Sunday, May 27, 2012

Quilt Market - Melissa's perspective - part 1

Quilt Market was a whirlwind of activity, even with a day and a half in the floor, I left feeling like I didn't get to see everything that was available. I did notice that nearly every vendor had a new line with the new trendy color combo of yellow and grey. I saw a lot of chevrons and think they will be popular for a few seasons.

I am excited to announce that I did sign up with several new vendors that i think you will love as much as I do. First up, Windham fabrics. I ordered the entire new line from Lotta Jansdotta, "Bella". The prints are fantastic individually and combined, they really spoke to me. Delightful!


Next up, Camelot and their licensed prints from Marvel Comics and Star Wars. These are not your typical licensed prints, the colors are saturated and rich, the cotton nicely woven and soft. These high quality fabrics will sew up beautifully for any project.


Next up, Adorn-it and Dear Stella. Adorn-it had cute trims and fabrics. Dear Stella offered fashion forward, stylish prints.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Where in the World is Stephanie???

Hi friends. Sorry I have dropped off the face of the earth. I have been busy. Quilt Market was amazing! Melissa and I had a blast and came back ready to create! Look for some fun tutorials and amazing new fabrics!!! I came back from market with a sinus infection (yuck) and had all of the end of the year stuff for the kiddos. This morning I loaded all six kids into the family truckster and headed west. (my hubby is at home remodeling our laundry/mud room!!!)
Nebraska was a balmy 100 degrees and WINDY! Good news is, we made it without leaving anybody on the side of the road!!! I will be back next week with all the pictures from Market. Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
- Stephanie

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New Payment Options and Inventory/Quantites on etsy

Exciting news!  Etsy has been making changes to their site to make it even easier to shop.  First up, I have always tried to list as much inventory as I prudently can, (etsy used to charge a fee for every piece/item/yard listed), this new change has removed that barrier and I will not be charged fees up front for listing everything I have on hand.  Quantity listed (right near the Add to Cart button on the item detail page) will now be more accurate.  I plan on loading everything I have in stock over the course of the next week or two!

Secondly, you can now use Direct Checkout on etsy for purchases in my shop.  Previously, credit card purchases needed to be processed via PayPal.  Now, you can stay in etsy and checkout quickly with your credit card. 

Do you have a credit card you earn miles, rewards or points for?  Direct checkout allows you to use that card!  Have a Visa, Mastercard or American Express branded Gift Card?  You can use that with my shop now!  Fast, easy and convenient!

If you have any questions about either of these new enhancements, please feel free to contact me via the shop:

 - Melissa

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Playing Paparrazi at #quiltmarket....

Posing with Valori Wells, Vanessa Christenson, Stars Wars Guys,Joel Dewberry, and Amy Butler. What a fun day!!!! Headed back for more.....

Friday, May 18, 2012

It's hard to take pictures and shop at the same time! #quiltmarket

It's been a buying blur... And I swear I haven't bought that much, it's hard to say "no" to the things that I know you, my customers, would love!

I signed up with a new line, Dear Stella. Wow! Gorgeous fabrics!

#quiltmarket picturepalooza!

Quick pics! Camelot cottons, Tula Pink, Amy Butler, penguin + fish... More soon!

Windham Fabrics....Love it!

Do you like it? We love it!!!!! Give us your feedback!

It Begins... #quiltmarket

Good Morning!

We are here at Quilt Market. The first appointment of the day will be with Windham, Blue Hill and then Timeless Treasures.

Look for pictures shortly!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Texts From Hormonal 11 Year Old....

As I have mentioned in  a previous post, we have a lot of estrogen overload going on at our 
house. The following is a conversation I had through text messaging with Thing 3.  She had to
shower in our room because her sister was in the other bath.  The shower glass in our 
bathroom is smokey so you can not see through it.  I promise.
You can walk in when someone is showering and all you see is a blob.  Thing 5 went into the
bathroom for about 30 seconds to put some laundry in the hamper.  Thing 3 FLIPPED out.  We
sent her to her room.  That is when the texts began.....  My husband and I were in our room
cracking up. Thing 3's texts are yellow.   My reply's are blue. 
(Please excuse the weird punctuation.  I had to cut and paste from my phone and so the format 
is really weird.)

