To my little corner of the world where there is no limit to creativity. Where possibilities are endless. Where life happens and is embraced. And where a sense of humor is a must!

Sewing Southpaw...

Is the place where I share my creativity, my hobbies, and other stuff!






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This is my son - all grown up.
I'm so very proud of him!
But I wish he would call
just a little more often :-)
Hugs, Mom

Fritz Von Woofshmidt
01/10/2000 - 01/04/2014



Fritz (aka Boo)
The very bestest doggy ever!


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    In Loving Memory of
    Bella Donna


    In the short time that we had together your unconditional love filled our lives with happiness, and our hearts with joy.

    Your passing leaves us forever changed.

    Rest in peace my sweet, darling, little girl.

    July 5, 2006
    to
    October 19, 2007


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    “The most potent muse of all is our own inner child.”
    Stephen Nachmanovitch

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    Location: Colorado, United States



    I'm a wife, a mom, a dog lover, a complete lefty, a true scorpio, and I'm on a creative journey. I welcome you to join me.



    Sewing Southpaw...

    Is the place where I share my creativity, my hobbies, and other stuff!


    26 April 2014

    My New Favorite Thing...Mini Albums

    This was my first attempt at making a mini album and I am so very happy with the way it turned out. The baby album was made for a friend and co-worker of my DH. You wouldn't guess by looking at it now but this entire project began as a pile of chipboard, cardstock, scrapbooking papers, charms, ribbon and an assortment of scrapbooking adhesives.

    This mini album is based on an number of free page tutorials found on YouTube, and Kathy Orta's Build A Page Tutorial with some of my own 'experimental' additions. I chose Winnie The Pooh as the theme because I really like it, which is probably why I had the burp cloth fabric and a number of Pooh embellishments.

    First I made the pages and covered them with a secondary layer of paper. Then I made the photo mats and journaling tags, using a cardstock base and papers on top. And even though the closure was an afterthought of sorts, in the end it worked out just fine.

    The book itself is 7" tall by 5" wide and is made from chipboard. The pages 1/4" smaller than the covers and are secured with a hidden hinge binding system, which is attached to 2 1/2" wide spine. The photo mats are 1/4" smaller than the pockets, and the tags are very random depending on where they're placed.

    The book has six 'base pages', which have all of the many, many flip up and flip out pages, as well as the extensions and other additions. I wouldn't be surprised if this little album held 60-70 (or more) photos, with journaling spots/tags on top of that.



    I added the colored ribbons before I attached the pages. And held the ribbons together with a luggage zipper pull tab that I had laying around. Luckily, it had a "B" on it, which was perfect for the new baby boy's name. Using a piece of necklace chain from my stash and some jump rings, I attached an assortment of charms to the zipper pull.

    Some of the charms I had in my stash, as well as the story book charms. The remaining charms I bought from Christine at The Charm Emporium on Etsy.



    The decorative papers are an assortment of several different paper collections with similar colors and geometric designs. I also used a number of different paper punches for decorative edges. The Pooh Characters are from a chipboard package of scrapbooking embellishments that I bought at Michael's. The silver metal letters came from Hobby Lobby and are self adhesive. The remaining embellishments are from various scrapbooking embellishment sets that I had in my stash.

    At this point I should say that with all of the options for these pages, it's nearly impossible to photograph them in a logical order. I also didn't include photos of all of the pages, so don't feel like you're missing something. And don't forget that you can click on the photo for a larger view.

    Okay, let's begin with the description...Each page has a top pocket with a photo mat, a smaller front pocket and a side pocket with a photo mat booklet (see the "Baby Boy/Eeyore" page).



    Pooh's balloons are made with cardstock and a round punch, with yard as the strings. In the next photo we have a waterfall photo add on. Each one of the photo mats lifts up and provides a spot for photos on each side. The right hand page has a corner frame added to hold a pull out photo booklet, with a flip out page attached (below).



    This first photo shows the waterfall pages, some of the top pocket photo mats, and two of the photo mat books removed. The next photo is the flip out page I mentioned. This page also has a top and side pocket in addition to the two pockets shown.



    The split pocket with the baby bottle, bib and rattle is also a flip out page attachment and they each hold a smaller photo mat. I added a brad and some yard between them to act as a closure for the adjacent page (with the circle cut outs and oval tags/mats) because I didn't have any magnets for closures.



    And without a closure, the little whales kept getting covered up. I think they're darling!



    I used this closure technique a few other times throughout the book. The flip up page with Pooh and the prayer are another flip out page, as is the one with Rabbit balancing the tea party items. Isn't he just the cutest thing?



    Here is that page opened up and the right hand page with the photo mat flap lifted up. The next photo shows what's on the back side of the Rabbit. I used paper punches to make waves and added a couple of sail boats. On the other page we have a photo mat book hidden away in the photo mat flip up.



    Not only do I love these little albums because they are so interactive with all of the flip out and/or flip up pages and hidden compartments, they are just FUN! I'm working on one for myself so that I can finally get my photos off of my computer and into a place where I can actually enjoy them.


