Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 2010!

Happy New Year! Here's to a blessed 2010 for all of us!

I actually made a card today for my dad's birthday but forgot the camera, so will sneak a picture of it tomorrow at their house.

I uploaded Christmas pictures, so for now you can see the crafty workings of my sewing machine on Natalie's dress. It's the teal one & she's the blond (as if you wouldn't figure that out! LOL!). Bethany's was store bought & truth be told it was cheaper to buy hers than all the stuff for Nat's dress. It was less time consuming, too! Thankfully Bethany is so small that she can still wear girls sizes smaller than most girls her age. The old "geezers" in the back are Phil & I. We strategically placed children in front of most of our fat cells! LOL! This was the day Phil rode his motorcycle in the 30 something weather with winds up to 50 mph. Yes, we are considering therapy for this problem. : )

I have a coupon for a local fabric store & a list of patterns I want to look at, so hope to have some new bags & such ready for your viewing in the next few weeks!

Have a wonderful New Year's Day!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Blessed Merry Christmas!

Hi Crafty Friends! Just wanted to wish you a Blessed Merry Christmas! I have finished baking, candy making, and dress making. Now I am off to wrap gifts. I'm hoping to make "New Year's" cards in the next week though getting them finished & sent is another issue. LOL! I'll post pictures of Natalie's new dress that I finished around 2:30 a.m. today. Praise God for Sonic Happy Hour with 1/2 price Cokes to keep Mom awake!

My husband rode his motorcycle in near freezing temps with close to hurricane force winds. He is questioning his sanity. We did that long ago. LOL!

In the busyness of gifts and fun and wrapping and turkey and all that this holiday entails, I pray that you will find a moment to spend celebrating and adoring the reason for the season, Jesus Christ, our Savior. One of my favorite Christmas Cards had this on it, and I will leave you with these thoughts to ponder:

If our greatest need
had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.

If our greatest need
had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.

If our greatest need
had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.

If our greatest need
had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.

But our greatest need
was forgiveness,
so God sent us a Saviour.

Monday, December 21, 2009

If you give a girl a Copic....

Some of my friends & I will sometimes tell a story where one event leads to another. We then quote the title of a fun children's book, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." You'll have to find a copy to see what fun it is!

Most of you crafters know what Copic markers are. The first thing they are is expensive! I first bought a Prismacolor marker to make shadows around images. Then I broke down when Hobby Lobby had Copics on sale & bought one. Another time when they were on sale I got another one. In the past 3 or 4 years I've watched for sales or used coupons and I think I may have about 15 of the markers now. Needless to say, at that price, they are used sparingly.

In my house I have one young artist and one young crafter. I had never let them use my Copic or Prismacolor markers until recently when I had my younger dd (the crafter) coloring images for me for a craft fair. My older dd is the artist. Last week we took some girls ice skating. Another mom & I sat outside the rink at a table where we could watch. I had some images and my markers with me, so we started "playing" with them. Her 13 year old, also an artist (a VERY good artist) sat down with us when she was through skating. I asked if she'd like to try using a Copic. She did and she liked it. I need to apologize profusely to the mom for introducing her daughter to these pricey markers!

While this girl was coloring, my 13 year old, the artist, skated close to the window. We could not hear her, but she made enough hand signals that I knew I was in trouble. She "said" with her actions, "Why are you letting her use those when you never let me use them?" That night she was almost in tears when she brought it up again. I told her she could try them but she had to ask before using them.

Guess what? If you give a girl a Copic she's going to like it. And if she likes it she's going to want to have some. And if she wants to have some she's going to have to find a way to get them. Well, you get the idea. My other dd also wanted to use them. Sadly, they both can keep those markers from "bleeding" outside the lines better than I can. I'm going to blame it on the "progressive" glasses. LOL! I must add that I seem to have done a good job in raising frugal girls. My older dd, the artist, said, "If there is a Stampin' Up marker in the right shade I am using it first because I don't want to use up your expensive markers."

