Friday, February 29, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again!

You know, it's hard to edit pictures outside! It's so sunny, and there's a glare on the computer whether I'm in the shade or in the sun. So, I HOPE the pics I post today don't look too off! If they do--you know why!

This first picture is of the Pea Pod Blanket I'm working on for a certain Sweet Pea! I used lavender flannel for the Toddler Blanket, and hand appliqued the peas (with funny faces, as per Sweet Pea's Mom's instructions!) and the pod. Then I added some curly vines. I think it's pretty cute. There's some padding under the peas and the pod, too.

This next picture is of the baby quilt sis-in-law ordered. Aren't the tractors adorable???!!! I love their colors!

I still have to do the finishing touches to the quilt--cutting any stray strings, rolling it with a lint roller, and one final pressing. I also need to hand sew a blanket stitch around the Pea Pod Blanket, and press it one last time--and it'll be on its way hopefully tomorrow!

It feels good to not be as sick anymore--and to be able to accomplish some sewing! I'm still wearing down quicker than normal, but I am able to work and sew and take care of my kiddos--and I think Husband will be happy to have his wife back to normal!

I don't know if I'll get any more blog posts up before our vacation--so if not, have a happy week next week!

MonsterBug Blankets

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Getting Back to Work

Well today was a start. I got cracking on my two custom orders--they are cut out, the baby blanket edges are sewn, and the binding is sewn for the baby quilt. I would still be working on the quilt, but the little monsters awoke, and I have a brief amount of time before I need to get them. I hope and pray that I'll have enough energy tonight to quilt the layers of the quilt, so I can sew the binding on tomorrow, and then get to working on making applique pea pods and peas for the blanket. I'll hand stitch the edges of the blanket later tonight while watching tv with husband. And probably finish the edges tomorrow.

Why am I in such a mad rush?--well, we leave for vacation Monday, and I need to get these two orders mailed off before we leave! Plus all the prep work for getting out of town--laundry and bills paid and dog instructions written and housework, etc. Oh, and packing! It sends me into a flu relapse just thinking about it all! :)

Instead of napping today, I kept thinking about what I'd do to let people who visited my shop know I was on vacation: notes to buyer (on etsy) with when I'll be shipping items, announcement in my shop and website, change avatar to vacation mode, send out a bulletin to my myspace friends, and a note on myspace. Is that everything?? Do I have all my bases covered??? Oh, and also I have the price changes to make on Saturday, as I up my baby blanket prices to more accurately account for the price of fabrics. It seems like so much to do!

MySpace has been kinda neat, as I reconnected with friends from college. Theological discussions are always fun for me, as I hear other's ideas and beliefs and how God is changing them. :) I don't get that much anymore, so I love it when I do get the chance! And I read up on profiles from people I went to high school with. No one I was really close to--just people that used to make up my day to day life, way back when. I'm glad things are going well for them! I'm still a bit clueless as to how this is supposed to bring in business, but I've done it now--so I will keep at it for awhile.

I suppose those crazy ones need their momma now! I think I could use some baby hugs and kisses, too! They keep me going!

MonsterBug Blankets

Monday, February 25, 2008

Still Sick and HATING It!

I finally listed my new creations on etsy today. :) And last night I set up a MySpace account ( I didn't like how stupid I felt while trying to set it up--it wasn't very user friendly! Of course, the first time I've EVER been on MySpace was 2 weeks ago when Sewing Guru aka Very Verdant set up her account. My GenX roots are showing big time, huh! I still don't know how to use things on myspace, or how to search for people, or really what else to do with the site! Again, those GenX roots--thank goodness they aren't grey roots!!!!

I feel absolutely horrid. Every day I wake up and feel ok, and then by 1030, I am slammed against a wall of exhaustion and can't do much past that. I keep thinking it's been long enough--I shouldn't STILL be sick with the flu. But I am, and I HATE it! Today I feel worse than I have. I'm thankful Husband went into work this afternoon--and was home all morning. He took care of the kids for me. Kinda wish he had this schedule last week when I was in bed with Bug bouncing in and out of the room and Monster upstairs awake, but I couldn't go get him cause I couldn't move. Then maybe I would be better by now???

