Sweet and Simple Magazine (SweetandSimpleMag.com) is doing a 25 Days of Christmas marathon with interviews, tutorials, recipes, party ideas and other Christmas-related fun. My interview went live today, along with details on my family's ornament-party tradition.
I'm working behind the scenes to finish up the new embroidery patterns so we can get those back from the printer with plenty of time to ship them out before Christmas. I plan to scent up my home with cinnamon and nutmeg—baking or candles, whatever it takes—then snuggle up with my kids and a soft quilt to embroider while we watch The Sound of Music or Gone with the Wind.
Doesn't that sound fabulous? It's the picture in my head that's getting me through the last leg of this race. I should have some embroidery-pattern news here very, very soon.
We're back in the studio after another great tradeshow in Houston where I introduced two new fabric collections: Lottie Da and True Colors. It's always a treat to catch up with shop-owners, designers, editors and friends. It's even more fun when there are new fabrics to share.
Our booth took the first place prize, which put a pretty blue ribbon on a rough ride to get there. On my way to the airport, Isaac called to say that our van's new transmission had died again. He wasn't far from town, towing our booth to Market. With only 15 minutes to discuss our options before entering airport security, I closed the call with "You better just go buy a new vehicle and get back on the road. Have fun!"
Hours later, when I landed in Texas, I learned I was a truck-owner—Isaac's dream truck—a big ol' Ford F150. Isaac glowed right through the phone. Talk about the stars aligning for the man. Your vehicle breaks right when your wife is about to board a plane, leaving you just enough time to hear her say, "Go buy something." Then, with blanket permission to do as you wish, you get to choose your dream truck without even having to field her questions. And on top of that, she's glad. The problem is solved.
Makes me smile every time I step up into my shiny new truck.*
* I'm told this is my truck.
This transportation trip-up put us a full 24 hours behind schedule which left me unexpectedly stranded in San Antonio, three hours from Houston. (Isaac was originally going to get me at the airport on his way through town.) What was to be a full work day, finalizing the tradeshow booth in Houston became a mini vacation day in San Antonio. I booked myself a hotel, got some much-needed sleep, and spent the next full day touring The Alamo, enjoying the gorgeous downtown Riverwalk and weeding through Lucha Libre masks and Eukeleles for some Christmas presents at the Mexican Market. Isaac and the new truck arrived by nightfall in time to grab some gourmet ice cream and hit the road for Houston.
What a week. We pulled out of that tailspin and kept on trucking. It cost us needed sleep when we finally made it to Houston to set up—and some dignity—while we scrambled to set up the booth in a quarter of the time we had planned.
Some blue ribbons mean more than others.
It's the season for late-night sewing. With two collections to present at Quilt Market next week, there's some serious sewing going on around here. All of my clothes are covered with thread. Every surface is stacked with odd cuts. The studio floor is littered with scraps.
In all the excitement of the last couple of weeks, I certainly haven't forgotten about our Lottie Da fat quarters bundle giveaway. This glorious stack of fabrics is sitting on my desk waiting for a new home.
Thank you, everyone for your enthusiasm for my new collection. I hope you will take a trip to see the fabrics in person at your local fabric retailer. Nothing beats mixing and matching prints in the wild paintbox of a quilt shop. I am on the edge of my seat to see what you will make with the new line, so please share. My Facebook page is a great place for that. And I'll be prepping a Heather Bailey Fabric Flickr group soon as well. On Twitter, catch me at @_HeatherBailey and on at @HeatherBailey on Instagram. Hashtags help everyone else find the images, so don't forget #heatherbailey and #lottieda.
Now, onto the fat quarter bundle winner ˆ-ˆ-ˆ-ˆdrum roll ˆ-ˆ-ˆ-ˆ... The Lottie Da fat quarter bundle goes to Denise Clason, Lucky #168 ("These prints are so fresh and cute, with a little vintage flare! Love it!") Denise, we will email you and get these goodies in the mail. Thank you, Random.org for making the selection for me.
By the way, it looks like Denise is sharing in-depth notes on the various classes she took at The Sewing Summit last month. Read through her notes on Personal Branding, Pitching Articles to Magazines, Blogging, HTML Basics, and so forth. It's almost like being there.
I made it through the Creative Bug shoot last week for creativebug.com. It was a close call, with only a few days to complete the prep—fabric was late to arrive. Ashley was out sick and Karen had other obligations, so I was short-staffed to boot. Mom to the rescue. She came over and cut out pillow pieces for hours. (Extra amazing, as my dad's in the hospital with a broken hip right now—yikes!) And I called in some freelance help as well for yet more cutting—there were lots of step-outs to prepare.
We made it. I even got three hours of sleep. Let's just hope the recording doesn't pick up my puffy, bloodshot eyes.
What a delightful film crew Creative Bug has: two camera operators, a sound technician, and an artist's coach—to help me stay organized and coherrent. If only we could keep her around, right? I wish I'd had the chance to get to know them all better. I did all of the talking for hours straight.
Perhaps we will collaborate on future online classes. Next time, with more sleep. You'll watch those ones and say, "Wow, Heather just got 5 years younger in this new video."
The magic of sleep.
I just returned from Utah where I delivered the keynote address at this year's Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City. What a great experience. And what a fun respite from the whirlwind of work I have this month. I was there for the entire event which gave me the chance to get to know a lot of the attendees—such an inspiring group.