    Well, thanks for stopping by. I'll be back later with a post and photos of an easel card and book box that I made and gave to another dear friend.

    Until Next time...Happy Needling!!!

    Gerry

    Our New Furbabies - FINALLY!

    Yes, we have two new furbabies at our house. They are Chauncy and Tulo, and they are litter mates who just turned 4 years old on February 18th. We adopted them on January 30th through Vintage Dog Rescue and have been just tickled with them!



    Not only do they look completely different, they have completely different personalities. Tulo is a bit of a barker and Chauncy is a little more of a free spirit. We've been working on leash training and basic training. That too is coming along nicely - they are very treat motivate.



    I don't have a more current photo but they recently had their first grooming with us. They are just too cute and now they really do look like Schnauzers!

    Other than that, we've just been enjoying time around the house. We're looking forward to being able to get outside a bit more, and if Spring ever truly arrives, maybe a mini vacation will be in order.

    I've discovered paper crafting and have been spending a lot of time in the studio creating. As for crazy quilting....well, I haven't picked up a needle or even considered working on a project for months now. Maybe it was just time for a break.

    Well, that's it for now. Thanks for stopping by and I'll be back again - sometime! LOL.


    Until Next time...Happy Needling!!!

    Gerry

    06 January 2014

    Saying Good-bye

    For all the hopes that we had for the New Year, having to say goodbye to our dear, sweet Fritter-boo was not one of them. But alas, that's what we had to do early afternoon on Saturday, January 4th. Sadly, just 6 days before his 14th birthday.



    If you've been following my blog, or have happened to read any of the many posts that Fritz was included in you know how much we loved him. And can easily imagine how heart-broken we are. I have had a mini schnauzer in my heart and by my side for over 30 years. Although, until Fritz, we didn't get to experience the full benefit or the consequences of the breed. Unfortunately, while miniature schnauzers are incredibly wonderful pets, great with kids, fierce defenders, and full of energy, they are also prone to an abundance of health related issues.



    Fritz was just the sweetest, most lovable, most devoted companion we have ever had. And of course, like all schnauzers, he was very vocal! That's what made him so 'human' in his ability to communicate and express what he wanted. We were told many times that he a was people dog - not a doggy dog, meaning he truly preferred people to other dogs. He almost always traveled with us on vacations, local outings, etc. He loved to ride in the car, and he loved hotel rooms! He was fabulous with kids. He loved walks, the park and mostly, he loved to chase his tennis ball.




    Fritz remained a real trooper, patient and cooperative through all of the trying times he was forced to experience. Through all of the surgeries, include the removal of an abdominal mass in May, 2013 and then his cataract surgery in July, 2013. And although he returned home a blind doggy, and required several eye drops, several times a day, he did regain most of his sight by late September, and was only mildly disgruntle about the eye drops.

    When he was diagnosed with diabetes in February, 2013 DH and I were so frightened but again, true to form, he tolerated his twice a day insulin injections like a big boy. He quickly adjusted to the change in diet and feeding schedule. Over the past year, with each poking and prodding, ultrasound, seemingly endless blood panels, and treatments, he always bounced back and retained his sweet disposition.

    He began having seizures in October, 2012 and while they were infrequent and mostly mild over the next year, they did take their toll on his nervous system. As the seizures became more frequent and more severe, Fritz was not as able to bounce back, and slowly we had to stand by and watch his health further decline.

    Then about 3 weeks before Christmas, 2013 he had a major seizure that left him forever changed. His disposition began to change. He became more aggressive, although not mean, just not very tolerant at being touched. Which was difficult because he had already lost so much muscle mass that his hind legs were really weak and he had to be carried much of the time. And with each seizure it became even more difficult for him to get around. He was just beginning to get around a little better on his own again when the next seizure happened on New Year's day. Between New Year's day and the final seizure on the 4th, he could barely walk on his own and had to be carried up and down the stairs. He struggled to stand long enough to go pee or to poop. He didn't want to eat, and he began drinking so much water.

    It was during the final seizure that afternoon that DH and I both looked at the clock, then at each other - was the vet's office still open? Was it finally time? Well, the vet was in later than normal and agreed to wait.

    My poor sweet, little boy was nearly lifeless when I picked him up and we drove him to the vet's office. We held him, kissed him, told him how sorry we were that we couldn't make it better, and we put him down.

    We wonder now if we should have had an MRI done to check for a brain tumor. Although, I'm not sure what we could have done about it. And I'm not sure what we would have done other than try to make him as comfortable as possible, love him completely, and wish things could have been different.

    For now we just have to assume that based on the symptoms and the science that that is what finally happened, and had probably been happening since the seizures began. We painfully accept that we did everything we could to give him a good life, a good home, and that some things are just out of one's control.



    We miss him so much and we feel so lost. The house seems so empty and quiet. We pick up his ashes next week and we learn to live without him.