I need to get Sis-in-law's quilt worked on--was hoping to do it today. :( But I can see that's not gonna happen! Not unless I get to feeling better later this evening. I think the combo of church yesterday morning and grocery shopping all afternoon just kicked my butt yesterday.

Wish I could write more--but not up to it! Just wanted to say hey, I'm alive today! :) (Barely!)

MonsterBug Blankets

Sunday, February 24, 2008

New Play Blanket

This is one of the ideas I've been tumbling around in my head--and I actually had some energy after the kids went to bed last night--so I worked on it. Didn't take too long to do--even though it is a prototype (prototypes usually take forever, and don't usually turn out the first try--or even the second--this one turned out first try! YAH!). I think in a few months, I'll probably make these bigger than 12"x12", but I have 8 million 13.5" squares begging to be made into something fun, so I'm using them! :) This Play Blanket can go with the new Appliqued Baby Set I featured yesterday, OR it can be sold alone. I didn't do any hand-stitching on this--I wanted those ribbons to be super-duper extra secure (they are sewn more than four times!). I figure the only way baby is going to get one of these ribbons off is if she has scissors--and WHY would a baby have scissors!??!!

I have some ideas for boy ones, but need time to play around with exactly how I'm going to do them. Those prototypes will probably take longer and need more editing!

Gotta get the kids up and ready!

MonsterBug Blankets

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Appliqued Baby Blanket Set

Here it is--my new Appliqued Baby Blanket Set. Turtles for boys--coming soon!!!
I'm soooo excited about these new Baby Blanket Sets I'm making! I love to applique, and find these soooo fun to make! I have several ideas for these, too! Can't wait to get more made up to show off!!! (I have more details about this set on my website:

I'm looking at making some onesies to go along with--and maybe bibs, too. I also have TONS of ideas for an alternative to Tag Blankets--all coming soon!

Look at the blanket my sister-in-law brought me from Guatemala:

My sis #2 has a similar one in pink and blues, and I cuddled under it a ton when I was up north. Hearing Sis-in-Law was heading for a trip to see her parents, I gave her some money to get me one (since I'm the only one who hasn't been to Guatemala--couldn't make it for my brother's wedding). And this lovely orange blanket showed up today! YAH! I'd pretty much forgotten about it, so this was a great surprise!

That's it for today. :)

MonsterBug Blankets

Thursday, February 21, 2008


This is my new little guy. He's appliqued on a burp cloth, and will also be on a baby blanket. The opposite side will be the black/tan/yellow/white plaid that makes up his body. I forgot to put on his eyes--oops! Bug needed me and I didn't do it yet! They'll be french knots. Cute, huh! There will be other little cuties coming soon!
I want to write more--but the lovely flu has hit me hard, and this is all I have in me.
MonsterBug Blankets

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Afternoon Out

Yesterday was my day to have Mommy Time--alone! :) Husband is so good about scheduling this for me. It helps make me sane--and makes me love my family oh so much more! And I had a lovely afternoon!

I had errands to run, and ended up over in Enterprise, AL. There's a fun little antique/junk store (Gaston's, on Glover Ave) that I enjoy browsing through. I bought Bug's bed there, and Monster's dresser, and a couple of cutter quilts I just couldn't cut--so I use them and enjoy that they are a bit raggedy. :) Turns out they are going out of business in May--boohoo--but they have a great sale going on--25% off all furniture and 50% off everything else. I saw some old, wooden ironing boards that I wouldn't mind getting. Usually I shop upstairs only--cause the downstairs is where all the expensive antiques are. :) But I still do a walk through, and am I glad I did. There was a gorgeous quilt sitting on a sofa, and I inspected it, looking for a price. There was none, but the owner was going in and out, and told me that he'd take $10 for it! Ten bucks for a pretty quilt in good condition--all hand sewn, made of feedsack, etc??? Yup--it's in my laundry pile right now--waiting to be washed! :)

I stopped into the Singer Sewing Center, too. I wanted to see if they had anymore of the jungle fabric, as I've had alot of good feedback on that print, and I'd like to get some more. It's there--great news for in the future! They had a giraffe print minky fabric on sale last time, and still had it yesterday--so I scooped that up to make a blanket for my Bug. I also bought some navy corduroy, thinking it would go with the tractor fabric I was waiting on for Sis-in-law's quilt. (It doesn't).