(1/4) I'm not coming out of my room!!!!! Thing 5 deserves to be grounded!!! U never
walk in when u know someone's showering!!!!! NEVER!!!!! Oh and by the way
(2/4) I'm not going to band tomarrow. I'm not coming out of my room. I don't care if I
starve to death. I will not come out of my room until I see Thing 5 
(3/4) get whipped (we have NEVER whipped our kids)  or grounded with my own eyes and ears!
So call mrs x and tell her 
Thing 3 will not be at BAND because I'm NOT going. U can't make
(4/4) me go either because I have my door locked and a little surprise for who ever opens
my door
Oh by the way I'm cutting of all my hair right now so I won't have to shower and risk
Thing 5 walking in again!

(Me) That is a bad idea. If you cut it I will not take you to get it fixed  
(1/2) I don't care! No one will see it because im not coming out of my room. The only way 
people will see it is when u finally get into my room to find me dead of starvation! 

(Me) You will die of thirst long before you starve. Don't take any drinks of water if you want to 
go quickly.
(1/5) I know u don't love me! If u did then u would of felt bad that I had an eight
know that I'm self 
conscious about my body. If you loved me u would whip
(Again, we have NEVER whipped our kids!!!) her and make her
(3/5) promise not to tell anyone. But no. U will say Thing 3 no one can see through the 
glass when they can. I know because when I was little and waited for
(4/5) dad to get out I could see him. Oh yea so Thing 5 didn't see anything! I know she 
did. She stood there for 2min until she talked. She saw my body.
She's gonna tell her friends because I know Thing 5  so I know that 
she is NOT capable to keep a secret. 
year old blabber mouth that points out my pimples to all her friends saw me in the shower. U

(1/2) U wonder why I'm always self conscious? It's because Thing 5 is my sister! She 
makes u mad on purpose and then laughs. She saw me and u don't even
(2/2) care!

(Me) I do care but you are too angry I will not talk until you calm down. (Meanwhile, Thing 2 

comes up. Thing 3 woke her up and told her she was going to stab her if she ever took a bath
again....We told Thing 2 to lock her door. We really didn't think she would stab her because she
hates blood...) 
You never threaten your family with knives!

U act like I care.

(ME) It would be best if you stopped and went to sleep because if I come down there you will 
be in big trouble'

I told u I'm not going to school!

(Me)That is fine. I will make a list of chores for you to do
1/2) That's not gonna work cause I'll be in my room away from u and Thing 5. I know 
she'll tell. I'm not stupid she's my sister it's her whole purpose in

(2/2) life to talk and ruin my life. 
Mom will u stop trying to win? It's not gonna happen

(1/2) I know u don't really love me so stop trying. If u really really love you'll come 
downstairs and talk to me. I'll even let u in but if u don't love me
(2/2) don't come and I'll know and be gone in the mourning.

For the record, I WON!!!!!!!!!! Thing 2 woke up safe. She did tell me she put a chair in front of the
door and had a phone by the bed in case she needed to call for reinforcements.  Thing 3 did 
go to band.  She did not cut her hair.  She did not die of starvation or thirst.  I am saving these 
in her permanent file.
Look for some great pictures from Quilt Market!!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

To Market, to Market we go!

Stephanie and I are excited to report that we will be attending the Spring Quilt Market this Friday and Saturday in Kansas City!  What is Quilt Market?  Quilt Market is a professional trade show for quilt/fabric shop owners.  I am certain the target market is broader than that, but basically - We get to go see/touch/buy new things to bring to you!

Quilt Market is always very inspiring to me.  I come back from the show invigorated and ready to try new things, make bigger plans and implement new ideas.  Taking the time away from work and my family is not always easy but I know attending the show can build long lasting connections and the much needed push to expand my business.  I look forward to working closely with the vendors to come up with some new products that I know everyone will be inspired by as well!

Watch the blog for the latest updates, they will publish to Facebook as well. I usually post an album for each day of photos on Facebook. I will post as many photos as I can and recap along the way!

 - Melissa

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Story About Mothers.....

