Things that are making me smile right now.....

Using my son's monkey sharpener and fish pencil. Shhh, don't tell him Please....
Sweet satsumas and a hot cup of tea.

Reading the post it "love notes" from my son Liam:
" I love you mom"

"I love your her" (my favorite)

"Chres I love you From Liam"

And best of all - listening to my six year old play with his childhood friend in his room next door.


Lavender Sachet + A Tutorial

Every Christmas my mom sends gifts to our relatives in Germany. We try to find local items from Seattle, at least the U.S. My mom asked me to make a sachet similar to one I gave her years ago. I was thrilled with the idea as I have lots of scraps to use. I'm really happy with the way they turned out. The gnome and ice cream truck fabric are Munki (so cute!) The Matryoshka doll fabric is from Heather Ross.
The lavender I use to fill them came from Purple Haze Lavender in Sequim, WA. It is heavenly.

To Make them you need:

  • 1) 4 - 2 1/2" squares of fabric
  • 2) Silk or Poly organza for back
  • 3) New or vintage button for front
  • 4) Stay button for Back
  • 5) Ribbon (optional)
  • 6) Lavender florets to fill sachet. I got mine here.

Cut 4 - 2 1/2" squares of fabric. I used two of each print.

Arrange the squares as you like.

Stitch the two left and then two right squares together with a 1/4" seam.

Stitch the center seam using a 1/4" s.a.

Flip the front over to the Right Side. Cut a piece of organza to fit the square and pin each corner.

Stitch around the perimeter using a 1/4"
seam allowance. Leave an opening approximately 1" centered at the bottom.
Clip the corners and press the s.a. open.
Turn to right side.

Make a funnel out of paper and fill your sachet.
I ordered 1/2 pound organic lavender which is enough to make many, many sachets!!
(My table never looks this clean. I should take photographs on it more often!)

Slip stitch the bottom opening and add a button and optional ribbon to front.
Don't forget the stay bttn on the back!


Toile and a finished project!

I adore toile fabrics and decoration. I recently purchased this book, Toiles De Jouy, which has beautiful examples of the French fabric maker's toiles.

I started collecting this version of toiles - transferware plates - about eight years ago when my husband's grandmother gifted us reproduction red and white Spode dinner plates for our wedding.
I've been collecting ever since and have purchased them on Ebay (left), at auctions (center) and on my travels in the South of France (right).

More of my ever growing collection. I found the plates on the right at my local T.J. Maxx for $1 a piece!

I recently finished these pillow covers. (Yay, 1 more thing to cross off the list!) The white swirl printed fabric is actually napkins I bougth at Anthropologie some time ago. The toile was purchased at Jo-Annes.
I love the way they turned out!
I used three self fabric covered buttons for the back envelope closure in contrast red toile with red toile binding in the same pattern. I had never made covered bttns before. They were so easy and I'm really happy with the look.

Happy sewing and collecting!


Holiday Traditions Old and New

I love Christmas. I haven't always felt this way but since having kids I seriously get into the holiday spirit. It is exciting making the boys dreams come true and to experience the wonder of Christmas through their eyes.
We have established a few family traditions in the past few years. The first is going to Snohomish the day after Thanksgiving and watching Santa enter the town in his horse drawn sleigh. Snohomish is a lovely little town and has lots of great antique shops. (I'll do a separate blog post on Snohomish in the near future!)
Another tradition is putting the Santa photos in frames and hanging them on the tree.
We always ride the carousel downtown and enjoy the "snow" at Pacific Place.
This year we started a new tradition - cutting our own tree. It wasn't purely motivated by the romance of trekking through the snow to find the perfect tree. We were tired of spending lots of $$ on the "perfect" tree. I happened to see coverage on the local new that with a $10 permit, you can go into national forest and cut your own. There are designated areas, but that being said, I was surprised at how many areas allow it.So this is the tree. At first we were a bit worried since it is much barer than the perfectly dense and shirred Xmas trees we usually get. It has grown on me and I'll have to say I rather love it. It is how nature intended. You can actually see the ornaments on the tree!
The romance of the boys having a wonderful time in the snow diminished rather fast. Luc was pretty miserable after dropping his gloves in the snow.

Liam was a good sport and wants to go back and make a snowman.

We were up on a ridge and the views were breathtaking.

We must have seen dozens of trees and after hiking about a mile......

We decided on this one. The day was not quite as I imagined but I'll cherish it always and look forward to doing it again next year.
Link for cutting your own here!


Jewelry Show this Saturday!