As I was coming back home, I decided (after wrestling back and forth) to stop at the quilt shop and buy another yard of a pretty flower print I got last week. I want to make a baby blanket with applique on it, but needed more than the yard I have. As I'm in there, someone comes through the front door, wondering loudly, "Who is MonsterBug Blankets?" She'd read the lettering on the back of my car (thanks, Monsterpromos!), and was curious! Long story short--I ended up bringing my whole rubbermaid tub of blankets into the store, and people got to dig through them all--and I got a sale! :) YAH!!!!

What's neat is that as I headed out on my errands, I prayed and asked God to please bring me a sale/some sales--whether locally or on the internet--or both! :) And He provided a sale for me. :) I'm soooo glad!

There was a forum post on etsy the other night that asked how our sales were month by month over the past 6 months. We had to write out "September--___ sales." I was curious, so I did it--and you know what--it was very encouraging! Because I usually check my etsy store 2-6 times a day, wondering if I made a sale--and it makes one or two or four sales seem not important. I just see the 5 million times I checked and had no sales. But I got to see that month by month, my sales are pretty steady--even if they aren't over the top. I've made anywhere from 4-9 sales a month since September--minus Nov, when I was up north for Grampa's funeral.

And lastly--here's a peek at a burp cloth I made two days ago. It's all made by me--no gerber cloth diapers in there! I want to make all my burp cloths similar to it--fabric print on one side, two layers of flannel, and a pretty design on the flannel side. Tell me what you think!

MonsterBug Blankets

PS--Very Verdant wrote a neat feature of the Front Porch Quilt Shoppe where we like to buy our fabric! Check it out! (Click here to read)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Very Verdant

I FINALLY get to showcase the talents of my dear friend from Very Verdant, aka Sewing Guru. Look at what she made me! This GORGEOUS apron to wear when we sell at the Piney Woods Arts Festival! The two pockets on the left (my right when I wear it) are for pens, the one in the middle is big--for lots and lots of money!, and the one on the right is for business cards or my cell phone. I might even start wearing it when I cut out fabric--it'll keep my scissors and measuring tape handy!

Sewing Guru started Very Verdant in December 2007, though it's been a dream of hers for a long time. She sells personal pouches--which I wish were around when I was a teenager, sack packs for tweens/teens, jewelry, and has plans for so much more! The focus of her shop is on school-aged children, teens, and young adults--and their needs, likes, wants. Please check out her website: (Oh, she's also selling aprons--each one is one of a kind!)

My Bug has gotten LOTS of pretties from Sewing Guru--skirts, dresses, short and pants outfits, nightgowns, purses, hairbows! She has her own sack pack--I just knotted the straps to make it fit her. And Sewing Guru has sewn gorgeous hand-smocked nightgowns for her, too. I don't think there's anything she CAN'T sew! :)

So check out her shop--and come visit us as we sell together in March!

MonsterBug Blankets

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I got some goodies in the mail today--wish I could keep them all!!! My sis (#2 by order of age) sent some of her photos for me to sell at the Piney Woods Arts Festival in March. And they are GORGEOUS! There's one of a brooding, grumpy gorilla--too funny! I look like him when I wake up!

Check out her website: And, if you are in the Triangle area of NC--she does portraits! Sis met a mom and her son at a park today and spent awhile getting to know them and photographing the little boy. She used her zoom lens so she could sit back a ways, and capture him in play. How sweet!

That's all I have in me today--everyone is sick. yippee.

MonsterBug Blankets

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Fun Project!

These are the burp cloths I finished yesterday. I wish I could say I sewed more with all the time alone after Monster and Bug went to bed--but I'm a mommy. And I get tired after a full day of kiddo chasing. And I was tired last night. So I bopped around online (feeling GUILTY for not sewing) before my sis-in-law called. She ordered a baby quilt from me, and gave me a reason to do more research online! I HAD to find a tractor/truck/all boy kind of fabric for the new quilt! Click here to see what she chose! I like the colors--they also carry it in a black background, which I LOVE! (BTW--If you ever order from J&O Fabrics--you may want to call them--online they only offer UPS shipping, but by calling I got the postage cut in half--by having them ship it USPS.)