***I would like to preface this post.  This is not a funny post.  I do have a really good one with more text messages from Thing 3 (tonight she bit her sister....seriously????) that I will post next week.  I am sharing this with you because I believe that it is easy to think that everyone is a better mother, daughter, or wife than we are.  During the time of my struggle that you will read about, most people looked at me and thought that I had the perfect life.  I had a wonderful husband (good looking too...see my first post), really cute kids, and was able to be a stay at home mom. I want others to see that we all struggle and that is ok.  We need to celebrate who and what we are and what we have to give. Too often we focus on what we aren't and what we don't have to give.  With this in mind close the page or read on. Dont't forget to use your 20% off coupon! Code is MOM20....
My mother died when I was 6 months old.  Her name was Paula.  She was in her early 20’s when she died.  This is the only picture that I have with her.  It is one of my great treasures.  People who knew her well say that I am a lot like her.  I look like her.  We both loved short hair.  My mannerisms are similar to hers.  I am always proud to have people know that I am her daughter.
After my mother died we moved in with my grandparents.  My grandmother and my aunts mothered my two older sisters and me. We may have lost our mother but we had amazing women that loved and sacrificed for us.
When I was 2 1/2 my dad got remarried.  I was raised by a step-mother who taught me many wonderful things.  She taught me to love being a homemaker. She taught me to clean and to cook.  She taught me to love things that are handmade.   She instilled in me a deep love of the Lord.  In our home we were always taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  She taught me to serve others.  Though we are not close as adults, my daily life reflects each of the things she taught me.  I will be forever grateful to her for the things she taught me.
When I was in college, I was a little bit lost and lonely.  I met an amazing woman named Sherie.  She loved me and took me into her home.  She taught me so much about unconditional love.  She showed me over and over again that you can love any child.  She has three sons and no daughters.  When we are together she always introduces me as her daughter.  I am so proud and feel so loved when she introduces me as her daughter.  I introduce her as my mom.  Just as she taught me that you can love any child as your own, I have learned that you can love any woman as your mother.
I was blessed to marry an amazing man and start a family.   After the birth of my first and second daughters, I battled post partum depression.  In time it passed.  My second daughter and my only son are 17 months apart.  After he was born the depression did not go away.  With the birth of each subsequent child it got worse and worse.  Most of their early childhood was spent with a severely depressed mother.  During this time so many kind woman stepped in and loved my children.  Many of these kind souls were not able to have children of their own.  They were willing to sacrifice and mother my children when I was not able to.  I will always be grateful to these wonderful “mothers”.
Eventually I was diagnosed with PMDD.  PMDD is a debilitating form of PMS.  It is linked directly to your hormones and most medications simply do not work.  After 7 years of battling this I decided to take my own life.  I overdosed on pills and almost died.  I was on a ventilator in ICU. The doctors told my husband that if I woke up they could not promise what he would be left with.  Brain damage was a strong possibility due to the lack of oxygen to my brain.  When I woke up I was fine.  I know that God spared my life.  The day after I was released from the hospital my youngest (that was 4 at the time) got a horrible stomach virus.  I lay in bed and listened to my husband taking care of her.  She was vomiting violently and crying for me.  For a very brief moment I had a little vision of her being this sick and my sweet husband having to explain to her that her mommy couldn’t come help her.  For so many years I had convinced myself that my children deserved more than I could give. They deserved a mother who was not depressed.  In trying to take my life I was convinced that they would be better without my broken self.  In that moment I realized that depressed or not, my children needed me as their mother.  One month later I had a total hysterectomy.  For over two years I have not struggled with depression.  I am grateful every day for the chance that I have to mother my children.
Almost three years ago my husband and I had the opportunity to have a special girl move into our home.  Her mother had died and her father has Alzheimer’s.  I could not love her any more if I had given birth to her.  It is such a privilege to be a special mother to this wonderful daughter.
My world is full of amazing mothers.  I only have one mother that gave birth to me.  However, I have a life full of amazing women that mothered me and loved me like their own.  I hope that I can pay it forward and be a mother to many.
Happy Mother’s Day to all.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Our Mother's Day Gift To You...

Happy Mother's Day from Treasure Bay Fabrics.  Melissa would like to give each of you the gift of fabric.  From now until Sunday, May 13th, receive 20% off of your total purchase.  Enter code MOM20
at checkout.  This code is not valid for previous purchases and cannot be combined with any other offers. Code expires 5/13/2012 at 11:59 p.m.  Go on over and get yourselves something "Real Nice". (that is a quote by cousin Eddie in Christmas of the best movies ever!!!) Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Too Much Estrogen....