If anyone is looking for something fun to do tomorrow night, there is a fabulous jewelry show and party (oh yes.....there will be lots of wine and food) at Danaca Design in the U-District. Myself as well as nine other talented designers will be showcasing their work. We are raffling off an incredible necklace for only $5 a ticket. Each and every designer collaborated on the necklace by making a bead. Proceeds benefit the Jewelry Art Stimulus Fund which will provide scholarships for jewelry classes at the studio.
We are also featuring many of the artist's jewelry as well as some paintings and stones in a silent auction which will also benefit the scholarship fund. Check out the link for photos of the items!
Following are some of my favorite pieces!
Yes....I have been a busy bee!!!!


Holiday Inspiration

It has been a crazy past few weeks in the Randell household. We have been continously sick with a cold or the flu which explains my lack of blog posts.
I'm so excited for Christmas this year. Seems like the Fall is flying by and Christmas is just around the corner! I have been perusing the web and found these lovely projects and images I just had to share. . . . . . . .
I think these beaded snowflakes are absolustely lovely.

I'm excited to try making this wreath. Wouldn't it look lovely over a fireplace?

And last, these beautiful images from tinekhome.
There is definitely a silver & white theme happening here!
Have a lovely day!


Cute (free) Skirt Pattern

I found this super cute skirt pattern here.
I love the ruffle detail, the flower applique and the wool jersey fabric it is made out of.
I think I will use this flower as inspiration for the flowers on this skirt.
The instructions can be found on Heather Bailey's website here.
Hope you are enjoying your week!


Some Cool Freebies

These days I LOVE freebies. We are keeping costs down in our household as I'm sure many others families are in these trying economic times! So when I saw this link on one of my favorite blogs, I was quite excited. They have the cutest calling cards as well as free downloadable gift and thank you cards. I'm especially excited about the calling cards. I have business cards but they are out of date. It is pretty embarassing to be a freelance designer and jeweler and not have a card to give to new contacts!

My other recent favorite freebie is this pattern on the Burda website. It is from the new book Twinkle Sews. You may be familiar with Wenlan Chia's fabulous knitting books. You can print the pattern at home and even though it is 50 pages it is still cheaper that buying a pattern. I have this wonderful green double knit that will be perfect for this skirt. I plan on buying the book when $ aren't so tight. It really is wonderful and the designs are adorable!
Happy Creating!!


Too many projects, too little time.....

I love to make things and dabble in all kinds of crafty mediums
but lately it has been all about sewing.

Maybe it is because I have a dedicated place to sew. Luc is sharing a room with Liam now so I have the third bedroom to use as my office and studio space. I've been back to the jewelry studio at Danaca Design but I'm not feeling the love for the jewelry thing. I'm sure it can be attributed to not having a jewelry studio at home. I did at the old house and it was so nice to start a project, leave it on my bench, and come back to it at my leisure. I do love the overall relaxed and creative energy as well as the adult interaction and friends that I've made at the studio. Maybe I'm creatively fickle. Maybe I've just been enjoying making things for myself and the boys?!

I did figure out what to do with this. This is the beginnings of a quilt made with small squares all out of vintage fabric from the 30's.
I've spent the last few nights taking it apart getting it ready to use for the project.

I saw this image and had an aha moment. The squares I have are small (approx 3" x 3")
and I knew this would be the perfect use for all those lovely squares. I found a great website here that explains the history as well as the technique.

The technique is English paper piecing and the pattern is called Grandmother's flower garden. It is done entirely by hand which speaks to my love of intricate details and handcrafted items.

I'm also working on some p.j's for the boys, new pillow covers for our bed as well as some clothes for myself. I can't complain, life is good and I'm looking forward to finishing some projects!!


I've got the bug.....

The quilting bug that is. It is something I've always wanted to try and I love it! I finished my very first block lastnight! I've been collecting these Munki pj's that have the most adorable prints by Heather Ross.
I think they are great for quilting and I'm really looking forward to using them.
You can read more about the Munki obsession here.

I went looking for this lastnight. I found it at a yard sale years ago. It is the beginning of a quilt and looks like the squares are made from vintage fabric. For years I've been trying to figure out what to do with it. I think I'll be taking it apart and using the pieces for a future quilt!
Two of my favorite prints!
Happy Sewing!


Anthropologie Love

Paint by number plates. How cool is that?

I just received the October issue of Anthropologie. I Love, Love, Love this store. If I had to choose only one place to shop it would be here. I've attached some of my faves. Happy shopping!