I woke up early this morning, and was able to start on something fun! I decided to work a bit on the applique idea I have for blankets (and more)! Here's what I did today:

It's going to be a blanket with two layers--this will be one side (you see the bottom right corner), and the other side is the print shown in the flowers. I had to call Sewing Guru to get advice on how to keep the flowers from shredding away. The edges are undone--left to get a wee bit raggy. She advised to use iron-on fusing on the backs, to machine sew around the circle to stop the fraying from going too far, and then to hand-stitch the flowers in place. I pulled the thread a bit tight, causing the circles to pucker a little--exactly the look I wanted--just didn't know HOW to get it! The first one I worked on, I used a hoop to pull it tight, and the stitches didn't pucker--but I tore out the stitches to prep it per Sewing Guru's advice, and then couldn't find the hoop, so I just held it by hand and pulled too tight, and am in love with it!!! Only thing I will do different next time--I want to add a bit of batting on the inside of each flower--to puff them out a tiny bit!

I'm seriously debating raising my prices a bit. Starting out, I shopped for deals, and found fabrics within a certain price range. I based my baby blanket prices on the average of what I paid. But as I am nearly through my original stash of fabric--or at least what I can REALLY use--I'm finding that 1. I've become a fabric snob--and only want to use the BEST fabrics, and 2. people are requesting more and more custom fabrics, and unless there's a sale going on that week--I'm paying the $8.50+ a yard for the fabric, when my budget is almost half that! The price change won't be significant. I can still get good deals on flannels and sale fabrics. But I'm thinking of adding $1.50-2.00 per yard to the prices I charge. That will be a more realistic price for my costs.

That's all for tonight! :)
MonsterBug Blankets

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Finally, Some Sewing Completed!

As I try to post this--the Monster and the Bug are "playing" upstairs--both awake from their naps--one still in his crib. I can hear them down here! Monster likes to scream for some reason--probably because Bug HATES it--and he likes to be a stinker towards her already!

Anyway, they both took long naps today, so I got to work more on those burp cloths I've been messing with all week. I have this super-cool idea for new ones invloving applique, but since I don't have the time to fiddle with them and get them just so--I had to stick with the ones already cut out and prepped--the ones I already know how to make and can sew easily. I also got an idea from the owner of the quilt shop that I want to play with. She used it for making pillowcases, but I think it would work for my burp cloths, too--and cut down on some of the prep. I'm also (lots of also's!) wanting to possibly make my own burp cloths out of flannel, instead of buying them from Gerber. I HATE that the Gerber ends aren't straight and even. Sewing Guru is pretty sure that the premium ones ARE straight--but they are thinner and more expensive and not sold around here (at least not when I look for them)--and I COULD just make my own for all the time and effort (and shipping) I'd put out trying to get some.

Husband has something going on till late tonight--so I'm hoping for several hours of sewing quietness once the Monsters go to bed! :) YAH! There's a very sweet calm that comes with just the sound of the machine humming away--and the satisfaction of completing my work!

I'd like to finish off those burp cloths--and/or some tag blankets tonight. I had an idea I want to try with sewing the tag blankets. My most hated part is pinning all those ribbon tags. It takes FOREVER!!! So, I was thinking of basting the ribbons on, then sewing the three layers together. This way I can be sure the ribbons are straight while I sew. And I'll be sewing, instead of pinning for 5 million years before the sewing part. I don't know that it'll make anything go by more quickly, but I want to try it.

It felt great to sew this afternoon--the sun even peeked on me while I was working! :) For all my boasting of spring being here (I have a pollen-green car to back me up!), the temps turned cold today--don't think we got out of the 30's. Guess we still have a bit of coldness to contend with before full-fledged, azalea-blooming, hot-temps spring arrives!

