Birthdays, Boobs and a Blog Giveaway

What do you think about my lame attempt at alliteration? Yeah, it’s a stretch. But we’ve got a lot of ground to cover — and I’m heading all over the place today.

Birthday: My baby is 15 today. OK, maybe he’s not really “the baby” anymore, since we do have a little bitty thing here in the house. He was “the baby” for the first 12 or so years of his life, though, so I still think of him that way. The irony of it all: He’s almost six feet tall, weighs 155 pounds and wears a size 11.5 shoe. Anyway … He had a doctor’s appointment today, so I actually was able to see him, when I normally wouldn’t (even if most of  our time was spent in the car). I even picked up a couple of birthday cakes so he could share a treat with the rest of his company tonight. (We’ll do the family birthday celebration when he comes home this weekend.)

Boobs: My stepmother had her double mastectomy today. Got to talk to my dad a couple of times, including right after she came out of surgery. Everything went well and — best of all — the lymph nodes tested clear. Relief! The photo at left shows one of the two recovery pillows I made for her. I’m a member of the American Sewing Guild and the Anti-Ouch Pouch is one of our charitable sewing initiatives. (The fabric is a Martha Negley and one I thought Jo would like.)

Blog Giveaway: The fabulous Integer Generator was my handy assistant in determining the winner of my vintage apron giveaway. Oh, how I wish I could give each and every one of you this apron! But there’s only one and the lucky girl is commenter No. 24, JaimeM! Jaime, please email me with your mailing address so I can get your apron off to you! Thanks so much to all of you for moving, delurking and/or discovering my blog, and then commenting. It just makes my day!

Be Mine?

I love Valentine’s Day; it’s another excuse to make cute things and give them to people. We — meaning me and the eldest — have been busy this week with putting together all the goodies. Yes, my teenager likes to give out Valentines. This year, he did wrapped Hershey bars. Not sure if he enjoyed the cutting and wrapping part, but I had no complaints. I had my hands full with other things:

The goodie bags were for the little missy’s preschool class. The covered lollipops, we handed out at yesterday’s ballet class. I’d thought of designing my own but the Confection Collection over at The Shabby Shoppe was just too cute to pass up. That’s also where I bought the template for our Valentines (at the top of this entry). Yes, everything is coordinated. I can’t help myself. (The font is MA Sexy; I thought it was a great match for the papers.) In retrospect, I wish I had nudged down the ribbon on the pictures so it didn’t cut across her face. Oh well.

Here’s a little Valentine love for all of you:

Aren’t they just the cutest things ever? I found these vintage Valentines last month when Miss L and I went “treasure hunting” at a local antique mall. The colors and designs just spoke to me. They’re on my Flickr and I think I’ve fixed the settings so they can be downloaded and incorporated in your collages and crafty projects (personal use only, please). The originals are staying with my inspiration files.

Thanks for the comment love yesterday! Here’s the latest creation. I’m totally in love. I stumbled upon the fabrics and immediately knew they would lend themselves to something over the top. Gotta admit that it scared me a little. I’m not usually an over-the-top kind sewist. Now I’m ready for the weather to warm up so she can actually wear it!

Don’t forget to enter yourself in the drawing for some crafty goodies. You have until tomorrow to comment here. I’ll do the drawing Saturday afternoon (after running a 5K but before meeting friends for dinner and a play). There may be one box o’ good stuff or there may be more — all depends on what’s inspiring me. I do know that there’s an Amy Butler pattern in the mix, as well as some fabric and who knows what else. I’m making a list with all your suggestions, too; definitely some fun stuff y’all are throwing at me!

Cha-cha-cha!

It’s my blog’s birthday! OK, technically my blog’s birthday was Friday, but I had houseguests and no time to devote to celebrating — hence the postponement. Kind of like when your birthday falls on a Wednesday and you wait until the weekend to party. Help yourself to a cupcake and let’s get this party started!

Thanks to all who’ve been reading and commenting during this adventure of mine. Your words and support never fail to make me smile. I’ve “met” so many awesome people in the past 12 months. And the amazing and inspirational work you’ve shared on your blogs and sites just blows me away.

So, what do you say we have a giveaway to mark the occasion? I have some lovely items — fabric, patterns, rubber stamps — that I’d love to send your way. All you have to do is comment on this post and tell me what craft you’d like to see me try (and then write about) in 2008. Doesn’t mean I’ll actually do it, but I’m always looking for fun ideas! (Please note that this giveaway is not part of my Send Some Love challenge; I’ve already been doing that. 🙂 ) I’ll pick a winner (or maybe two or three!) on Friday.

