaction and also all the FREAKING knowledge these women have been taught not only through those around them but through bernina.  also i like that when i joke i actually have an immediate laughing audience. seriously. :)
i encourage you to go to your local store and get to know the classes and get to know the people.
i'm a true believer now that i am able to go and not only support, but also learn from and enjoy my local quilt store peeps.

more sewing will be happening soon. i have a cute fast simple baby quilt how to coming your way soon.
but for right now:
i'm running around like a chicken with it's head cut off as my mother is here, and i'm trying to do last minute preps for my class in austin in just a few short days!!!!
wait wasn't i just saying how much i love this? :) i do. so if you don't mind i'll freak out now so i can love it while i do it. talk to you soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

V and Co: how to: no raw edge appliqued fall wreath pillow

hey guys, so funny how i said i would be back on wednesday with a fall how to ...and here it is thursday. well we had some technical difficulties over here yesterday called "life" and i spent most of my day shuffling children from dentist and doctor appointments that by the time i finally sat down to work on things. kids were walking through the door. so here we are a day late and a dollar short, but it's all good cause we're still in the middle of fall and this how to is a super fast project you can get done while in between things, because as you will see in my video crafting life is about doing things in between everything else.

so in this project i will be using methods i've talked about in the past. where ever you see a link, it will open a new window with the "how to" that i am referring to and that will help you finish this project :)

okay so lets first talk about the materials needed:
you will need:
*leaf template found here.
*jelly roll strips 2 1/2" x 42" (roughly 3 strips should get you 21 to 24 leaves) of simply color ombre orange (buy your jelly roll here)
*1 jelly roll strip of simply color ombre green (just to add some different color!)
*a medium sized bowl mine is a martha stewart bowl with the mouth width of 7 1/2"
*erasable pen i used the pilot FriXion ball pen
*no more than 1/2 yard of linen fabric (*depending on the size of your circle cut your linen to fit your wreath, mine measured 15" x 13")
*pellon wonder-web 807
*poly fill

*i folded my fabric in half to show you me where the middle of the fabric was. i placed my bowl onto the fabric with the line down the middle. (if you are a perfectionist and want to fold and make a crease from side to side so you can place the bowl even more perfectly, go right ahead. but as you know me when crafting some of these things i just eyeball and half A my way through and call it good...)

*now you are going to draw the circle onto your linen. i used a martha stewart bowl with the mouth width of  7 1/2" and
*next you will need to get your fusible webbing and your fabric strips.
*cut the webbing to be the same size as the strip of fabric.
*next use the same template we used here for the leaves on this project.

here is a web video that my daughter took while i show you how to make these leaves. 
it's not professional and it's not awesome but as you know my life is not all that professional and def not that awesome.
warning: this video is shot by a 6 year old with attitude, and it's not considered at all professional, just normal life over at our house and how i create. but that's how i roll.
also i should warn you, she doesn't have a steady hand, so if you get motion sickness easily, steer clear of the video.
you've been warned.

something i need to mention:
in the video i say draw your shape on the wrong side of the fabric, that's fine, but in my pictures i draw it on the right side. i do both obviously, personally i like drawing it on the right side because then i put the pellon on top and just sew on the line through the pellon. meanwhile, if you do draw the line on the wrong side, make sure you place the pellon under your fabric facing the right side while you sew on the drawn line. this will ensure that when you turn it inside out it will have the right side out!

if you don't want to watch the video or if it makes you sea sick and have to stop in the middle because of how much movement we have going please refer to the same steps found in my hexy tetris bag

also i don't have on like any makeup and didn't think that part through. oh well next time.

*after you have turned over all your petals and you have gently pulled out the tips of your leaves with your pin, place your leaves onto your drawn circle.
*play around with the placement, use my picture as your guide.
i placed them in threes and overlapped them a little.

