Friday, February 26, 2010

39 squares

Here's my freestyle sampler that I'm stitching along with Teresa. As you can see, I went a little overboard in this one little patch. Hopefully as I fill in other areas it will balance out. We'll see.

My birthday month starts Monday and I really do want to do the 39 squares project. I even started a blog for it. If you want to play along, click over there and leave a comment in the first post and I'll add you to the blogroll. It's just one tiny little postage-stamp square a can do it! (Even if you've already commented here that you want to play along, submit a comment there too so I'll have it all together.)

I've been gathering some pictures of past grid-samplers and I found these taken of the one I made for a friend as a swap. I'm thinking that my birthday sampler will have this same look and, light, bright, super happy.
Are you inspired yet? I can't wait to do my first square!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

stamp sets

I love all these stamp sets I just added to the shop. I'm thinking about stamping them onto tea towels and embroidering them. Can't you just see this on a pretty tea towel, with a pom pom fringe. Oh yes.

Wouldn't it be fun to do a whole series of them?

Click here to purchase any of these stamp sets.

I'm on a bit of a stitching kick, aren't I? And I am seriously thinking I'll do the 39 squares for 39 years sampler. Want to do it along with me? We could do a group blog or something. Let me know if you're interested. Otherwise, maybe I'll just do a little widget to the side of my blog that shows each square each day. Starting March 1.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

hope's sampler

I was thinking about the sampler I made for Hope's wedding last fall and I realized that I never showed you pictures. I had the idea that I wanted to make it the biggest grid sampler I could manage. It ended up being 60 squares and boy did it ever take some time to finish.

Looking back at these pictures, I'm remembering how lovely it turned out. I toned down my usual bright palette to match Hope's more sophisticated tonal palette and I used some of my very best buttons and buckles and lace and such.

I'm thinking about starting a new one of these extra large samplers and just tackling one square per day. If it's a busy day, maybe it's just a button sewed into place. Less busy days get more elaborate squares. Doesn't that sound fun? I'm thinking it would be a fun project for my birthday month. Next month I turn 39. I can't believe it. This will be my last year as a thirty something. How about that?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

book report

I was at the bookstore the other day and just about fell over myself when I spied this book on the bookshelves. Have you seen it? It's amazing...

This is my very favorite of all the pictures in the book (although this isn't a project in the book exactly there's a template to make this same cottage into a pillow)

All of the projects have detailed templates in the back, color on one side and line drawings on the other. I love this rose template and the project that uses it calls for layers of applique. It looks like a paint by number to it!

And just look at this sweet design for a baby's hooded towel. Wouldn't that make the sweetest baby gift?

This book is pure eye candy and even if I don't do a single project, I'll pore through the pages and soak it all in.

Monday, February 22, 2010

stitching along

I signed up for Teresa's latest ezine, Free Style Embroidery, and I'm having the best time stitching along. What makes this ezine special and fun is that we get 10 how-to videos. I just love how the sampler is shaping up and I'm already imagining what a sweet little pillow it will make.

We visited my folks this weekend and it was such a fun trip. Alfredo loves playing with Shelby and Seth and Maggie. Those guys enjoy a level of rough and tumble kind of play that's new to him but he loves it. He jumps right on top of that pile!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

an update

It started last week, with the snow. And now we're on our 3rd puzzle. We were getting a bit bored of television and being stuck inside so one day I pulled out a puzzle. Omar (Alfredo's papa) had never really put one together and now he's hooked. And the best part is that this gentle pastime is bringing us all a bit closer together. 

Omar found a job and started this week. It seems like a really nice place and he's fitting in nicely. Alfredo and I popped in this morning and were treated to a free breakfast sandwich. Isn't that nice?

Hope you're having a good day...things are going so great around here. Alfredo is positively thriving, saying the most amazing things I've ever heard from a 3 year old. wouldn't believe the things he says. And we just started classes at The Little Gym and he looks like he's getting ready for the Olympics the way he swings on the rings and balances on the beam. Thanks for letting me brag a little.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

all hearts and a favor

I know Valentine's Day is over but I'm so inspired by this purse (Lucky Brand)
At first, I didn't even really notice it...the colors are too dark for me.
But let's just imagine it as a brighter version...

So I think I'm going to work on making a bag like the one I made in Charlotte's class completely covered with overlapping hearts. It'll be a nice project to work quietly. A nice lap project.

p.s. Will you help me spread the word about the freebie pdf I showed you yesterday? Mention it in your blog with any of the following pictures and a link to my OpenSky shop and you'll get a 15% coupon good for any product in my OpenSky shop. Just comment here with your blog address or shoot me an email (amy @ inspireco. com)and I'll send you the code for the coupon.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I just added this new stamp set to my OpenSky shop and I couldn't wait to show you. Isn't she lovely? She comes with an overlay stamp that adds a shadow effect to the face...genius!

For a limited time when you buy this stamp set from my OpenSky shop, you'll get my tutorial on how to make my little stitched version of a paper doll using the stamp.

Click here to purchase...and the pdf will be mailed to you shortly after.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010


How are we surviving cabin fever?
We've converted the kitchen into a zoo.

And here's our favorite zookeeper, wrangling a lion.

And here's a little project I've been working on. A wreath of roses made from Angelina fibers!

And here's that terrible junk drawer. It's looks so neat closed. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


We're so snowed in. It's been a whole week since I've been anywhere exciting. And by exciting, I mean the grocery store. I am getting some really fun mail, though. And keeping busy making things. But that burst of organizing energy was short lived. I never did make it to the junk drawer. I took a before picture, which, if you beg me, I'll show you.

Meanwhile, look at this fun product from my OpenSky shop. I love this mailing label tape. Just imagine how easy it is to's a perferated tape, so all you do is unroll and tear off your label. You get 120 of these extra large labels on a roll...

Think outside the could make wine labels!

Look at these fun cards!

I know you'll think of a million uses. Click here to buy.

Monday, February 8, 2010

getting real, part one

I'm the sort of person whose cupboards and closets and garage and under-bed are a jumbled up mess of stuff, stashed away, out of site. Today as I literally threw a spice into the leaning tower of spices otherwise known as my spice cupboard, I started considering this tendency.

I had the thought that this kind of behavior is not very mature...and wondered how it might mirror in how I handle other less tangible messes in my life. What do I do with conflict? What happens when something not so pleasant pops up?

I'm a big-time sweeper of things under the rug.

If things appear okay on the outside, then things are okay. Even if everything inside is about to topple over.

I'm not saying that my life is in turmoil...not at all. But my spice cupboard is. And several other places.

So I had this thought...if I cleared out these places...took responsibility and ordered the would make me feel better in some hidden place inside my mind that lives in fear that someone will someday open up all my cupboards and hidden places to find all my secret messes. Would it help me recognize this tendency with how I handle my emotions and give me a blueprint for how to conquer that too?

We'll see.

But today, I start with this cupboard. Stay tuned for the more organized after.

Want to play along? What messes are you hiding? Are you ready to make order?

That didn't take long...

I sorted the spices and found that I had a whole bunch of the same spices. What happens is if I'm not sure I have a spice at home, I buy another. Even if I'm at home putting together the grocery list, if it's too much trouble to sort through the rubble of the spice cupboard, I'd just buy another. I had 5 jars of Emeril's Original Essence. That's not right.

I threw out anything that seemed old or that I couldn't remember ever buying. I put duplicate jars in the middle and top shelves. I put the things I use the most at the bottom shelf and on the door.

I feel fresh and happy and free. Yes, just a little bit free. This is a good feeling.

Today, Spice Cabinet. Tomorrow, Junk Drawer.