And the Salt Lake City food! That was a surprise. It helped that I went out to eat with some local foodies. Take Note: Bruges Waffles, Settebello Pizzeria, Plum Alley, Gracie's Bar, Hatch Family Chocolates & Ruby Snap Cookies.
I'm back in the studio now and I have to tear right into my class project for Thursday's Creative Bug shoot. I haven't forgotten about the Lottie Da fat-quarters giveaway. We will go through those entries and select our random winner this week, then post it here on the blog.
I just wanted to pop in with a quick hello and an update. I'm excited to tell you more about this great event and the thoughts and stories I shared at the closing dinner after I get through this next swirl of sewing.
Are you in Utah? I will be at The Material Girls quilt shop in South Jordan THIS Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm. Stop by and let's meet.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I had such a quaint little weekend. I pieced a lap quilt, made cherry muffins, did the laundry, went to a movie. I even slept at night. Nothing nearly reflective of my high-energy obligations this week and next. (High-energy is code for compressed and quickly becoming stressful.) My True Colors fabric hadn't arrived yet for next week's Creative Bug shoot, so I made lemonade of the situation and relaxed. I meditated on this week's keynote and did some prep for next month's needs. And I completed an entire quilt top.
My quiet activities took place in a stir of remodeling. Isaac and Elijah shuffled furniture out of our family room to make way for wainscoting and new flooring. I have a number of great vintage pieces that will need reupholstering or rebuilding in some way, but we'll deal with the furniture and trimmings later. Certainly no sooner than November.
My True Colors fabric was delivered this afternoon. The race is now on. I leave for The Sewing Summit in Utah in two days and must resolve the Creative Bug project before I go, get my kids squared away, and keep a number of other projects moving forward.
Some of you have asked for an update on my upcoming embroidery patterns. They will be ready soon. A few of these other obligations pushed their way forward in line. The work is 98% complete on the embroidery patterns, so my hope is to complete them once we've wrapped up the Creative Bug shoot. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know we're making progress on that despite my hectic schedule. We had planned to keep the embroidery patterns quiet till this Fall, but went ahead with previews earlier this year when my Lottie Da fabric collection was delayed for Spring Quilt Market. We had arranged a booth, but we weren't going to have fabrics. So, embroidery!
Okay. Time for me to go, go go.
If you missed the announcement at the top of this post, I will be at The Material Girls quilt shop in South Jordan, UT this Wednesday night from 6pm to 8pm. Come by for a hello. And see Lottie Da in person.
It's a sewing week for me. For the last two years, I've spent most of my creative time at the drafting table and behind a computer, catching up on print and product design after having a baby. It's been great to get reacquainted with my sewing machine and start playing with these sunny new fabrics.
Angela Pingel of Cut to Pieces kindly offered to put together the quilt top for my upcoming free Lottie Da quilt pattern. She got right to it and had the top pieced in no time—which means the pattern will be ready soon—once the quilt is finished and photographed. Thank you, Angela!
With no corners to match up, the Lottie Da free quilt pattern is a perfect beginner quilt. I'll get into that more once the pattern is complete in the next couple of weeks.
For now, enjoy this sneaky peek courtesy of Angela. And stop by Cut to Pieces for Angela's post and a bigger peek at the quilt top.
And don't forget to enter the Lottie Da giveaway that closes Sunday night at 11:59pm PST (9-15-13) for a fat quarter stack of the entire collection—over a $100 value.
If you missed our Heather Bailey Store newsletter earlier this week announcing the Lottie Da collection... Enter promo code LOTTIEDA917 for a FREE full-size sewing pattern with any purchase of $50 or more through 9/17/13 11:59pm PST. Add your selected items to your cart to meet the order minimum, then add your selected pattern, followed by the promo code at checkout.
Let's see some fabrics! My new collection, Lottie Da, started shipping this week. I'm over the moon. And I'm thrilled to share the line with you today.
With a playful, 60's-mod vibe, Lottie Da combines dancing pop florals with groovy go-withs—butterflies included. With strategic contrast planned into the collection (value, hue, scale, and so forth), Lottie Da is versatile and fun. Combine like-palette prints for a quiet, sophisticated look, or incorporate contrasting colors and values for greater pop. You can take this collection in so many different directions.
Tweaks to my production process allowed me to experiment with colors I haven't focused on in the past—violet, aqua and charcoal to be specific.
I started sewing with Lottie Da this week and I'm having a blast with this zingy palette. I designed a foundation-paper-pieced project I'll be sharing soon, along with a new free Lottie Da quilt pattern. I'll show you how the prints can be combined for different effects. I'll also post peeks at some original Lottie Da artwork and previews of projects to come.
To celebrate the launch of Lottie Da, let's have a giveaway—giveaways are the best. I have a lovely Lottie Da fat quarter stack for one lucky winner, including all thirty-two prints in the collection. Enter by Sunday, September 15th at 11:59pm PST by leaving a comment on this post. Make sure you enter your email address in the comment form so we have a way to contact the winner. One entry per household.
But! Don't wait for news on the giveaway before stocking up on Lottie Da. The first print-run of a Heather Bailey cotton collection tends to sell out quickly, so stock up fast and soon or risk having to wait a month or two for the next shipment.
To see the full line of prints, click here.
For first news on upcoming products, sales, freebies and more, make sure to sign up for the Heather Bailey newsletter.