Fair warning to any of you out there with little artist & crafters in your home: If you give a girl or boy a Copic, you might just have to take on a 2nd or 3rd job!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Items on Etsy!

I've listed some new items on Etsy! This batik bag is one of the items:

I also put some purse organizers. You can see my Etsy shop by clicking HERE or anytime just click on the link in the sidebar.

I have been coloring images to make cards & just need time to sit down to do the cutting of paper and assembling. Maybe tonight or tomorrow night!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Items on Etsy!

I've just added some new items to my Etsy store. You can find these at I'd love for you to share this news with your friends! I also put several items on sale. I'll be adding more as the week goes on and will be listing my BIG BLOG CANDY GIVEAWAY!

Thanks for popping in today!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lisa's Birthday Blog candy!

My friend Lisa just had a birthday and is celebrating by giving away some COOL blog candy. How sweet is she to give on her birthday! Here's a picture of the BIG item (and she says there is more!).

Now hop on over to her blog HERE and leave her a big birthday wish and enter to win this package!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Market Days at Community Bible Church

Today I had a booth at our church's "Market Days" event. It was also a fundraiser for the Single Parents' ministry. I've known several single parents, usually single not by their own choosing, who end up having to be both Mom & Dad. My paternal grandmother was widowed with 4 kids (the youngest was only 18 months), so she was a single mom long before it was the norm. I was happy to be able to be part of this event.

This was the best booth I have ever had. The flow of traffic was amazing. It was only a 4 hour event, but people were everywhere for all 4 hours. I saw some really creative items that I've never seen. Of course, Miss Craftsy here wanted to look at all of them & learn how to do them! LOL! Miss Natalie just wanted to shop. Good thing she earned a little bit of money helping me.

I did sell several items, but no purses. I don't think they processed through which booths would be next door to each other, plus I didn't know Loribelle Bags would be my big items when I signed up. I was right next door to a booth called "Purse-nickety" which sold higher end, big faux leather type purses. Big, bold, bright bags! They were pricier than mine, but as you can see a bit in this picture (you can click to enlarge this), it was a bit like the country girl & the city girl next to each other. I did have people take my info & hopefully will call to place orders.

I'll share details & take better pics of the bags another day, but here are some of the new items I had.

This batik print is SO pretty in real life. If you click on it, you might be able to see the gold flecks in the fabric. It is NOT paisley! LOL!
Okay, so this one is paisley, but I LOVE the colors. The stripe matched 2 fabrics that I picked out. I love blues, so these were just perfect.

A fun little Christmas apron! Mrs. Santa! This one did sell. I can make another if you are interested in buying one of these.

Purse organizer. My friend Traci told me about these, so I searched to find out what they were. These have flat pockets, but can be made with pleated pockets to allow more space. There are pockets all along the length of this piece (it is folded a bit in this picture). After filling it with your purse contents, just roll it up & drop it into your purse! It makes changing purses a snap!

Thanks for stopping by! I'm hoping to do some papercrafting this coming week to share with you.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Blog Candy Winner

Congrats to Emily! You won this blog candy! I'll get it out to you in the next few days so you can have fun with this for Christmas.

Thanks to all of you for playing! I will be having a new giveaway later this month or early in January, so stay tuned!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What happens when you have craft fairs?

If you read my blog a few months ago you might have seen the picture of my semi-organized craft room. Then I started sewing. And painting. And stamping. And cutting paper and fabric and zippers, oh, my! I wanted to make some cards last week, so I had to move the sewing machine (my mom's machine is back, woo-hoo!) to the floor (in the picture above). And THIS is what happens when you have a whirlwind of craft fairs and birthdays and anniversaries.

My niece & her hubby celebrated their 2nd anniversary last week. They like to cook together, so I made them some oven mitts & pot pinchers to match their eggplant & moss colored kitchen.

My nephew & his wife celebrate their 5th anniversary in just a few days. I didn't get a picture of the glass ornament I made with a picture of them on their wedding & this fall, with baby. This is the card I made for them.