That's all--gotta get those two before they break something! :)

MonsterBug Blankets

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Flamingo Baby Blanket

I tried to sew this morning, but the kids were crazy and nothing was getting accomplished. I ran away for an hour to our town's coffee shop for a bit of sanity. The barista is a sweetie--always so very friendly and nice. She asked me how my business was going, then asked about my prices. Her brother has a baby girl on the way, and she wanted a flamingo blanket for her! YAH!

After lunch, Monster, Bug, and I headed to the quilt shop to buy the flamingo fabric for the blanket. Once the kids were asleep, I got to work! Isn't it sweet!
I have so much more to do--but also have ideas for a million other projects. I want to do the new things, and put aside the others. :(
Sewing Guru sent me several vendor applications for more craft shows in May and July. It freaked me out a bit last night--I can't imagine doing more shows when the first one isn't here yet! :) We talked today, and she just wants us to check them out this year--to see if we'll be interested in doing them next year. WHEW! It's hard to figure out what to do--what to put my time and effort into. Etsy? Craft shows? Myspace?? Other???? I just feel torn and confused at times. Wondering if what I'm doing is right, or enough--should I try this or that? It's all crazy at times.
MonsterBug Blankets

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunny Afternoon

This afternoon the sun was shining through my front windows, spilling over my work table. How could I NOT sit down and sew??? I'm working on burp cloths this week, and right now I'm adding a bit of trim to the fabric strip that'll go at the bottom of the burp cloths. It's a fun little project--everything is already cut--so I can sew, sew, sew, and not have to do any prep. It's relaxing and fun pairing the different colors and strips together. I didn't get to sew all afternoon, like I would have LOVED to! But it was a pretty day, and I enjoyed getting outside in the sun, the warmth, and the breezes! (I know--all of you further north are probably HATING me right now--but it is spring here in lower Alabama!)

I'd LOVE a sunny, lazy afternoon, just sitting and sewing away. Thinking--or not--while my machine hums away. This weekend I just about ached to do this--but we had company, the kids woke up early, or we were working on taxes. It's ok, I enjoyed what we did, but part of me is dying to sew! :) The past few weeks of weariness and sickness and gloomy weather sapped my energy and desire to create--but now that sunniness has me wanting to work! Of course, it's supposed to rain tomorrow again. We need it--but I WANT to sit in the sun and sew!!! :)

That's all for now!
MonsterBug Blankets

Saturday, February 9, 2008

This Week

I feel so guilty--such a bad little blogger. The past two weeks have been hard, to say the least, and I hope and pray that this new week will bring lots of health and rest and creativity! :)

I DID get four sales on etsy this week! YAH! :) My aunt stocked up on some baby gifts, and I had a custom order for my Valentine Chunky Crayons! YAH! Bad thing was, I based the crayon postage on the weight of the crayons themselves--forgetting the weight of the box, bubble wrap, bags, cards, tags, etc. So I ended up eating $4.00 in postage--on a $13.50 sale. Not so good! I'm also hoping for a custom order to come through from a lady I've been convoing back and forth. (Convo is etsy speak for messages to the seller.)

I had fun packaging up the little crayons for the custom order. They looked soooo pretty in the little bags with all that crinkle paper! I thought of the little kiddos who would get them--and hope they are quite excited by them! I wanted to take a picture, but it was midnight, dark, and I was tired. And I wanted the box to be completely prepped for the next day--so I wouldn't be trying to get it done with a Monster and a Bug under foot! (THAT makes me crazy!!!) But I had a cute idea to package some up and take some pics of them in an Easter basket with the little plastic eggs and grass in there! What a GREAT alternative to chocolate for Easter!!! :) I originally wanted to display them in this manner for the craft fair, but then I found out that Easter was before the fair--so now I'll have to come up with something else adorable!

I have a pile of pink buckets and sand buckets with shovels--and I keep thinking they will be neat to use at the craft fair--maybe with some Baby Bundle gifts??? I'm still trying to figure them out. Late March will be getting warm--and people will be in a beach mood around then. (It was 79 degrees the other day here--around the 70's today--so March WILL be warm!)