Watch for those upcoming Lottie Da project posts. And, send in pretty pictures of your own Lottie Da projects. We love to see what you're making—and to show you off.
I'm getting things done this week. I just need to keep it up.
I've even sneaked in some time to embroider paisleys while cuddling Evan at night. He giggles when the needle comes through the fabric, chanting, "Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes..." I've got to get this on tape.
After the Sewing Summit keynote in two weeks, I have a film crew coming to my home studio to tape an online class. I am designing the project today, after I go over a newsletter to introduce Lottie Da. Of course, the fabric I am supposed to use for the class is not in the United States yet (this is a different group of fabrics than Lottie Da). And then the day after the shoot is my high school reunion in the San Francisco bay area. I have to decide if I can fit that in. I don't want to regret not going for the next decade. And I can't put off arranging flights and hotel, so I have to decide this weekend without knowing how I'll survive the next two weeks.
In the mix, I would like to complete the embroidery patterns that I'm anxious to introduce. And get things rolling along for a tradeshow in October, followed by another fabric collection due November 1st. Oh, and costumes for Halloween. You know that I can't let that slip. It looks like I better get some help on Lottie Da samples for Market.
As they say, one foot in front of the other. I'm not leaving my studio much for the next few weeks. For me, it's one thought in front of the other. So far, so good. We'll see how I feel in a few days!
What a month! And what a marathon of frenzied fun. I'm exhilirated to have made it to the finish line. Today is the last day of my month of giveaways—every day this August. I had an impulse to shower you all with presents as a big Thank You Party for your love and support. And I ran with it.
I'm honored that so many great companies and good friends contributed prizes. I was especially touched to read all of the sweet comments made by Mary Engelbreit's fans on Day 24. I hope that twenty or thirty years from now I will have maintained as meaningful of a relationship with my fans as Mary has. That was inspiring. Thank you for that.
There is one more proper August prize to hand out. But, truthfully, I have more prizes to give away than I have days in August. In fact, there are some gorgeous prizes associated with my new fabric collection that will be offered up next week when I officially introduce the line.
So, though we've completed this month of daily giveaways, the giveaways will keep on coming at a steady pace, mixed together with new designs, inspiration and behind-the-scenes peeks at artwork and new products in development.
I know you are all anxious to see the new fabric collection—only a couple more days to go! As such, I've decided to tease you with my Day 31 prize. The image above is proof positive that a new line awaits, but it sure doesn't reveal much of the artwork or even the color palette involved—considering that you're only glimpsing a portion of the line. Here is an appetizer. I am wildly excited to share more.
Today's winner will receive a thirty-piece design roll from my new Lottie Da fabric collection—to be revealed this coming week. Each piece is 2.5" x the full width of the fabric. Great for a variety of projects—and for project-planning. Comment to enter. One entry per household. Be sure to include your email address in the comment form so we can contact you if you win.
Giveaway closes at 11:59pm PST on Monday 9/2/13. Watch for the winner to be announced within the week at the bottom of the post. For more info on my August giveaway party, click here.
Watch for more exciting giveaways next week.
Today, I had the privilege of flipping through an early copy of Kerry Goulder's new book, Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love. The release is set for mid- October, but I got my hands on one of the only two copies Kerry has seen herself.
My first peek at this charming project book was earlier this year when Kerry asked me to write the book's foreword. Over the course of several emails back and forth and a couple of phonecalls, I got to know Kerry and her concept. Each project in the book is tied to a story and centered on four themes, taking us "from a fairy woodland, to the coastal waters, to the arctic, and back."
Kerry lives in Maine with the ocean as her neighbor. One of my favorite projects in the book is her Pinchy the Lobster character. Coming from the land of paisley turtles and floral elephants, there's something about a calico lobster that certainly works for me.
I also love her station wagon and hipster-camping-trailer pattern above. Not only does it wax nostalgic, but here's one car toy that won't split your eyebrow open when your toddler attacks. That's a true bonus. I've had more than one request from my family to design some soft boy-toys suitable for snuggling. Our Evan likes a big reaction. This often translates into experimental hammering on his siblings and parents—especially at bedtime.
Beyond these great projects, Kerry has also included a dolphin pattern, an orca whale, a row boat, a hot air balloon, a teddy bear, and an igloo—to name just a few. A wide variety of projects for one book.
Join me in congratulating Kerry and KP Craft on their lovely new book. Watch for Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love: 18 Toy Patterns for the Storytelling Sewist to reach your local bookstore or fabric shop this fall and go get yourself a copy. Also, keep up with Kerry on her Kid Giddy blog (she's just beginning to post reveals of her gorgeous new sewing studio), and on facebook, twitter, pinterest, and flickr while you're at it.
Today's giveaway winner will receive this early copy of the book—signed by the author and me. Invaluable :-) Comment to enter. One entry per household. Be sure to include your email address in the comment form so we can contact you if you win.
Giveaway closes at 11:59pm PST on Sunday 9/1/13. It's a holiday weekend and the final stretch of my giveaway marathon. As such, I'm giving you through the weekend to enter so everyone can have a decent shot—even those who have found time away from the computer with their families! Watch for the winner to be announced within the week at the bottom of the post.
For more info on my August giveaway party, click here. Please share the word. See you again tomorrow. And Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone.