My niece-in-law's sister got married this weekend. This is the card I made for her & her new hubby. I CASE'd (copied) the idea from someone on Splitcoast, but I'll need to go find it to give her credit. It made a neat black & white card!

I plan to sew like crazy this week to get ready for a craft fair on Saturday. No paper stuff (since most of mine hasn't sold yet, I still am set on that stuff). After that I will sew Natalie's Christmas dress, a skirt she's been waiting on & maybe I can stamp! Woo-hoo! Oh, I guess I'll be cleaning the craft room, too! LOL!

Blog Candy winner will be announced tomorrow!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blog candy open to non-bloggers, too!

The blog candy (click) will be closing at the end of Sunday, November 29th. For those who don't have blogs, if you send a friend to my blog to leave a comment (and you also leave a comment), you'll be entered into the blog candy drawing!

I'll be making some new bags this week for an upcoming craft fair. If you see one you like, I can make one just for you in the colors you like! Any that are not sold at the craft fair will be available in my Etsy store.

Thanks for dropping in!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Blog Candy at last!

Finally had a moment to take some pictures of my blog candy! I hope to add even more, but for starters you could win the items in the pictures: One Loribelle Christmas Tote Bag (lined on the inside)---use it as your gift wrap or just wear it to share some Christmas Joy; a handstamped and sewn Christmas Card with sewing inside, too; 3 wood block stamps: snowman, snowflakes and ornaments; and Holly Builder Stamp Set from Clear Dollar Stamps.

I want to give this to one of you to enjoy this Christmas, so I will leave this open just until Sunday, November 29th, so I can mail this out in time for the winner to use it for Christmas. I'm also trying to get the word out about my Etsy site and Loribelle bags and would love to have people come to my blog and see the bags (and order 5 or 6 each---LOL!).

To enter to win this blog candy, post on your blog about this blog candy with a link back to this page. Then post a comment on my blog with a link to your blog. If you post a link to my Etsy shop, I'll give you an extra entry into the blog candy contest! You can also send someone else to my blog and have them leave a comment mentioning that you sent them here. I'll enter your name for each person you send here!

Can't wait to see who gets this prize package!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Giving Thanks

It's time to ask the yearly question. Why we only ask this in November, I am not sure. For what are you thankful?

I'll post this on my "everything else" blog, too, but here I want to list some things I am thankful for craft related.

  • I am thankful for the friends I have found over the internet. While I've only met a few in real life, I feel as though I have known some of you my whole life and meeting in real life would just be an added bonus.
  • I am thankful for hands with which I can craft.
  • I am thankful for vision. I'm thankful for eye doctors and glasses. I'm thankful that I can now thread a needle with my glasses on (yes, I hit the "need reading glasses/progressive lenses age").
  • I am thankful for living in a country where beautiful supplies and fun tools are so readily available.
  • I am thankful for a CRAFT ROOM! This is the first time ever that I have had a room for sewing & crafting.
  • I am thankful for those who have encouraged me to pursue selling crafts, and especially for those who have been my customers for Loribelle Bags.
  • I am thankful that my kids are big enough now that, at least sometimes, I can craft while they are awake.
  • I am thankful that my husband is willing to let me try making money selling purses (since the next step is finding a retail store job).
  • I am mostly thankful for a God whose creativity is endless. While we can put things together to look pretty, He speaks the Word and beautiful life springs forth. What an amazing God that knows we can never be good enough to stand in His presence, yet created a way for us through His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, to make us beautiful in His sight.
I could list so many more things, but I want to stop before I put too many of you to sleep.

Now it's your turn. For what are you thankful for that's crafting related? I'd love to hear about your "everything else" thanks on my other blog: What's Cookin' with Chef Mama?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Make-Up Bags

Make-up bags can be ordered in various styles and shapes. This one is "The Laurie" named for my friend who custom ordered this bag. As you can see in the photo, this bag has specifically sized pockets for her needs.
You can have a simple pouch bag made or add several pockets sized to fit your items.

