November 14, 2011

New blog!

I have decided to move all my sewing and crafty related posts to a new blog so that I can focus more on using this blog for family stuff.  There is a link to the new blog to the right and you can also get there by clicking the title here - Journey To "A Longing Fulfilled".

November 10, 2011

Completed Sewing Projects

This is the first burp cloth I've made.  It's headed out to a cousin of a friend who recently had a baby.  

And these are my first monogrammed towels made for someone other than family!  They are for a sweet new bride.

And finally, a lap blanket for Olivia to use in the car this winter.

Wine & Design

A sweet friend contacted me a few weeks ago with the opportunity to go to Wine & Design in downtown Raleigh for the evening.  Wine & Design is relatively new to this area but growing really fast.  A new one has recently opened even closer to me in Wake Forest.  Hopefully I'll get to check it out at some point as well.

Wine & Design is essentially an art studio where you can go empty handed and walk out a couple hours later with a beautiful picture that you have painted yourself.  They obviously encourage bringing WINE also!  I did not have time to pick any up but some other classmates kindly shared with me.

When you look at the calendar to schedule your Wine & Design evening you can actually see a small photo of the planned painting for the night.  On our evening Koi Fish were planned.

This is my canvas with the background completed:

And, here it is with the green lily pads with seaweed effects (yes, I am well aware that my lily pads are gigantic) and beginnings of my Koi fish.  Note, my sweet friend is there behind my canvas checking us in on Facebook!

And, finally my finished product:

Do you notice anything?  Everyone else is GONE!!!  My perfectionist side really came out - I needed MORE WINE!  I just could not get happy with those fish to save my life!  I kept going back and adding more color, making it lighter, darker, etc.  Oy!  Finally, I just gave up!  I am really happy with my painting now but that night I just wanted it to be perfect like the one the artist did (canvas on right is her completed version)!

Disclaimer:  I was provided with free admission to Wine & Design for one evening as part of a Blogger Shout Out but all of the above opinions are mine alone.

November 03, 2011

Works In Progress

When I look around my crafting/sewing area all I see are Works In Progress (WIP) - they are everywhere!!!!!  I see on a lot of blogs that people keep track of their WIP and by golly, they actually finish most of them!  Many of my WIP are surprise gifts so I'm not sure how well this will work for me since I'll be unable to give specifics or post pics until after the gift has been received but I thought I would give it a go!

For the month of November in order to be completed:
(surprise) baby burp cloth
(surprise) set of kitchen towels (one is done already)
(surprise) swap gift for Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange - mail by Nov 30
(surprise) baby gifts for a December baby

For the month of December in order to be completed:
Applique Christmas shirt for Ariella
(surprise) gifts for 2 Secret Elfters - mail by Dec 15

Christmas gifts:  
hooded towel
(2) aprons
(14) kitchen towels

NEOC: Days 2 and 3

This is the lunch I prepared for Day 2 of the challenge - chicken pasta salad from The Fresh 20:

Did I eat it?  No....why would I do such a thing?  I let my emotions get the best of me and wandered over to McDonalds!  Bad Shannon!

Tonight I prepped a meat and rice mixture for Stuffed Peppers in the Crock Pot and made polenta for the first time.  The polenta will go in a meal I will make for lunch on Friday.

November 01, 2011

November No Eating Out Challenge: Day 1

Along with a group of my June Mommies (ladies I met online through BabyFit who all had babies around the same time I had Olivia), I am participating in a No Eating Out Challenge.  The point of the challenge is to cut back on eating out.  Since Mark has been traveling for work a lot I have been eating out a ton especially breakfast and lunch since those are times when I haven't planned anything and I am often running late for work or out at lunch on errands.  I doubt I will blog all my meals - I am not a food blogger, that is for sure - but I'll try to post a few here and there for those that might be interested and also to keep myself accountable.  My goal is to limit my eating out to one lunch and one dinner during the work week.  The weekends are a little unpredictable but I will be attempting to meal plan for those as well.

Tonight I prepped a lunch for the first time in eons!

This is the innards of Bean Burritos made with tiny bell peppers and cherry tomatoes from our recent Produce Box delivery, onion, Pampered Chef Southwest Seasoning Mix and mashed canned black beans.  I am serving this with whole wheat tortillas, cheese, and sour cream.  I am loosely planning my meals using The Fresh20, a menu planning service that is based on fresh foods, which I've been subscribing to for a couple months.

October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

For Halloween I made Olivia a cute shirt to wear to daycare and she got to put on her costume with all the other kids and march around the school (inside, since it poured cats and dogs!).  Mark was out of town so I decided against trick or treating and opted instead for a quick dinner at McDonald's and then home for a good night's rest!

October: Fall Fun

Olivia had her first trip to Hill Ridge Farms this year and she enjoyed it.  We did not get to stay very long because we got there a little late and had an event to attend that evening but here are a few pictures:

Other October events included me roasting pumpkins for the first time and a Halloween shirt for Olivia (I also did the pumpkin shirt in the pics up top).

October 21, 2011

Fall Friendship Swap Box Arrived!