I take a sketchbook with me everywhere I go, even if I'm just heading to the gas station to refill the tank. I had lovely thoughts to share about keeping a sketchbook and how pivotal this is for anyone with artistic ambitions or creative hobbies.
But then, my husband went outside to change the brakes on our car, leaving me to write out my lovely thoughts in the midst of a storm of children, which storm has blown my concentration right out the door. The teenager is writing a physics paper and packing for an overnight field trip tomorrow. The middle child is sick and needs medicine and love. The baby has torn his diaper off so many times, that I am now letting him sit naked on my lap and watch Jay Jay the Jet Plane while I type.
I may not retrieve those lovely sketchbook thoughts till another day. Just know that the thoughts are there. I am passionate about sketchbooks. You must, must, must have a sketchbook—so I went and got one for you, along with a big pack of pretty, colored pencils.
It doesn't matter if you can draw. You need a place to capture your creative brainstorms. Write it down, draw it out, or risk losing it. I also picked up a colored pencil blender pen for you, a solvent-based marker meant for blending wax-based colored pencil pigments. This is something I have never tried before, so I got one for me too. We'll find out together.
If I'm preaching to the choir, and you're already amply equipped with sketchbooks and colored pencils of your own, take a shot at this giveaway anyhow. If you win, then you can gift the prize to a creative friend who needs to hear the gospel truth about sketchbooks.
As you know, I have some big introductions to make this week. I tidied up my sewing area this morning to make way for a full weekend of projects—assuming the baby keeps his diaper on and no unexpected strike-offs arrive at the door.
Just going with the flow. I'm grateful to have that flexibility. Speaking of flow... I better go put a diaper on this kid. I'm testing my luck at this point.
There are strike-offs everywhere at the studio today, looking better than ever. They tend to show up with only a moment's notice and require a fast turn around. Reviewing fabric samples takes daylight though—and therefore a reshuffling of the day's top projects. If it can be done in the dark, it gets bumped.
Over my years designing fabric, I've learned that the sooner I hand in my color notes, the sooner I get finished fabric in hand. When strike-offs arrive, our little ant hill stirs into a frenzy to get the job done and set the world straight again.
All stirred up and settled back down again. Daylight has faded, but the job is done. Even better, we don't have to wait till this collection is ready for production before... there... will... be... fabric.
In fact, we don't have to wait long at all. There is a tower of boxes a few feet behind me—just delivered today—that house a brand-new fabric collection. The only thing holding me back from tearing into the shipment is getting today's giveaway posted while it's still the 28th!
So, let's hop to it. You enter the giveaway, I'll open the boxes. And as soon as daylight rolls back in, we'll take some pictures, sew up a few little ditties and set the pretties before you within the week.
With a new fabric collection close at hand, I figure a $50 gift certificate to the HeatherBaileyStore.com would make someone's day.
Comment to enter. One entry per household. Be sure to include your email address in the comment form so we can contact you if you win.
Today's giveaway will close at 11:59pm PST on Thursday 8/29/13. Watch for the winner to be announced within the week at the bottom of the post. For more info on my August giveaway party, click here. Please share the word. Check back every day.
Who is ready for more retail therapy?
Today's prize is a $50 gift certificate to ShopRuche.com, a gorgeous and varied online retailer, carrying everything from women's apparel, shoes and accessories to children's clothing, home decor and books. Ruche even has a bridal section. And you can shop a selection of stylish 'curvy plus' items as well. Explore their online store for luscious photos and fantastic finds.
Founded in 2008 by husband and wife team, Mai and Josh Olivo, Ruche is a vintage-inspired boutique with a modern perspective. In short, they describe Ruche's aesthetic as "feminine, flirty, clever and cute, yet subtly sophisticated "
Like any happening company these days, Ruche can be found all over the social media world. Follow Ruche on facebook, twitter, tumblr, pinterest and instagram. And don't miss their gorgeous videos on you tube.
Comment to enter today's giveaway. One entry per household. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you win. You don't have to type your email address into the body of the comment if you entered it in the email-address field on the comment form.
Today's giveaway will close at 11:59pm PST on Weds 8/28/13—which means it will overlap with Day 26's giveaway which ends tonight and Day 28's giveaway which will go up tomorrow, so don't miss those. We want you to have plenty of time to enter. Watch for the winner to be announced within the week at the bottom of the post. For more info on my August giveaway party, click here. Please share the word. Check back every day.
As I hinted last week, I'll be heading to Utah in three weeks to give the keynote address at The Sewing Summit 2013. The announcement was made yesterday on The Sewing Summit blog and throughout their social media outlets. Click on the image below to read the full article.
What is The Sewing Summit? As they put it, "We’re a cross between a traditional sewing retreat and a social media and blogging conference... With hands-on workshops, networking events, inspiring speakers, informative lecture sessions and enough down-time to connect with friends new and old—Sewing Summit is the only event of its kind. Join us for a weekend of skill-building, networking, laughing and reconnecting!"
I'm excited to meet everyone and share. The event has been sold out for a while. However! They have added a handful of spaces this week. If you are interested in attending, jump on it. Just have a look at these great classes and teachers. I hear the sewing labs will be open till 2am or so. You can sew in your pjs with friends. Doesn't that sound dreamy? Of course, I'm a serious night owl.