*when you like your placement, with your iron set to high, adhere your leaves onto the linen. but please be careful to pay attention to place your iron onto the NO STEAM mode because steam will melt the surrounding leave's webbing before you adhere it to the linen. (just speaking for experience people)

to finish as a pillow:
*cut either linen or muslin the same size as your finished front.
*for step by step pictures on how to finish a pillow follow this link
*stuff with polyfill

okay so there you have it our second web video, as bad as the first one. and again vowing to probably never do it again...
talk to you soon. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

V and Co: meet the Beast

some of you know that i call my children "noisemakers". which btw thank you for your kind words on motherhood and the spectrum of emotions that it brings. :)
i'm having a pretty awesome week so far...but it's only monday so we'll just keep plugging away! :)

okay, so some of you know i call my children noisemakers...i've also given names to objects around my house. like i've named my serger (whom i still have a tumultuous relationship with) Sergio. (but you have say the "gio" with a lot of flemy throat action) you know that i named my sewing machine "betty" because she's so cute and basically my best friend...well we hang out almost every day for hours on end so yeah, best friend status is in order,  and you know that my car's name is steve. oh wait, no, you don't know that do you. yeah, my car is named steve, and my husband's car is brenda. they have a relationship...but that's for another post i guess.
sooooo, why do i tell you these things? well because i'd like to introduce you to the "BEAST"

oh no, NO! really it's not a bad thing why i call her that.
she's just kind of LARGE. and POWERFUL, and WELL....

 hello look at her! she's like a tank compared to my little betty.

i mean hello, that lady has some testosterone enough to grow a mustache.
and when i walk away i can just envision what my betty and the beast's conversations are like:
BEAST: i can squash you if i want to. i can eat cute little bernina's like you for breakfast!
betty: oh swear word. *happy place happy place!!! just two weeks and she'll be going somewhere else!*

yeah, she's a beautiful beast, and, yes, for two weeks i get to play with her. you've already seen my spiderweb table runner i made with her, but that's nothing compared to what she can do.

soooo here's the deal, bernina has given me the amazing opportunity to work on this 780 bernina machine. on it i am going to not only work on my projects, (which i have a few to show you that i've been working on) but they are also having the bernina dealer here in my town of cedar rapids (hi pineneedles!!)...

help me learn some of the cool features on this amazing Beast. here we have lisa teaching us about the embroidery section on the 780.  look how studios we all look. it's like blowing our minds. also from this angle i look just like my mom. holy crap. 

 yeah, here we are having a grand 'ol time and surprisingly not because of some inappropriate thing i said. i KNOW a first on that one. can't remember what we were talking about but obviously i'd had my loaded diet dr pepper already that morning because i look like i'm about to pee my pants laughing, while everyone else respectively smiles. well, laugh hard or go home apparently is what i heard so i was doing my part...
anywho i digress...
so for the next few weeks it's my turn to be  the celebrity sewer to work with the 780. you'll see me pipe in here with cool new things i've learned about this machine.
on wednesday i have a new fall how to. nothing too crazy, just V and Co-ish decor. :) perhaps we may even have a video depending on how the daughter noisemaker fairs holding the camera. :)
we'll try to give that a go.

k, we'll talk soon.

Friday, October 19, 2012

V and Co: just one of those weeks

no need to cry over spilled milk
 i've had one of those weeks.
i think it started with having a 4 day weekend this last week. it got me off my groove.  i was always a day behind. i was thinking it was wednesday and really it was thursday.
what??? where did that day go, oh yeah, that's right my monday started on tuesday.
but i'm a mom, i'm supposed to roll with the punches, i eat chaos for breakfast!
normally yes.
this week?
not so much.

i wonder why some weeks are like that.
seriously, anyone have the answer? aside from cloudy days, hormonal imbalances, and blah de be blah blah...why is it that some weeks we have SO much on our plate, and yet we can still take motherhood, career, household schedules, school, extra curricular activities, eye doctor appointments, "honey i forgot can you bring me"'s, and all the other little things that happen daily by the horns and say "YES! I JUST HANDLED THAT!" you walk away feeling like you could chew through leather if you were asked to.

yes, that's me making fun of myself two days ago
and then there are weeks where getting up, making lunches, making beds, and getting to one appointment, is almost too much to handle because of all the other responsibilities that are still there waiting for you to pay attention to the minute you get a chance.

i started writing daily lists:
i have one for work related deadlines
and i have one for daily household and family necessities.

funny how a stupid little box where i can place an "X" inside of it can make me or break me somedays.
this week those "X"s haven't been happening.
i feel like life is so SO fast.
always rushing to finish something. just to get to the next thing.