Anyway, I'm about shot for tonight. I DID love my blog today! :)

MonsterBug Blankets

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I didn't sleep well last night. I woke up about an hour after falling asleep and couldn't go back to sleep. I tried to list several things on etsy, but their site had a glitch and pictures weren't loading. So I went to, and put up the Valentine Chunky Crayons I worked on Sunday. Sewing Guru mentioned to do this, and I wish I'd done it a day earlier--only I can't think of when I would have done it!

Aren't they cute??? Bug helped me take off the wrappers (soaking them in water helps alot--though I still have about 50-60 VERY stubborn ones to work on!), and she helped me break the crayons, and put them in the muffin tin. :) She LOVES to help with all this!

I have so many, many more to do! I'm selling them online and at the craft fair in March. ($1 a crayon, 4 for $3.50--any takers???) I was planning on bagging three of them together in a clear bag tied with ribbon:

But as I thought about it, I like the idea of having a bunch out in a container, and letting people buy one or four or ten, and being able to choose the colors they want. Then I'll bag them up, I suppose. :)

Back to not sleeping--it was only after Husband woke for work that I realized I was frightened by the storms that are sweeping through the south. Even after realizing my fears, I had difficulty falling and staying asleep. Last March really frightened me--with the tornado that destroyed a local high school--and now the storms that are to barrel through today have me on edge. (It would have been nice to know they weren't coming through till today!)

So sewing while tired and weary--it's hard. I've struggled with fighting off sickness the past week and a half, and weariness has reigned in me. Now added is a night of very little sleep. Thank You, God, that Your grace is abundant and sufficient! That's the only way I am making it right now!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Fabric I want, Fabric I have, Work to do

Because my local quilt shop is having a 30% off sale on Sunday, I want to buy, buy , buy! The urge is HUGE! All that sock monkey fabric is calling my name!!!! I REALLY want to make a Raggy Quilt with some sock monkeys. But I checked my bank account last night, and I REALLY need to hold onto that meager amount--there are supplies I HAVE to buy before the craft fair--and I don't want to run out of money before then!!! It would be rather bad to not have more than 50 business cards. Or to turn down credit card sales cause I couldn't afford to get a ProPay account. Silly little things like that. :)

The good thing, though--I was going through some of my fabrics yesterday, and re-found a gorgeous blue fabric with green fish, a green and blue plaid, a plain blue, and a light blue flannel--these would make a gorgeous rag quilt! SO YAH!!! Sometimes I just need to shop around in my own fabric stash!!!! (THAT would be smart--huh!?) I also want to make one with my lunchboxes fabric, a yellow gingham, and maybe a white eyelet. I have enough fabric to play with--but there's always a hunger for more!

I listed two more things on Etsy yesterday--a Baby Blanket covered with construction vehicles--soooo cute, and a pale pink Tag Blanket with sock monkeys jumping on pogo sticks. :) With the other Tag Blankets I finished this week, I think I'm going to make matching Burp Cloths, and sell them as a set. That was my plan for a bunch of the Tag Blankets I'm making--some singles, and some as sets. My thought is that a set would seem more like a gift than just one Tag Blanket. We'll see, I suppose!

I have 19 Tag Blankets waiting for me to pin and sew this coming week, and have tons more that I COULD cut out and get ready. I need to see how this week goes, though. I have tons more to create AFTER the Tag Blankets, too, so I may need to wait till later to see if I have time then to work on them.

That's all for now. :)
MonsterBug Blankets

Friday, February 1, 2008

Tag Blankets

Yesterday I was rather productive--a great surprise as I was sick. I finished these eight Tag Blankets (see above), finished hand-stitching two baby blankets, and ironed two pieces of white fabric--approximately 8+ yards. Not too bad! It felt great to get the Tag Blankets done, as I worked on them for three days. Pinning all those ribbons takes forever! (16x8=128 ribbons--ick!) I'm obsessed with them being as straight as possible--with every one of them lining up perfectly with the ones next to them! It's a bit ridiculous, but I hate when I see others' Tag Blankets, and they are just haphazardly sewn on. It looks so sloppy. Makes me think they are cutting corners elsewhere, too.

I'm not sure what I will get done today--it totally depends on naps and how I feel. I WANT to get alot done, but we'll see. My expectations often exceed my time!!! :)

MonsterBug Blankets