Prices vary depending on size, shape & pockets. These can be made quilted or non-quilted.

The Traci-Grace Backpack

This bag was originally made for 2 of my friends, Traci & Grace, so I have renamed the bag in honor of both of them.

The backpack has a drawstring top with a flap to close the bag. On the back there is a zipper for easy opening. This bag has 3 exterior pockets and interior pockets can be added to fit your needs.
Straps are adjustable.

This backpack can be made in quilted or non-quilted. The quilted version is $35 while the non-quilted is $25.

The Peggysue Hobo Bag

This hobo bag is called "The Peggysue" in honor of my first customer who ordered this one. This hobo style purse can be made quilted or non-quilted. It features a zip top closure, interior large zippered pocket and slip pocket(s) depending on your needs.

The strap is adjustable so the purse can be worn as a sling bag or carried as a shoulder bag. Exterior pockets can be added as in the photo below.
This bag is $35 quilted, or $25 non-quilted. You can place an order by contacting me or visit my Etsy site at

Easier Access to Loribelle Bags and More

I am trying to make it easier for people to see my items for sale including the Loribelle Bags and other quilted/sewn items. I will be posting these items with "just the facts ma'am" over the next few days, so don't get too excited when you see new posts! LOL! I will then put a link at the top of my page. I'm also trying to get samples of my items on Etsy so they can either be purchased or ordered. You can visit my Etsy site at

And I DO have blog candy. I need to take some pictures & get that posted.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Splendora Craft Fair

On Saturday Natalie & I had a booth at the Splendora Countryside Methodist Church Craft Fair. Don't know where Splendora is? Why, it's right between New Caney & Cleveland---Texas! LOL! It's outside of Houston about a 45 minute drive from the northwest side of town. My brother is the pastor at this church and invited me to join the craft fair.

While the day was not very successful for me financially (that's an understatement, really), it was a fun day and the church was able to raise a lot of money for ministries. This church is a very small "country" church, but has been active in the community and today I saw even more how the Christians in this small town have become united to help one another, even though doctrines may vary. I was glad to hear that the craft fair was a success for the church. I also enjoyed meeting many lovely people from Splendora and neighboring communities.

While I was slaving away (ha, ha!), Natalie was clowning around. Here's evidence! "Teacup" the clown recruited her to go out & dance in the street to pull people into the fair. She was quite reluctant (while she is a ham around her friends & will dance before a huge crowd, it has to be in her comfort zone or it's a no go), but Teacup was persistent. If you click on this picture, it will open up large enough for you to see Teacup & Natalie.

See this lovely hat? By the time we left Natalie was a master balloon shaper. Well, maybe not, but she had at least 10 different shapes. I'll have to take pictures of some of those later. Yes, she brought them home.

Teacup had the kids, and any willing adults, do the "Cha Cha Slide" dance several times.

Now for the items I had for sale. This is my table of goodies.

Next is my Bag Tree. My friend Danette let me borrow her Basket Tree from her Longaberger Consultant days. Little Dork Story: Natalie was assembling the tree. I looked over & the pegs were all slanted downward. Also, they seemed so close to the ground. I could not get the bags to stay on & wondered how she ever got baskets to stay on that tree. It finally hit me: We had the center pole in upside down. When we turned it over, the pegs were slanted up AND were close to the top! LOL!

This is a new style I just found last week. I really like this style bag.

Here's a Purse Organizer. I need to get some better pictures so I can show you how this works. It has many pockets to fill. You put your purse fillings inside, roll it up, and drop it in your bag. When it's time to change purses, no more dumping it all out: just grab the organizer & drop it into your new purse!

I DO have blog candy coming up soon! Keep watching!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I met my friend Laurie Wilson!

