Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Go Ahead, Just Try to Steal My Joy

My pal, Denise, is all about the joy.  This morning on facebook, she posted "if someone tries to steal your joy, let them have it -- maybe they are lacking some."

Ah.  Yes.  Just what I needed to hear.

Yesterday, I was at an agency to give a class, and the receptionist "greeted" me with a "May I help you?" in the same manner as she would have said, "You stink and I hate you."

I think the shock must have shown on my face, and at the same moment, she saw my name tag and realized that I wasn't there for assistance. An uncomfortable moment.

As I waited for my class to start (and as she avoided looking at me),  I considered what to do.  Should I say something to someone?  What would I say?  "Hey, that woman in front said 'May I help you' in a nasty tone?"  Or "You might want to have a little talk with her about customer service and civility?"

And as I waited, I noticed that her tone changed -- she seemed to be much gentler with the clients who came through the door.

And as I waited, I tried to consider her situation.  All day long, people come in and out her door, needing help.  She sees it all, I am sure.  Maybe yesterday morning, she had already seen too much for one day.  Maybe, like me, she was wondering when it became OK to wear pajamas to an appointment.  Maybe, like me, she was wondering why a mom would bring two little barefoot boys into the office; maybe she was wondering if she might have some little tennis shoes or flip flops in her garage that she could run home and get for them, because it was too chilly for bare feet.   Maybe, like me, she was just sad that so many people need help -- dollars are short, needs are great.

For yesterday's class, I had made a healthy snack mix, and since I never know how many clients I will see at this office, I made up a lot of bags, and had many left over.  So, I handed the receptionist one on my way out.  And I smiled and told her to have a good day.  That'll show her.

When I was telling Will this story last night, he said, "Good one, mom.  Kill her with kindness."

But I think Denise's way is the better way to look at it.  For a little bit there, I let that woman steal my joy.

No way, lady.  I've worked hard for this joy, and I'm not giving it up without a fight. I'll share it, though.

Peace.  And joy.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Car Seat Cover

 I really love yellow -- as a "blonde", I don't look good in yellow, but love that spring comes in with yellow and summer exits that way, too.

My sweet friend Lauren chose yellow and grey for her new baby's room, so I decided to follow her lead and make a yellow and grey quilt.  I started collecting fabrics months ago, but at a baby shower we held for her, someone else gave her a beautiful handmade baby quilt, so I shifted gears a bit.  And went to pinterest.

I had been seeing a lot of car seat covers pinned, and thought that might be a perfect gift. After reading several different blog posts on the covers (here, here and here), I combined a few ideas into my own, and came up with this:

It's not really a quilt:  there are only 2 layers, and no machine or hand quilting to hold them together.  But I love to piece, and had so many cool fabrics that I decided to make it look like a quilt, anyway.

As you know, I am a huge fan of Crimson Tate, the grooviest little quilt shop ever.  There, I found this cute Heather Ross fabric - Snow White and the 7 dwarfs, in yellow and gray.  Perfect.  (And who could resist all those little longjohns hanging on the line?)

Following the other blogger's leads, I used a yard of the backing fabric (which I failed to take a picture of -- it is lovely soft Minkey fabric, in yellow - this is what it looks like) and then pieced the top to match that size.  I rounded off the corners for easier sewing, then pinned the edging around.  (I had hoped to find some jumbo rickrack in yellow or grey, as in the example, but no luck.  I did find some white ruffled edging at Hobby Lobby, so I dyed it a soft grey -- I think it worked just fine.)  Then, I simply sewed front and back, right sides together, leaving an opening for turning, then turned inside out and sewed up the opening.

The whole idea of these car seat covers is that they are attached to the handle of the seat and keep the wind and cold off of the baby.  I saw many ways to do this, but like the little bows and velcro straps the best.  I set these in 11" from the sides and 20" from one edge.
Since I don't have a little car seat around any more (!), I tried to use my bike to illustrate how this is supposed to work:

When the sweet baby outgrows her car seat, I was thinking we could just take off the bows and she could use it as a play blanket.  However, our friend, Pam said the loops would be good for small motor play, and who doesn't love to zip and unzip velcro?

This was such fun, I have two more in the works, which I need to complete before the cool fall weather moves in.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fancying Up The Workroom

I spend a lot of time up in my workroom:  sewing, scrapping, blogging, writing, and even real work.  (My office is 13 miles away, and I can log on to my work email from home -- handy!)  So, I am always on the lookout for things to brighten up my space.

I needed some sort of memo board close to the sewing machine where I could keep track of all my projects.  So I bought this:
Not very interesting, is it?
I had a leftover piece of Heather Bailey fabric, so I ironed it, trimmed it with the exacto knife and used some spray adhesive to keep it in place:

A little leftover rickrack hot glued on:
A little more rickrack, jumbo variety:
And some big red buttons for the corners:

Unfortunately, the dry erase side is already full of projects I need to complete!

How cute are these bookends I found at Trader Baker's?
And I love this stately cocker spaniel -- he was only $1.00

Perhaps because he started out life as a planter:

And I made some tags for my fabric bins with Martha Stewart chalkboard stickers (the bins are on the top shelf, and not too easy to photograph):

It's all probably too busy, but at least I have something cute to look at when I get writer's block.  Or crafty block.  (It happens!)