So then, whether you're attending or not, what would you like to hear from me at an event like this? The conference covers such diverse topics: fashion, quilting, blogging, photography, business and more. I want to do a bang-up job for you all.
I'm am all about art supplies. I love nothing more than to sit at my drafting table with a fiesta of colorful paints, markers and tools within reach. It's also handy to have a few supplies that are easy to pack up and take with me for long family functions, for travel, or even for a trip to the park with the kids.
One of my all-time-favorite, easy-to-pack art supplies is my compact set of Winsor Newton watercolor half-pans (the official name for these little dried cubes of paint). I love to work with pan paints on the go. And each half-pan can be replaced as it is used—without having to get a whole new set of colors. In fact, you can swap the colors around, add new ones, remove a few, and make your own custom palette to paint with.
The teensy-tiny box opens up to reveal plenty of palette surface for mixing colors. There is even a little water tray for plein-air painting. (I don't use the water tray myself. I'm happy to bring a larger cup along.) Also included is a small, round paintbrush which is stored inside the compact.
These pan paints don't offer the same pigment depth as top-of-the-line tube paint, but they are a good quality for a traveling set. And this little box of watercolors has remained one of my favorite art supplies over many years. You might recall my March of the Tools post on these from a few years back.
Comment to enter today's giveaway. One entry per household. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you win. You don't have to type your email address into the body of the comment if you entered it in the email-address field on the comment form.
Today's giveaway will close at 11:59pm PST on Tuesday 8/27/13—which means it will overlap with Day 25's giveaway and Day 27th's giveaway, so don't miss those. Watch for the winner to be announced within the week at the bottom of the post. For more info on my August giveaway party, click here. Please share the word. Check back every day.
In honor of Evan's birthday on the 25th, our Day 25 HELLO Giveaway is one of our favorite children's toys, Theo the cat, an 18" knit doll. A $56 value. Theo is chartreuse for heaven's sake. It doesn't get better than chartreuse.
A brand-new Theo made his way to our studio from LaylaGrayce.com, an incredibly diverse and inspirational online store, carrying everything from chandeliers and designer sofas to apparel, gifts and toys. I urge you to go take a look. Their taste is impeccable. Whether you're redecorating or just picking out a few gifts here and there, you will find so many great options on their site.
Thank you, LaylaGrayce.com for generously donating today's prize and for offering such a wide variety of these adorable Blabla Kids knit dolls, including raccoons, foxes, bunnies, bears, wolves, mermaids, monkeys and elephants, to name a few. They are soft and squishy and alltogether cool.
Look at how many of these dolls work for boys as well as girls. I love that.
My giveaway plans were derailed today by a very important little person and his very own 2nd birthday. Little Evan is two years old today! When I giddily plucked him from his crib this morning, we snuggled up on Charlotte's bed while I sang him a Happy Birthday song. At the end of every phrase, Evan chimed in with "cake!"
Happy Birthday to you...cake!...Happy Birthday to you...cake!... Happy Birthday dear Evan...cake!...Happy Birthday to you...cake!
He knows what's important.
It took us till eveningtime to finally make good on the promise of cake with a small family birthday party. Boisterous cousins followed Evan about, patting his head and picking him up in turn. By the time cake was served, Evan couldn't care less about the stir of children throughout our home. Cake, at last—what a birthday is all about.
I wanted to write Evan a little love note today to enumerate his sweet particularities at this age, count the many ways in which I love him. But, Sundays are my busiest days—even without a birthday to celebrate. As such, the love note didn't happen. And today's giveaway post didn't happen either. When it came down to it, I had to choose between photographing and writing a giveaway post and giving my little son his birthday dues—time, attention and cake. I chose the baby.
I could prep and post today's giveaway now, but it's getting too late in the night to do our awesome Day 25 prize justice. Instead, I'm going to go for a double header tomorrow and put up two separate giveaways in two separate posts. Hang tight and watch for those tomorrow. I'll make sure the deadlines are generous so you won't miss your chance.
Happy, Happy Birthday to my darling boy. From our early morning cake-song to my late-night blog update, today, I'm reminded of this lovely poem by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton—though it could use a new stanza about the internet, the computer and the smart phone:
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
I have been a long-time fan of Mary Engelbreit. When I was a kid, there was a sticker and stationery store at the nearby mall. It was my favorite stop. The one day I was allowed to choose any sticker from the sticker wall, I went home with a 2.5" circle sticker designed by Mary. It featured a girl in a wide straw hat with glasses and bobbed hair, the classic Mary character. It was signed "ME" at the bottom.
I didn't know who "ME" was at the time. But as I discovered "ME" on more and more products, I connected the dots, asked around, and learned that "ME" was the delightful, talented and prolific Mary Engelbreit.
Her perspective and aesthetic have withstood the test of time. For decades now,
Mary's artwork has adorned millions of greeting cards and everything from calendars and best-selling children's books to gifts, crafts and home accents.
In fact, Mary unknowingly connected me with one of my good friends. When I put a general call out for help on the Home Companion photoshoot, Jona volunteered. This is how we first met. I later learned that she was an uber Mary-Engelbreit fan and had counted her lucky stars for the opportunity to come to the shoot. She had collected every single issue of Mary's magazine, except for the first issue.
I have yet to meet Mary in person. She was at Quilt Market a year or so ago, but I couldn't get free to wait in the enormous line of fans eager to shake her hand. This woman is popular! I have been delighted to get to know her through Instagram though, of all places. And I look forward meeting her one day.