I was so excited today when I got home and there was a box for ME!  Anyone who knows my house knows that packages arrive on a daily basis but they are rarely for me so this was VERY exciting!

My Fall Friendship Swap partner was Angela from Kentucky.  Angela sent me a box full of goodies and a sweet note.  I think my favorite thing was all the fun fall leaves that she put inside - I can't wait to re-purpose those in the living room!!  Here are a couple pics!

Here's what was in my box:
The Thanksgiving 101 edition of Family Circle - yay recipes!!!!!!!
A sweet little leather bag - so so soft!
Two spreaders with pumpkins on them
A purse-sized calendar for next year
Werther's candies - yum!
Eye shadow and lip gloss tubs
A plug in fragrance diffuser with an apple pie scent...mmmmm!  and,
Green Fresh Bags which are going to come in handy since I just got a big box of produce today

Thank you Angela and thank you Kristin for hosting!!!!!

October 12, 2011


Olivia and I visited the Missions Thrift Store again this past Saturday.  Mostly we got pants for her since the weather is changing and she is growing!  But, I did get one fun thing for her - this wooden thing (have no idea what it actually was supposed to be) was a steal for $6.  I would like to eventually do something creative like perhaps a little curtain over the bottom opening or cut out a square from the top and create a fake sink but for now this is sitting in our kitchen so Olivia can pretend to prepare food while I am doing the same!

Here, Olivia is enjoying the little table set I found the last time I went to the thrift store!

I love shopping there and knowing I am getting a good deal and that I am also helping our church's missions department at the same time.  

polka dots & snails

As I continue to work on my sewing/applique/embroidery skills I am beginning to put things in place for when I feel ready to begin listing my work online.  This past week I was very blessed to come in contact with Marie of autumns creek through my membership at Applique Forum.  Marie designed an awesome logo for me that I am very excited to be able to share now.

October 05, 2011

It's Fall Ya'll!

I have never been one of those people who decorates for the seasons (except Christmas of course) but now, with a 15 month old, I want to do at least a little something so we can start some traditions.  I am doing a tiny fall display and here are the first two items to make their appearance - a baby Olivia-sized pumpkin and the candy corns I've been working on!!  I found the tutorial here.

Stay tuned, I will be adding a candy dish and some fall subway art soon!

Also, I am excited to be participating for the first time in the Fall Friendship Swap!  I started working on some things last night for my swap partner but of course I won't be able to post them until after I mail them off! 

September 22, 2011

September 16, 2011

National Sewing Month

September is National Sewing Month so I thought I'd post a blog with pictures of some of my recent projects.  Most of these have been posted already to Facebook so you've probably seen them but here is a nice summary!

Halloween project I am working on that is 1/3 complete....stay tuned!

Flannel PJ pants for Olivia that did not come out right so I'll be making them again!

Taggie blanket made for a friend's baby - first embroidery "Jake"!

Olivia's outgrown jeans turned into a skirt

Learning to embroider - this one was before I figured out how to center my designs!

Applique watermelon added to Olivia's swim cover-up

Fall towel for my Mom - fabric edge added and monogrammed with "L"

July 25, 2011

Thrift Store Finds....

This weekend was the Grand Opening of Missions Thrift Store.  It will be open open two Saturdays per month at my church and the proceeds go to missions trips.  Olivia's twin from another mother and his mother invited us to come along with them for some shopping fun and here are my finds:

The Olivia-sized adirondack chair and table up top were a cute find for $20.

This Caterpillar Rocking Toy apparently retails new for $90 but I rescued him for a cool $7.50!  He's seen better days but I think once I take a vaccum to him and spot clean, he'll be good as used!  LOL!  Of course one of his antennaes is coming unsewn and he's missing foot rests and some little toy that goes in his back pocket but hey, who needs all that stuff??

And, a bread box for $5.  Wow, Shannon, that's a really BIG bread box!  Why yes it is but it won't be for long because I've got plans for this baby that do not involve bread!!  Stay tuned.....

Also, I finally finished something I've been wanting to get to for a while - a hairbow holder for the little girl.  She is finally getting some length on her hair so I wanted the bows to be out so I'll remember to use them.  I  bought the O plain and painted it green to match her room  and bought the jungle animals ribbon, which did not photograph well ,  to go with.  (Note:  I have since moved this to her room and it is against yellow paint there and I think it looks better - I'll have to take another pic soon!)

July 19, 2011

Serious Transformation....

Today my fabulous sister-in-law worked her Martha Stewart magic and transformed our office/crafting/junk room/guest room (yes, it's all in one room!) and our kitchen pantry.  Just to be fair I should tell you that some of the work you see in the after was done by me before her visit so all of this was not done in one day but these are still accurate befores and afters for the areas overall.  Here are some pics that will amaze you!

First up is an overall shot of the office, before and after:

Next is my bookcase, before and after:

Now, the office closet, before and after:

Plus a pic of my new pegboard that is over my sewing/crafting desk which my wonderful hubby spray painted and hung for me (this color does not seem to photograph well but in person it's really nice):

And, lastly, the pantry, before and after:

Linking up to Org Junkie's link party for Week 29