last night after a day of feeling like i've failed to use my time wisely every single moment of the day...
i was getting super frustrated with my youngest noisemaker. she's stubborn. cute as all get out, stubborn as you know what. she refused to do something for school. or rather was saying she didn't know how to do it. i just wanted to get the homework done so i could move on to cleaning up the dishes...and check up on spelling for the third noisemaker, tell the 2nd noisemaker to make more noise with the cello for practice, and check up on the oldest one to make sure he's still on task to finish coloring in his geography map...

my eldest son can write a book on being stubborn, and as he passed by (apparently he wasn't on task) and he was listening to my struggle with katie, he stopped and said "maybe i can help, mom."
i walked away with hands up in the air, and headed to the sink to clean the dishes. but i heard him talk to her.
he talked to her about how hard it is to let go sometimes and do what you are supposed to do, when you resist school things, kids make fun of you, and teachers don't know you are learning stuff. and a lot of people get upset. he ended with "i know katie, because i do that a lot. but i'm trying not to do that now."
i wanted to cry.
he then proceeded to work with her on the numbers sheet.
and i wanted to cry again.
they worked on it for 20 minutes.

my 12 year old, the one that i have cried in frustration and in anxiousness for his well being, was showing characteristics of a loving, selfless, individual wanting to help his youngest sibling out.
i have to admit, i've not written much on "hard" motherhood lately. but i'm going to break my rule of not talking about too emotional stuff on here.

my eldest son, is amazing.

oh he's still a goofy pre-teen, still makes me raise my voice and ask "seriously?". basically he's still a normal kid. but amazing none the less.

i have struggled with him so much leading up to this point. we've clashed we've fought, i've been placed on my knees in prayer more for that kid than anything else in my life.
i'm not going to rehash how hard it was during my husband's deployment, or the struggles of moving so much in a short period of time and how it affected my then small child. all you need to know is it affect our whole family, but my 12 year old took the brunt of it emotionally. he held a lot on his shoulders.
i think of all the struggles my 12 year old (almost 13!) has gone through up to this point and know it has matured my son into a much better person than i could have ever asked for, he surpasses me on empathy, and he surpasses me in knowledge of dealing with personal hurt, and struggles with school.
it's true you do not experience true love, willing to sacrifice everything kind of love, till you have a child who is going through some kind of horribleness, whether it is emotional, physical, or a mere pain of learning of life's lessons. there were many times i would cry just wanting to take away all the weight he had to deal with. i would plead, beg, make deals, anything to take away some of those struggles when we were in them.

this year...he's been surprising me throwing me curve balls with how he can be such an amazing individual, taking responsibility, running after and inviting to stay a kid at church who always likes to slip away before anyone says anything to him, giving me a smile of appreciation and pausing to tell me thank you for the socks in his drawers and the lunch in my hand to give him as he walks out the door to catch the bus, hearing his teachers at school saying: "he is such a great kid, so kind and really wanting to do well."

and last night, watching him, my life made sense for that little bit in an otherwise wasted day in my eyes. he's going to be a great older human being. and i'm so happy to call him mine. i can't take responsibility with how he turns out completely. he ultimately makes his own life. but let me tell you. so far what i'm seeing. brings tears to my eyes and makes me so so tired to think of the years leading up to that moment. but yeah.

not much got "X"d off my list this week. but last night i did go to bed with a full heart, and appreciation for trials in our life to experience these happy moments.

have a wonderful weekend. i'll be over here putting out fires and building some other ones.

winner and hey look i'm going to be in austin!

yup this picture has nothing to do with the giveaway. but it has everything to do with the fact that in November (first weekend) i will be in austin, texas teaching a class on creating big style with a little bit of texture. (kind like an extension of my craftsy class) i'll be teaching at sew much more so if you are in the area and wanna say hey i'll be there nov 1-3 signing books and teaching classes. :) would love to meet you!!

okay so now for our winner!!!!

thanks for playing with along my ninja oda may.
winner of the book AND the fat quarter bundle of their choice is:

Nicole J said...