Though I am sure she has weathered every storm and sunny day an art-licensing business brings with it, Mary has maintained a joyful and engaging point of view—a sweet, humorous and uplifting spirit that continues to win fans worldwide.
I'm honored to announce that Mary herself is offering today's giveaway prize—a big box of Mary Engelbreit calendars for 2014. Calendars of every shape and size. A $90 value.
I was up all night altering my son's band uniform. The only pair of pants they had on hand for a 6'4" kid were equally as big around—serious Tweedle-Dee pants.
In the end, I removed 15 total inches from the girth of the pants, taking out 1" to 6" on five different seams: inseams, outseams, and center back. And I added two darts in the front to bring the suspenders closer together.
I deserve a sewing badge for extreme alteration. That was some WiLd sewing. I've never modified a garment so drastically before. I'm stocking up on mama points this week. Going to cash them in for babysitting—starting tonight. Hooray for the weekend!
Today's giveaway is a collection of Heather Bailey paper-crafting supplies, including a variety of clear stamps, ribbons, die-cut felt trim, stickers, ink pads—all sorts of bright happy supplies. A $43 value.
How about some luscious felt? Three palette packs of our designer wool-blend felt in Reds/Pinks, Blues and Oranges/Yellows for today's giveaway—perfect for accessories and embellishments, embroidery and applique. In my opinion, everone should have a rainbow of glorious felt at her disposal. Let's get you all set up! A $32 value.
For today's prize, how about a little Christmas in the summertime? This way, at least one of us will be prepared when December comes along sooner than we expect it!
Winner receives a party pack of Heather Bailey holiday supplies, including dinner plates, dessert plates, napkins, party cups—and lo! matching invitations. Everything you need to be polished and prepared for some holiday fun this year. A $54 value.
We loaded our holiday invitations, photo cards and picnicware into the shop today. Please note that we're limited to supply on hand though, so snatch up these holiday items while they last. There's a part of me that wants to hoard the entire timeless supply for my own future use, but I'm talking myself through it. I'll design more. I'll design more. I can share.
Speaking of sharing...
Comment to enter. One entry per household. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you win. You don't have to type your email address into the body of the comment if you entered it in the email-address field on the comment form; I can access it from behind the scenes.
Today's giveaway will close at 11:59pm PST on Wednesday 8/21/13. Watch for the winner to be announced within the week at the bottom of the post. For more info on my August giveaway party, click here. Please share the word. Check back every day.Good luck!
My day has gone to school meetings. Elijah switched high schools this year and we're working to get him established at a school one mile from our home. We were driving him 25 minutes away each day, back and forth for the last two years, often several times a day and this really put a pinch on our time at home as a family.
This year, Elijah volunteered to change schools. He and his dad both seem okay with it. I'm still resolving my own feelings. He not only has no friends there yet, but the school is in a different school district and runs quite differently from what he is used to. And he had to leave behind one of the state's top marching band programs (the reason he had insisted on that school in the first place).
I hate that he's switching halfway through high school. Ug. I wish I would have pushed more strongly for this close-by school two years ago. I'm working to feel at peace with the mid-stream change. Today's meetings helped with that quite a bit. We brought in a list of things we felt would help Elijah transition well and the response was, "This is what we, here, call good teaching. This will be no problem at all." Just what we needed to hear! I liked his last school a lot, but the administration at the new school made a great first impression today. I'm one step closer to parental peace.
Additionally, with the high school only one mile away now, I can get more involved and still keep my other two children on track. I'm hopeful, but I'm still holding my breath nonetheless.
Needless to say, my giveaway to-do list hasn't shed any pounds today while I've been out parenting. It's approaching evening time and I still have this giveaway to post and a number of winners to select. So, on with the show!
With a $35 value, today's prize is a set of THREE Heather Bailey sewing patterns—Claira & Clancy Pig Dolls, Full Bloom Roses and the Daily Spice Apron—a variety of projects you can make for yourself or as gifts. Get an early start on the holidays. Or give the patterns as gifts.
For more information on my piggie doll pattern (my personal favorite of the patterns we've published), click here. For my first preview of the Daily Spice apron pattern, head back seven years to this post. (It sounds like driving Elijah around was a part-time job even back then. Boy, how long have I been blogging now?) As for Full Bloom Roses, we may have only announced that pattern by newsletter originally, so get the details here.
Comment to enter today's contest. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you win. You don't have to type your email address into the body of the comment if you entered it in the email-address field on the comment form. One entry per household.
Today's giveaway will close at noon PST on Wednesday 8/21/13. Watch for the winner to be announced within the week at the bottom of the post. For more info on my big ol' August giveaway party, click here. Please share the word. Check back every day.Good luck!
At Quilt Market last May, I met Nathan and Stacy Wiedenmann who were there introducing a new product to the world. And it was no elementary, homespun product either, but a multi-function task light of all things. Now how do you get that made?
The inventor in me can't resist new gadgets. The business owner in me thrills to see someone tackle manufacturing with success. Isaac has two pet lighting inventions he wants to patent and market one day, so meeting small business owners in the lighting trade is extra fun.