Today my dd Natalie & I drove to Houston. Okay, I drove, she sat in the back & enjoyed hours of uninterrupted by her sister time! We got off to a slow start, but finally made it to I-10. We stopped before Houston to see Laurie Wilson. If you don't know Laurie, you can visit her website here. She's a stamp designer for Clear Dollar Stamps. I don't even remember how we started corresponding about CDS, but we did & I've grown to love this sweet sister in Christ! Today I got to meet her for real. I also got to meet her precious kids. I even held the baby and got a hug from the big sister (who kept my nearly 11 year old entertained---LOL!). I'll post pictures when I get back home.

Saturday is my first "real" craft fair. I'm still finishing things, so tomorrow will be a busy day. I can't wait to show you some of my new purses I've made. I'm such a dork that I kind of forgot about the fact that I'm also going as a PC consultant. I'm printing out some forms here so I'll be ready if someone has an order.

I'll be sure to take more pictures so I can show you when we get home. Have a super weekend!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lori's Purse and better pics

My husband and camera came home today so I took some pictures. I finally made myself a purse & I love it! The colors don't come through as well on the computer as they are in real life, but the fabric is really pretty. It reminds me of a Monet watercolor garden. The fabric for the band actually does coordinate (they are sold as a "family" of colors) but the picture isn't quite as clear on that. I made my own piping out of the lining fabric and made a flap closure with Velcro. I meant to put a zipper on the top, but when I got to the end, I looked at it and realized I forgot to put it in! LOL! Since it was already sewn, I didn't want to put in a magnetic closure because it would show on the outside. The flap was the best idea I had for an already done bag. This one isn't for sale, but I can duplicate it in this fabric or other fabrics.

Next, just some better pictures of this wonderful large tote bag. I am going to go ahead & put it on Etsy. You can visit my shop at

Look for BLOG CANDY coming soon! I am putting together a cute Christmas tote and hope to have some other fun goodies as well.

Edited to add: I am a dork. I forgot to upload pictures earlier! LOL!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

You make me smile!

My friend Lisa Lara gave me this Making Faces Smile blog award. She makes me smile, too! We both tried out for the Guest Designer spot at Clear Dollar Stamps and I am so proud of her for now being a full time design team member with CDS!

Now I am supposed to tell 5 things about myself you may not know and then pass this along to 5 others. Since I have so many friends who make me smile, especially my Dork Sisters & BCBW buddies, I will just choose 5 randomly & they can share with others.

What don't you know about me? hmmmm.

1. My 2nd toe is longer than my big toe on both feet.

2. I did not have an epidural when I gave birth the first time (and subsequently asked for one at my first appointment the second time).

3. When I was a baby & toddler we had a dachshund named Ralphie that liked to be in my playpen with me.

4. I have scoliosis & wore a back brace for several years in junior high (before it became sophisticated & renamed Middle School) and early high school.

5. I have eaten croak-a-deal (pronounced by us as crocodile). It was fatty.

And my random numbers (yes, I really did use for this!), I mean friends, are:

1. Beth
2. Karen Lynn
3. Wendy
4. Miss I
5. Emily

Their names are linked to a blog, except Miss I's whose is linked to her amazing gallery!

Have a happy smiley day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

More Purses!

First, I apologize for the poor quality of the picture. My husband has taken the camera on a short trip, so I used my phone camera.

After wrestling with my little sewing machine last week, my mom graciously allowed me to borrow hers again. I suspect I need to sell enough purses to purchase a new machine now! This first purse is for my daughter. I bought this fabric several years ago intending to make outfits for my girls. Now that they are too big for "cute" in the little girl sense, I asked Natalie if she'd like a bag. I cut it out a few months ago, then had the orders come in, so it's taken me a bit to finish it. It's a nice roomy bag which she can use for overnight stays with friends. This weekend she's going to pack her clothes for camping in it. A girls must have a nice bag for camping, you know! LOL! There is a patch pocket inside divided into 2 sections.

This bag was also cut out a couple of months ago. I even started it and showed the beginnings on an earlier post. The directions did not call for quilting, but I opted to do that. After completing it, I realized it is rather bulky to try to sew through so many quilted layers with pleats using a standard sewing machine. I think if I do this one again I'll probably opt for just interfacing the panels.