I think your description of a pink ninja fits me well although I would have to be hot pink.
well played nicole!
your info has already been sent to oda may she'll get an email to you (or someone from moda will if she's too busy doing ninja like things) :) thanks to all for playing! 
i am working on a fall-ish how for it next week. :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

V and Co: how to: make a spiderweb table runner

 we are "enjoying" the last day of our four day weekend over here. give a girl a month and half of all 4 kids in school and my how i forget so quickly how it is to have them
  last year i was all humbug about the holidays. i think i was trying to get my life more simplistic from having a tumultuous 6 months of moving and crazyiness that we were in as a family. decorating for each holiday didn't fall in the "simplistic" category last year as we were still trying to find couches, get in the routine of a new state, a new school, and new time zone, and new EVERYTHING...this year, though my life is far from crazy...okay wait. maybe crazy isnt the right word to life is busy... i do find myself wanting to make the holidays kind of fun. soooo i made this fun runner  last week in prep for the upcoming holiday. the kids thought it was cool. the third noise maker said "did you know that spiders make webs out of their butts?" to which the girl noisemaker was like "EWWWWW!!!"

*sigh* yup. 
i'm not a huge fan of cartoonish looking decor, like ever...i decided a spiderwebbed table runner might be cool, i experimented and then liked it enough, so i decided to make a how to on it. 
here it is:
 what you need:
two strips of fabric (mine is linen) cut to 15" x WOF (usually around 42"-44")
batting same size
erasable pen (mine is the FriXion Ball Erasable Gel Pen)
basting safety pins (like these.)

okay here's what i did:
1.first take your ruler and pen and draw a couple of large Xs on one of your linen 15" x WOF pieces.

(hint: it's helpful to keep in mind how spiderwebs work: they usually have to be attached to an edge or to each other. )

2. also drew a couple of small X's in the corners or on the sides here and there.

3. once you have your X's placed out, start drawing a few more lines, having a few connect and stop at the other spider web's lines.
4. draw slightly curved lines starting from the most inside part of the web.
**remember webs aren't perfect! with wind and weather they aren't perfectly even lines! :)
continue to draw your curved lines...
5. once all your spiderwebs are done grab your batting and second 15"xWOF piece of linen and sandwich them linen, batting, spiderweb linen.

6. baste your runner with your pins.

7. pick a stitch on your sewing machine.
on this bernina i had a lot of options but i went with just a basic #7 because i thought it would show up better than a smaller stitch...and i'm still learning all the ins and outs on the i didn't want to complicate things for myself just yet.
of course if you have lots of options on your sewing machine play around on a practice piece of fabric to see what other stitches would go good. (if you make one of these make sure you post them in the V and Co flicker!!! )
first things first, we are going to treat this like we were quilting the runner, so here are some steps that are kind of important. :)
1. position your needle over your drawn line.
2. holding the top thread so it doesnt go anywhere, place your needle in the downward position.
3. and then bring up the needle again. (you are basically doing ONE stitch)

4. when you look under the foot you should see the bobbin thread.
5. pull out your bobbin thread.

6. holding both threads now start to stitch on your drawn line.
7. repeat these last few steps EVERY time you you stop and start up again a new place in your spider webbing stitching.
8. slightly guide the fabric in a curved line to follow your curved line, go slow if you need to.
9. as you quilt more of your runner, remove the pins as you go. :)
10. continue till you finish all your lines!!!
11. to bind: use my binding instructions! :)

and there you have it. a pretty darn cool looking one of a kind table runner.

now go make lots of spiderwebs...but not from your butts. that would be kind of gross and an epic fail. (cause you would be pooping) <---just thought i'd spell it out just in case.
we'll talk soon. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

V and Co: im in another book...and giveaway :)

 welcome to all those of you who are new to my blog for this book blog hop!
i'm vanessa and this is my blog.
i am a mother to 4 vivacious noisemakers i call my children, three boys and a little girl. been married for 14 and half years to a pretty funny guy (but not as funny as i, but's okay) who also happens to be my best friend.
i like to sew and create things (with mainly fabric!) and i'm so happy and excited to be included in the second moda bake shop book: Sweet Celebrations with Moda Bakeshop Chefs
35 chefs this time. wowza!
 this time around there was a theme of pre-cuts and holidays.
this book seems like it's going to be such a fun addition to my collections of books to flip through and get inspired from and to create some wonderful projects for throughout the holiday!