Now, I'm going to butcher the Stella Lighting story, but as I understand it, Nathan was at a meeting at Starbucks where he and an associate were discussing a prototype of this lamp when a quilter approached them to find out more about it. After a demonstration, she insisted that she needed the lamp and she needed it now. And that other quilters and crafters needed it too. The punchline is: this godsend matchmaker hooked up a great little lamp with an eager audience and it was true love.
So what makes this light different? The Stella task lamp is stocked with 21 little LED light bulbs, all rated to last for 50,000+ hours—we'll call that a lifetime of use. You never have to change the bulbs. With efficient LED technology, the lamp uses 10% of the electricity of a comparably bright incandescent light. And the light stays cool, so you can work right under it very comfortably. It is available as a desk lamp or floor lamp.
It also has five brightness levels, so it can be adjusted to the task at hand. You can choose from three different light temperatures, including a warm light (very similar to incandescent light), a very cool light, and a bright, daylight-balanced light.
For me and my purposes, the daylight-balanced setting is where it's at. Much of my work involves reviewing colors for accuracy. And having a Stella on hand allows me to work later into the day, after the sun has set—perfect for evaluating fabric strike-offs, painting new artwork, or choosing thread colors.
The light is even and bright and the neck of the lamp can be bent in almost any direction. It's streamline shape allows it to peek in quietly over your work or move aside as needed.
Check in with Stella on Twitter and Instagram. Visit StellaLighting.com for a video introduction and more information about the product and the company. Art stores, quilt stores, needlework stores and more are all starting to carry this new light, so watch for the Stella at your local shop.
Stella Lighting is generously donating one white Stella task lamp for today's giveaway. A $220 value.
Comment to enter. One entry per household. U.S. shipping only on this one. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you win. You don't have to type your email address into the body of the comment if you entered it in the email-address field on the comment form. Today's giveaway will close at noon PST on Tuesday 8/20/13. Watch for the winner to be announced within a few days at the bottom of the post.
For the backstory on my August HELLO Giveaway project, click here. Please share the word. And check back every day.
I may have let slip that a certain someone whose name rhymes with "feather daily" is going to be at The Sewing Summit next month in Salt Lake City, September 19th through the 21st. The event has been sold out for a while, but a little birdie told me that the show coordinators are offering a handful of additional tickets for sale today, starting at 9:00am MST (maybe 30 tickets or so?).
Feather Daily thought you guys might like to know—especially after you have a look through their site and see what a remarkable event it will be. These tickets are in hot demand, so act fast if you're interested. Great teachers, great classes and an incredible variety of subjects, ranging from quilting, crafts and garment sewing to fabric design, photography and social media.
Get your calendars out, you might need to fly to Utah in a few weeks.
We went out for my birthday on Friday night for Thai food and a movie with my siblings and their spouses, and my dad. It was great to get together after we were all scattered this way and that for the summer. And just the kind of birthday party I like—easy and low-key. I'm so glad they all could come along. If you ever visit Tempe, AZ, Yupha's Thai Kitchen is the place to eat.
Of course, this year wasn't a 'big-deal' birthday. When the next one of those comes along, I'd like a Disco Dance Party with wigs required—nothing mellow.
This giveaway circus is keeping me plenty anesthetized from any potential birthday blues. It's quite a project behind the scenes to make sure everything is reported accurately and the winners are chosen fairly. (Random number generator, after duplicates and late entries are subtracted.)
I hope you're having as much fun as I am. I feel like a game show host at this point, "Step on down, take a spin, survey says — you win." I need fine, feathered 70's hair and a sparkly dress.
As soon as today's giveaway post goes up, I'll get to work drawing winners for the last few giveaways. Expect those updates by midday tomorrow.
Without further ado, today's giveaway prize is a sewn book tote from FamLee Treasures, made with fabrics from my Garden District collection, as well as a Heather Bailey planner, a chevron note pad and a pack of personal stationery. A $73 value.
FamLee Treasures is my office manager Karen's Etsy business. Her adorable totes also make perfect craft totes or church bags. Karen was excited to get involved with our giveaway party—and it's her birthday this next week too. That's another vote for Birthday Month. Happy Birthday, Karen!
Comment to enter. One entry per household. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you win. You don't have to type your email address into the body of the comment if you entered it in the email-address field on the comment form. Today's giveaway will close at NOON PST on Monday 8/19/13. Watch for the winner to be announced early next week at the bottom of the post.
For more info on these August HELLO Giveaways, click here. Please share the word. Good luck!
How about a splash of fashion to keep the giveaway world in proper balance? Today's HELLO Giveaway is sponsored by Urban Attic Boutique, a great online store with a bohemian-chic point of view. Find tops, dresses, pants, skirts, and jewelry, all reasonably priced and right on trend.
Urban Attic Boutique is curated by sisters, Jenna and Tauny—who have an eye for bold prints and statement pieces. And I would say, as a group, the items in their shop look comfortable. Comfort is my ultimate measuring stick for everyday fashion, so this is a big one for me.
Go have a look. But, don't beat me to that seahorse necklace!
Keep current with the shop on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, where you'll be the first to hear of new items, sales and Urban Attic giveaways. Today's lucky winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to UrbanAtticBoutique.com.
Comment to enter. One entry per household. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you win. You don't have to type your email address into the body of the comment if you entered it in the email-address field on the comment form. Today's giveaway will close at 11:59pm PST on Saturday 8/17/13. Watch for the winner to be announced early next week at the bottom of the post.