Inside this very roomy bag there are patch pockets on both sides. I divided one into 2 sections, but left the other as one large pocket.

I'll be taking this Loribelle Bag to my Craft Fair in Splendora (near Houston), Texas next Saturday. Hopefully I will have some more made to go with this one.

I've discovered the most wonderful tool for this quilting. It's a quilt basting spray. It really holds the fabric to the batting so I can easily quilt and not get all the puckers I was dealing with on the earlier bags. I LOVE it!

Thanks for stopping by! Look for a new post about Loribelle Bags on Etsy!

Loribelle Bags on Etsy!

I've officially added my Custom Made Loribelle Bags to my Etsy site. Just go to www.chefmama.etsy and select the style you like. I will be adding more styles in the near future. Once you choose your style, you can contact me through my Etsy site or here on my blog, or send an e-mail through the link on this blog. I will send you a selection of fabrics and other details. Once the bag is finished, I will list it on Etsy as a custom order just for you, and you can purchase that way.

If you prefer to just order directly from me without using Etsy, just send me an e-mail or leave a comment.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's a little bit country

Donny & Marie may have sung the song but this purse says it even better. Isn't this cute? I used a twin needle to stitch around the pocket and on the straps. It gives the double stitched look that jeans have.
Here it is hanging. I really need a better place to photograph purses!

And the inside that I showed you a few days ago (this picture was before it was put into the purse).

This style purse could be made reversible by leaving off the zipper.

So, what do you think of this one with no quilting, no flowers & no paisley but a lot of character?

Thanks for swinging by today!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Much Obliged

This card uses the Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge this week and the Card Positioning system sketch. I used Laurie Wilson's Texas on my Mind set from Clear Dollar Stamps.

Last weekend my friend showed me this totally cool technique for dry embossing that she saw on Splitcoaststampers. I don't know who discovered this, but it is amazing to me. Then again, using an embossing folder & seeing the results is amazing. You use a balsa wood frame as the bottom part of a sandwich instead of whichever plate goes under your CB folder normally. Then, you put your paper in your CB folder & center it over the open part of the frame (mine was an oval frame). Put the rest of your sandwich together & roll through your machine. I had to add an extra layer of thin cardboard as a shim to get it to make a good deep impression. The result is the embossed part is on the edges leaving a blank area in the middle. Isn't that cool?

One of Laurie Wilson's projects was recently featured in Crafts & Things magazine. I've absolutely fallen in love with the magazine & try to pick up a copy when it comes out. I'm a "multi-media" crafter. Not that I do cool multi-media art, but I like a LOT of different crafts, so this magazine is great fun. They even have recipes! In this project, Laurie used a light shade of distress ink to just bring out some snowflakes. I decided to do the same with the stars on the white paper on this card. My ink was a tad darker. It was really just the leftovers from using Memento Rich Cocoa on another project. I was too lazy to go to garage where my bag is with my distress inks in it. That's another story. LOL! I thought it added a nice rustic look.

The challenge at Stampin' Sisters in Christ was to make a card showing thankfulness as we give thanks to the Lord and give thanks to those who have been kind to us. 2 weeks ago we had a garage sale on Friday & Saturday. My next door neighbor, Janie, came out & visited with me most of the day. We've only been here a few months, so it was very kind of her to do that. I got to know her a bit more. She's about my mom's age, so it's fun to talk to someone who is in a different place in life. Saturday her "kids" (adults with a son) had their garage sale. That night Janie invited us to dinner, but I was severely sunburned & aching and Bethany was sick. She brought us plates of brisket, potato salad & Mexican rice. I've wanted to make her a treat, but she is diabetic so I need to get some Splenda to bake for her. For now, I wanted to give her a card to thank her for being such a good neighbor. The Texas part, well, that's where we live!

Much obliged for y'all mosying up to my lil' ol' blog, partner.