in this book my project consists of a simple wreath and small christmas trees to add to the holiday fun. i like things simple but elegant in the main part of my home and i thought that this project would be something i would most def put up in my home. :) for some of you no sewers this will be a great project for you as i used hot glue and fabric to create both of these projects!

for my recipe i picked to share perfect cookies for santa! 

surely the noisemakers will love them as well! 

okay so here's a little about me:
(ahem from the questions given to me by moda)
1. What is your favorite holiday memory? 
i would have to say my favorite holiday memory would be when i was really little i can remember putting out cookies and milk for santa and waking up thinking "OH MY GOSH! HE WAS HERE!!!!! HE ATE SOME OF THE COOKIES!!!" i loved the excitement of that! and then when i had kids i get SO excited to see them get so excited that santa came that night and ate the cookies they helped make
i can almost still feel it in me just like when i was a kid when i watch my kids go through the amazement of santa coming to OUR house. :) love it. it will be sad when that's not there anymore but i look forward to seeing  again with my grandkids.

2.   Do you prefer to celebrate with cupcakes, cake pops, or just plain old cake?
CHOCOLATE cake. preferably made by someone else...

3. do you like the edge, or the middle part of the cake, or do you just not discriminate.
hmmm, most cakes...middle not a fan of birthday sheet cakes...but if it's said chocolate cake with awesome chocolate frosting and like chocolate chips in the frosting...then SIDE! :) i guess i'm sort of discriminatory of any cake but chocolate cake. as should most

4. Are you holding on to a particular fabric that you just can’t bring yourself to use simply color by V and Co. (hey that's me!) because it's my first line ever...i am having a hard time cutting into the stash i have...just means i have to stock up with a lot more. :)

5.When you picture Oda May, what does she look like?

so yeah... Oda May i figure is pretty bad a__. 
and in her spare time...she's probably a ninja. but not any kind of ninja, a pink one. 
not many of those out there. 
no really try to find one, i dare you to try.
it's the highest accomplishment in ninja world. 
i would know as i may or may not be training to be one as well. 
you'll never know because we are not allowed to divulge any information on those kind of things. 
and now i've said too much.

 Oda May has a silly side as well. obviously she loves holidays and loves anything fabric so she's normally decked out for the holidays...and apparently very fond a her lavender cardigan. but dont mess with her. she's highly trained with her ninja skills and she has rotarty cutters on her at all times. consider yourself warned.

i hope to be this kind of awesome at her age.

Now for the giveaway! 

In order to win one free copy of Sweet Celebrations and a fat quarter stack of Moda fabrics:

1. leave a comment on this post telling me what moda line would you pick for your free fat quarter bundle?
make sure you leave your email address at the bottom of the comment.

2. leave me a second comment saying what color ninja you would be? would you just be a black ninja? or a pink ninja like oda may might be 
make sure you leave your contact email address at the bottom of your second comment as well. 

  The deadline to enter is October 14th.  The winner will be randomly selected from the comments below and contacted via email.  Only US participants will receive the actual book - winners with an address outside of the US will receive an e-book.
Make sure you visit all of the other blogs on the tour!  You can collect recipes at each spot, and enter in giveaways there as well.  Thanks so much for stopping!!
October 1 – StashBooks and Moda Cutting Table

October 2 – Melissa Mortenson and Melissa Corry
October 3 – Mary Lane Brown and Natalia Bonner 
October 4 – Lissa Alexander and Corey Yoder
October 5 – Jane Davidson and Angela Yosten
October 6 – Jo & Kelli Kramer and Stefanie Roman
October 8 – Angela Mitchell  and Ellie Roberts
October 9 – Katie Blakesley and Aneela Hoey
October 10 – Amy Smart and Angela Pingel
October 11 – Vanessa Christenson<---you are here!  and April Rosenthal
October 12 – Moda Bake Shop
October 14 - Readers have until midnight on the 14th to comment on all the blogs for the giveaways!
 October 19 - Winners announced on all the blogs!

okay now go quickly you only have three days from here to hit everyone up!!!

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