Maniac Monday

I feel the need to do something less selfish, since I’ve been in this “my life stinks” mood for about two weeks. What better way to gain some perspective than with … a giveaway! I have an envelope full of (unwashed) Halloween fabric ready to ship to some lucky reader. All you have to do is leave me a comment and tell me your favorite candy. Doesn’t have to be Halloween candy — just any candy (including chocolate). I’ll pick a winner on Wednesday and drop your goodies in the mail on Thursday morning. Good luck!

Drumroll, Please

We have winners! Congratulations to Katie and Amy, whose 100-post comments were selected by the Random Number Generator (since I can’t get my act together to do something with paper, printing, two teens and a toddler).

In  addition to those two, I’m also giving some goodies to the first commenter on my blog, as well as a random comment selected by RNG before my 100th post. So, Angela and Jessica, congrats to you, too!

Thanks to everyone for playing! Even if I don’t always get the chance to reply to every one, I do read every single comment left on my blog. I’ve enjoyed checking out some new blogs from the recent visitors/de-lurkers.

This One’s On Me

In the spirit of giving back …

Some of y’all have known me for a while, so you’re pretty familiar with my story. Still, there are more than a few folks who have not been bored to tears by my workplace tales: Before I was full-time crafty mom, I was a journalist. I’ve been in the business for almost 17 years (as of next month). Crazy, eh?

So here’s the deal. The New York Times published a story last week about the resurgence of crafting.  (BTW, I believe the link will only work until Thursday, so if you haven’t read it, hop to it.) Now, the features editors of many smaller papers will see that story and go “Ah ha! We could localize this pretty easily!” How do I know this? Because I’ve been a features editor (among many other titles).

Got a crafty business? Are you just really crafty and don’t mind seeing your name and picture in the local fishwrap paper? Take the above link, head to your paper’s web site and find the email address of the features editor (could also be “lifestyles editor” or “home and garden editor” — you get the picture). Write a brief email offering yourself as a potential source if they plan to do any similar stories. You want to be friendly and approachable but not overly self promotional.

Good:

Jane:

I came across a recent article in the New York Times (link here) about the growing interest in crafts like sewing and knitting. I could really relate to the story because I took my first sewing class last year. If you or another writer on your staff are planning a similar story, I’d be more than willing to share my experiences as a “crafty gal.” I mostly sew purses and clothing for my kids. I even made 25 reusable grocery bags for both my family and to give to friends this Christmas! I can be reached during the day at … if you’d like to get in touch with me.

Regards,

Mary

P.S. I really enjoyed Sunday’s story about hydrangeas. I’ve been wondering if they’re suited to our climate and look forward to employing your tips to grow them in my yard.

Less good:

Jane, I having been sewing and selling tote bags at craft fairs and on Etsy.com FOREVER. You should definitely profile me and my business if you’re writing about hobbies and crafts. I don’t normally read your paper, so I don’t know if you’ve written anything about it lately or not. The New York Times did a good story on it but I think it should have gone into more about the business of crafting, since a lot of people like me are trying to be full-time moms and bring money into the household without going back to work. You can call me tomorrow to interview me. My number is …

Mary

Now, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get interviewed. Heck, you might not even get a reply to your email. But you won’t know unless you try. Good luck!

Milestones

Wow! It seems like just yesterday that I started this blog. My original goal in writing was to have a place to document my many crafty projects. I never anticipated that so many people would stop by and take a look — and even leave a comment or two.

I’ve “met” a lot of neat bloggers in the past few months and seen the amazing things they are creating. While I initially viewed blogging as a pretty solitary effort, I’ve come to learn that it’s anything but. Blogging is a community activity. It’s where we gather to share, to kvetch, to encourage, to teach and to learn. And I think that’s pretty darned cool.

So thank you for stopping by to read, to chat and just to be a part of this nifty blog dealie-oh. And, as a token of that thanks, I’m going to give away stuff. Crafty stuff.  Things culled from my craft closet clean-out, among other things. I’m a giving kind of person, so there will be more than one goody bag. You must, however, play to win. How do you play? Leave a comment on this post. Do it before Friday and then I’ll do the grand drawing o’ the names. (Of course, you must be willing to also share your mailing info.)