For more info on these August HELLO Giveaways, click here. Please share the word. Good luck!
When I say that I'm friends with some cool people at some cool companies. I mean, wow. I put out some calls, told everyone I wanted to have a big Thank You Party for my readers, and look what's coming in. Today's giveaway prize is another big one.
This incredible machine here is called the Cricut Expressions 2. It is an electronic cutting machine. Digital designs are plugged into the system on cartridges and out come perfectly-cut pieces. Pieces of what, you say? Pieces of cardstock, chipboard, sheet magnet, foam, felt, balsa wood, vellum, cling vinyl, fabric and more. That's a lot of creative possibilities.
This Cricut is a free-standing machine that is easily operated using touch-screen technology. You don't have to have a computer. From what I read, this is one of the easiest cutting machines to operate and there are a number of video tutorials and reviews posted online if you're a visual learner.
Included with the Expressions 2 machine is their Cricut Essentials cartridge which includes hundreds of designs and a Cricut Alphabet cartridge. Beyond that, Cartridges galore are available separately from a variety of designers. The machine features a cutting area as large as 12" x 24" and it will arrange multiple items for you in order to prevent waste.
Great for crafts, party decorations, card-making, scrapbooking, fabric applique, product packaging, valentines. I can think of so many fun things to do with a cutting machine. What incredible technology to have on hand.
Oh! And Cricut is also including a bundle of iron-on vinyl in three colors—winner chooses the colors. Wait till you see what you can do with this iron-on vinyl. Holy cow. You can customize tee-shirts, pillows, shoes, sports jerseys, hats, handbags, Christmas stockings—anything. To see images of this heat-transfer film in use, visit Cricut's iron-on vinyl product page, then click on each color of vinyl to pull up project ideas.
With so many functions and uses, it's quite impossible for me to cover it all in this one post. I recommend you visit their "New to Cricut?" page, the Cricut Blog, and the Cricut Forum if you want to delve in to the details and see all that the Cricut Expressions 2 can do. Cricut is also on Facebook (a great resource), Instagram and Twitter, so go say hello.
All in all, today's generous prize is a $345 value. Thank you, Cricut! To enter for today's giveaway, leave a comment here on this post. One entry per person.
Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you win. You don't have to type your email address into the body of the comment if you entered it in the email-address field on the comment form; I can access that info from behind the scenes. Today's giveaway will close at 11:59pm PST on Sunday 8/18/13. (This is a big one and it's Friday—so I'm giving you all weekend to enter. This means it will overlap with Saturday's and Sunday's giveaways.) Watch for the winner to be announced early next week at the bottom of the post.
For more info on these August HELLO Giveaways, click here. Please share the word. We have lots more in store for you this month.
I've been asked to be the keynote speaker at The Sewing Summit this year. We just firmed it up this week, so watch for an announcement on their site soon. As a bonus, I'm going to fly in for the entire event and well, hang out. Which means I'll have the chance to get to know some fabulous people who will be there with me.
One of those fabulous people is Melissa Esplin, who is scheduled to teach at the event. I'm excited to meet her. Melissa not only sews and maintains a beautiful blog, but she is also an incredible calligrapher. And she teaches calligraphy online. Yes, you can take classes without having to leave your desk!
Calligraphy is gaining attention from today's style stars as a back-to-crafts artform. Beautifully-lettered posters add a personal touch to a home or office. And personalized calligraphy is a great way to enhance a wedding or baby announcement—or otherwise stand out in a mess of computer-generated communication.
Take a look at Melissa's incredible lettering on her website and blog. See Melissa's classes on her site, I Still Love Calligraphy, where you can learn from the best. And don't miss her beautiful, free printables and tutorials as well.
Today's lucky winner will receive five ready-to-write cards and five envelopes, all hand-lettered by Melissa. Talk about putting your best face forward. Your mail and affection will look like it came from the queen herself.
The hand-lettered kraft-paper cards feature "5 Things" prompts such
as "5 Reasons Why I Love You" and the blue envelopes read, "Kindly
Deliver to" or Please send to." They can be used together or separately.
A $35 value.
Melissa does custom calligraphy for families and businesses. She designs logos, tattoos, greeting cards and more. But, calligraphy isn't her only passion. If you like to sew, then you must swing by Melissa's blog to see her sewing acumen as well. She is teaching at The Sewing Summit afterall. When my fashion-fabric line hits next spring, I have a secret wish that we'll get to see Melissa work her magic with the collection.
Okay! Exciting. Let's get this contest going. To enter for today's giveaway, just leave a comment here on this post. One entry per human.
Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you win. You don't have to type your email address into the body of the comment if you entered it in the email-address field on the comment form; I can access that info from behind the scenes. Today's giveaway will close at NOON PST on Friday 8/16/13. (Extended deadlines here and there, depending on when I get the post up!) Watch for the winner to be announced within a day or two at the bottom of the post.
For more info on these August HELLO Giveaways, click here. Please share the word. Tomorrow's prize is the biggest one so far, so don't forget to check back in.
Hi! I'm Heather Bailey, a fabric & lifestyle designer, an inventor, and a mother to three amazing kids. I love to create. Need to create. And I'm spreading the word on how fulfilling and necessary creativity is to the human soul. Love & nurture your family, be true & honest with your friends and make good stuff—three necessary ingredients for a happy & beautiful life. This, here, is my personal blog.
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