Today something terrible happened.  I have 5 girls and 1 boy (lovingly referred to as Things 1-6).  Thing 3 is an 11 year old girl.  She has been a hard child from the time she was born.  Puberty has not been kind to her.  She is moody, emotional, and slams lots of doors.  Today she  got her "monthly visitor" for the first time.  This in and of itself would not be too bad.  Unfortunately Thing 1 and Thing 2 have the same "monthly visitor" going on.  Tonight we have had doors slammed. We have had sobbing.  We have had yelling.  We have had multiple conversations that have included "you just don't love me".  All of these things would be ok if it was just one person.  It is not.  It is "Estrogen Overload" times 3.
Here is one of the texts that I got from Thing 3. (I will not let her cut up pictures from her scrap book. Instead, I offered to get color copies made before school.)
At the same time Thing 3 was sending me this, Thing 1 was telling us that we let Thing 2 and 3 get away with everything and that she is the only one that ever gets punished.  Good times at our house.  I did some calculating. We will have no fewer than 3 girls having their "monthly visitor" (probably at the same time) for the next 9 years.  On that happy note, I hope you all have a marvelous weekend.  I have several good projects going and can't wait to share pictures next week!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I have a secret....

I have been a "sewist" (I think that is the new term for a person that sews?) for about 20 years.  I have made various articles of clothing for my kids and am an avid quilter.  Here is my secret....I just barely learned how to put in a zipper.  Yes, it is true.  For the last couple of years I have avoided all the cute bag patterns because of my fear of zippers.  This year for Christmas I wanted to make a handmade gift for all of my kids.  I found a cute bag by Sweetwater. It is the "Pack and Go" bag.  You can make it in three sizes and it would be perfect for pencils, make-up, Nintendo DS, and really just about anything. I bought the pattern, fabrics, and zippers.  I was ready to sew and try these babies out.  Then, my friend had a Twenty-One party.  For those of you not familiar with Twenty-One, they are like the Pampered Chef of bags.  It just made more sense to buy them bags than to try to put in a zipper.  Yes, I was really that scared of zippers.  Finally in January,  I was invited to a bridal shower.  I bought all sorts of gifts that were appropriate for a honeymoon and then realized I had no gift bag.  I was leaving for Jamaica the next day and really did not have time to run to the store.  I had no other choice.  I went to my sewing room, dug out the pattern, and started sewing.  I googled "how to sew a zipper" and was amazed at how easy it was. I ran upstairs and woke my husband out of a dead sleep so he could see the bag with the zipper.  I left it on the kitchen table so that my kids would ooh....and ahh.... over it.  They were not that impressed (someday I will learn...they are very rarely impressed with anything I do).  Thing  three (who is a bundle of joy as most 11 year old girls are ) said, "It's o.k. but really, who like flowers anymore?"  Their lack of enthusiasm could not dampen my excitement.  I had made a purse WITH A ZIPPER!!!!  I am happy to report that since then, I have made several more and am no longer scared of zippers. (Zoom in and look at the cool top stitching.  The pattern didn't call for that...I just thought it would look cool.) (Pat, pat...I am patting myself on the back for being so clever.)
Isn't it beautiful???  I think I would like to make some from this, and this, and definitely this (for Thing 4).
Have a marvelous day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pinterest Makes Me Feel Like I Am Nate Berkus....

Have you seen the commercial where the lady is in the parking lot trying to get her keys to unlock a Rolls Royce? It won't open. Her husband comes and tells her that it isn't her car and her real car is a Dodge Dart (I don't really remember what the car was but a Dodge Dart is no Rolls Royce). The voice over comes on and says that she saved so much money with her cell phone that she feels rich and like she is a hip hop mogul.