    Gerry

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    01 January 2014

    Happy New Year - 2014



    I just wanted to pop in to wish you all a Happy New Year. I hope your holidays were filled with lots of cheer and some relaxation, with friends and family, and with health and happiness.

    Luckily, things around here were pretty uneventful. DH took some vacation time, which gave us some enjoyable time together for shopping, playing cards, and just hanging out!

    I've not made any New Year's Resolutions to speak of. Mostly, I just want to be in a better place physically and emotionally this time next year. For instance, I'm not going to vow to drop any weight. Instead I'm going to try and eat more healthy foods. I'm going to try to approach my blog, Etsy shoppe, house cleaning, exercise, crafting and creating, etc., with the same attitude.

    Right now we have a slight break in the weather we're going to go take down the Christmas lights on the house. We'll be careful and you do the same.

    Until Next time...Happy Needling!!!

    Gerry

    22 October 2013

    Little Crazy Quilt Elephant

    This is the finished project from this photo before the retreat and Lauri ended up taking her home. She was also featured in the Autumn issue of Crazy Quilt Gatherings magazine, published by Pat Winter.







    All of the fabrics are quilter's quality cottons. And each seam is double stitched to minimize popping seams during/after stuffing. I added most of the seam treatments and beads prior to sewing her together. Then added additional seam treatments and beads afterward to help cover those seams.

    You will notice in the bottom photos that I have a string tied around her legs. That's because she kept trying to do the splits. In the end, I removed the strings and used a transparent thread on the inside of the front and hind legs to invisibly 'tether' them together so that she would remain standing upright.

    Surprisingly, from start to finish this was about a 5 day project. She stands 8" tall (including her ears) and 12" long (excluding her tail).

    ******EDITED******
    The pattern that I used to make this cute little elephant is from Yesterday's Charm, and is called Ellie and Elwood Elephants:




    Well, I better get back to editing retreat photos so that I can get those posted. Hope to be back shortly!



    Until Next time...Happy Needling!!!

    Gerry

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    24 August 2013

    I've Been Published!


    I always wanted to say that. LOL. But it's not what you probably think. I haven't written a book, or created anything that someone has come to me asking for. I submitted an article to Pat Winter for the Autumn issue of Crazy Quilt Gatherings magazine, and Pat has graciously chosen to included it. Still for me, it's a pretty awesome event!

    If you don't already have your copy, you can find it here. Since I order every copy as soon as it's available, I set up an automatic notification through Magcloud. Nothing easier than having someone else keep track of things for you!

    Anyway, you will find my article on page 30. I have chosen to include a few of my favorite projects but for now those will remain a secret. No sense in telling you what's in the magazine, that will only spoil the surprise when you buy it. I will tell you that since I'm not a Shabby Chic kind of person, I wanted to put it out there that you don't have to be. That you can still create beautiful things with bright, bold colors, using cotton fabrics as well as silky, fancy fabrics.

    I was also very delighted to find that Lauri and Freda also had an article published in this issue. They both do just lovely work. Freda attended one of our CQI Retreats in 2010, and it was a pleasure to meet her. Lauri has attended since the beginning in 2008. And although Lauri did miss the 2012 retreat in Utah, she'll be joining us again this year. And 5 out of 6 years is still a great attendance record. Gerry K also gets a kudos for 5 out of 6 years attending - sadly, she won't be joining us this year.

    I also believe that this is 5 years in a row for Diane, and 4 for Colleen. (Somebody correct me if I'm wrong!) And to the 'die hard' retreat goers for 6 out of 6 years attending - a shout goes out to Cathy, Connie, and me (blushing). We've been very fortunate to have so many wonderful ladies join us in years past, and we hope to have them join us again at future retreats. You will be missed!

    Okay, since I'm speaking of the retreat, let me just say, "HOLY COW!" We are less than a month away from 'opening day' and there is still so much to take care of. I guess I should be happy that my TO DO list has gone from about a dozen typewritten pages all the way down to four. When I get it down to one, I will be doing my happy dance and greeting retreaters!

    I think the only part of retreat planning that I'm not really going to enjoy is the grocery shopping. My weekly shopping takes about an hour and for just two of us really doesn't amount to much. The thoughts of shopping and cooking for 23+ people has me just a little frightened. LOL. I only have one fridge with bottom freezer so I will be making a few quickly trips to the store during the retreat. NO WAY can I fit everything we're going to need in the space I have. I'm also just a bit concerned that my offer to cook for everyone might have been a bit ambitious. LOL.

    If you would like to see who is coming and/or catch up on other retreat post, you can find information here and here. Well, it's time for me to jump off the computer, make some phone calls, and try to check a few more of those items off that LIST! Thanks so much for stopping by to visit. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend.


    Oh, I almost forgot....Fritz is doing well. He is not going to regain his sight but he's still my little darling and we're all working through it. Thanks so much for your kind words, emails, comments, and well wishes. Each and everyone is very much appreciated.

    Until Next time...Happy Needling!!!

    Gerry

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