I have been looking for a chair for my sewing room.  My kids come in to talk while I am sewing and since there is no chair, they just lay on the floor.  I don't have a lot of space so the chair has to be small.  It has to be comfortable.  It has to have good support so that I can sit and do hand work. Oh, and did I mention that it needs to be cheap????  I have been to all our furniture stores.  I have looked online.  I cannot find anything that fits all of the criteria I have mentioned.  The other night I was on Pinterest and saw several posts on re-purposing old furniture.  All of the sudden my inner Nate Berkus yelled, "Go to a second hand store and buy and old chair!".  Yesterday I went to our local second hand store and found it.  I found "The Chair"!  In my mind I saw all of the possibilities for this gorgeous chair.  I envisioned posting pictures of the "before" chair and "after" chair.  My chair would become the next "Big Post" on Pinterest.  Everyone would have it pinned on their boards!  This chair would be truly amazing.  It would be the Rolls Royce of chairs.  This morning I went outside and looked at it again.  Guess what.  It is totally a Dodge Dart and I am not Nate Berkus!
I do have faith that with the help of Pinterest, several different DIY websites, and some good varnish remover I can at least move it into the Ford Escort category of chairs!

I hope you all have a happy weekend.  Thing 2 and I are taking a quilt class from one of my favorite people!
- Stephanie

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

One of those mornings....

Do you ever have one of "those" mornings?  Today was mine.  I have mentioned that I have six kids, five girls and one boy.  We have ALOT of hormones at our house. Mornings are rarely pleasant.  This morning was really ugly.  Thing 6 ( youngest daughter- age 6) is not a morning person.  She never has been.  The last month of school is always bad because she has had just about enough of getting up early.  This morning she refused to get dressed.  She sat in her room and alternated between sobbing and throwing a temper tantrum (she is the baby and a bit spoiled).  I finally told her that if she didn't get dressed I would haul her into school in her pajamas.

About that time Thing 3 (daughter # 3....age 11) jumped in.  This is a direct quote.  "Thing 6 (well, she didn't say Thing 6...she said her name) you had better get dressed.  Mom is serious.  She will do that.  You should be glad she is dressed.  The day mom carried me to the bus she had her pajamas and snow boots on...and it wasn't even snowing!!!!  She doesn't care if people think she looks dumb! She will make you go to school in pajamas!"  That did nothing to calm Thing 6 down.  Thing 4 (only son, age 10) jumped in with his own horror story. "Thing 6, mom will do it.  One time I didn't want to go to church so I wouldn't get dressed.  Mom hauled me naked (in my defense, he had underwear on) to the car, stuck me in the back with my suit and drove to church.  When I wouldn't get dressed, she left me in the car and went and got dad out of his church meeting. I had to get dressed IN THE CHURCH PARKING LOT!!!!"  Thing 5 (daughter, age 8) doesn't have a story about being taken somewhere naked or in her p.j.'s by a mother in different states of dress. She did manage to find a story to add. "Ya, Thing 6, mom doesn't care about how we feel.  She went into the Dollar Store in nothing but her SWIMMING SUIT!!!!  She does not care about how she wrecks our lives!!!  You better get dressed!"  Luckily, Thing 1 and Thing 2 were already at school and did not have a chance to add their stories.

I feel like I am succeeding as a mother.  I am giving them good stories to tell when they are adults. I am providing job security for the therapist that ends up undoing all I have done to mess my kids up. That is how I like to spin it!
Happy May 2nd! I am headed down to fold more fabric.

 - Stephanie

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Feeling a little bit naked......

Have you ever had to have the bank or a car dealership (or anyone for that matter) pull your credit while you are sitting in front of them?  I have.  My husband and I always say that this feels like they are looking at you naked.  I hate that feeling of having someone go into your private history and making a judgement based on the one or two pages that they can see.  Does anyone else know what I am talking about?
Today I am going to show you a little bit of me, naked.  Before you click the little x (close) on your computer screen, please know that I am not showing you my naked body.  I am showing you my naked sewing room.  I have ALOT of fabric.  I owned a quilt shop for a couple of years.  When we closed the shop I brought ALOT of stuff home.  I have not found a good way to keep it neat and tidy.  This is what the storage portion of my sewing room looks like. Please do not judge me.
I have been researching different organization methods and finally ordered Polar Notions fabric organizing sheets.  It is supposed to make the mess pictured above look like this
My order came in the mail today.  I am going to put on a movie and organize fabric.  Stay tuned for the "after " pictures.  I would love to hear how any of you organize your fabric!  Who knows, maybe we will do a give away for the best comment.

 - Stephanie