Thursday, July 24, 2014

Your Daily Dose of Cute


Ewan

Ann, the owner of my local yarn shop, asked me to make some Chicago Cubs pillows for her sister. Apparently her sister is a big Chicago Cubs fan. It appears her dog, Ewan, is a big fan of my pillows.  These photos sure make me smile.






Saturday, July 19, 2014

Backyard Improvements... a pergola.


After having two big cottonwood trees removed from our backyard, we thought it might be a good idea to have a pergola built for a little privacy and shade.  I like how it turned out but it's rather tall, and it's not providing much shade or privacy.  We are contemplating some options. For example, I am thinking of hanging some red canvas fabric in the ceiling area.  The area is nice and shady in the evening hours (it's just in the morning hours that it's really hot and sunny).  In the future, we are thinking of adding hanging flower baskets and maybe a little table and chairs. We are in no rush. We are enjoying the area. It really is like an outdoor room and, because it's so tall, it actually feels much more spacious than I expected.
 





I don't get to sit alone.  Puppies in lap. :)
 
Yep, this is my view!  Sandy on the left; Brutus on the right.

 
Sweet Brutus.  Such a cuddle bear.

 
I especially love the view looking up!
 
 
Sandy (notice Brutus in the back in the shade!)
 

Big Brute!  He needs his bangs cut above his eyes.

Some guys we know from work who are now retired (Bret and Bob) did a great job on our pergola!
Thanks fellas!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Yarn Bombing and other things in Fort Collins, Colorado


 

We spent the 4th of July weekend in Fort Collins, Colorado. It's about a four drive north from where we live. We were walking around a bit one evening near the historic downtown district and stumbled across some yarn bombing.  I never investigated the significance of the "150" or the wagon wheel, but I realized the stripes woven in the fence were not just stripes...

They were music...
 
 
And then I noticed this pretty little back alley with gorgeous hanging flower baskets, so of course I had to snap a photo of that as well...
 

 
On Saturday, Zach played in a tennis match.  It was hot! 
 
Damn hot!
 
 
After the tennis matches and a really nice lunch out, we decided to drive into the mountains for some cooler temperatures.  The town of Estes Park was our destination.  We drove along a road that follows the Big Thompson River.  We could see where the flooding occurred last summer.  It was really dramatic to see the high water marks and some homes which were destroyed from the flooding. Sad.
 
 
After we walked around the cute tourist town of Estes Park, we stopped an played some mini-golf on the east edge of town.  You couldn't ask for a more scenic location for a mini-golf course. The place was just gorgeous!
 
 
Do you like Zach's putting technique?
 
 
There were flowers all over the place at the golf courses.  I enjoyed looking around at the scenery even more than playing I enjoyed playing mini-golf.
 
 
There was a nice waterfall near the 18th hole.
 
 
Ever awesome min-golf place seems to also have Skee-ball!
 

On Sunday, in Fort Collins, we rented bicycles and rode around town.  Fort Collins is an extremely bike friendly town and there are miles of bike paths.  We drove home Sunday afternoon and the holiday traffic was not too terribly bad.  It was nice to visit Fort Collins and Estes Park again. 

As always... I am most happy to be home again. 

I have actually been knitting recently. I'll try to post some photo soon.  But first... some photos of our latest back yard improvements!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Seeing Rainbows




My Etsy shop "KimzKraftKorner" had me hopping and seeing rainbows in June.  A lady ordered nine pillows, all in rainbow fabrics.  She basically ordered all of what I had showing in my inventory for two different pillows using rainbow fabric.
 
 
Of course I was tickled, so I got it all packaged up and shipped off in a hurry.
 

I updated my shop to indicate I had more of these pillows available after buying more fabric, and after about a week, the same lady orders seven more rainbow pillows. Crazy, right!?  I got to cutting and sewing and stuffing and realized I did have enough fabric on hand to make one more rainbow pillow.  I made it up and threw it in for free, this lady being such a great customer and all.
 

About a week later, I get a message from the same lady indicating she wants to custom order 24 pillows and she wants to provide the fabric. She asked for a price quote and I provided that.  I am intrigued of course... what fabric and what is one lady doing with so many pillows?
 
A week passes and the lady asks for 20 pillows in the rainbow fabric (circles, not ripples).  I race to the store, hoping they have more of the fabric.  Of course they did not since I had bought everything they had during my last visit. But I knew I could get the same fabric on line from www.joann.com.   It also occurred to me there is Joann's Store about 45 miles from me.  I called ahead with the item number and sure enough they had 11 yards of what I needed. So after a road trip and a nice lunch out with my husband, I was a sewing maniac for three days. 
 

There they are... all 20 pillows done!  Phew! This was the weekend before 4th of July weekend. Busy, busy!
 
 
There's a lot more that goes with this story. It was a bit stressful, there was some drama... definitely some speed bumps along the way. But all the experiences were learning opportunities for me in my little business venture. 
 
When the 3rd order was all wrapped up and ready to ship, the buyer finally shared with me what she was doing with so many pillows.
 
Would you like to know, too?
 
The buyer's husband goes to a dialysis clinic and she wanted all the patients and nurses there to have a pillow.
 
... really have a lump in my throat when I type that...
 

Quilt Shop in Town

 
First Stitches Quilt Shop
 
I visited my local quilt shop a number of days ago and the shop was looking so cute and cheerful, I just had to snap this photo.  I am so grateful that, despite living in a relatively small town, there are two quilt shops with great fabric, a great yarn shop, and our WalMart actually has a very large fabric/craft section.
 
First Stitches Quilt Shop is in the cutest little brick house and it's right by the history train depot in town.  The train depot is still in use for a tourist train which runs along the Arkansas River and travels west from Canon City through a scenic canyon and under the Royal Gorge Bridge.
 
I mentioned WalMart... I am not a huge fan.  But sometimes you can get a good deal.
Pillow stuffing: 10 pounds poly-fil on www.joann.com $39.99 (HERE).
Exact same 10 pound box of poly-fil at WalMart: $19.97.
 
I'm a lucky girl!
 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Pathfinder Park... sunrise walk.



Good morning!










Photos from a gorgeous sunrise walk with the doggies this morning. 

Pathfinder Park. Florence, Colorado. 







Saturday, June 14, 2014

Black Satin Pillow




A lady named Joannie from Chattanooga, Tennessee, contacted me through Etsy on Friday.  She's bought a few pillows from me in the past... one for her and one for her friend. She asked me if I could make a pillow out of a dark satin fabric.  I said, "Sure!" (as long as I could find the fabric). 

I did find some black satin fabric at the store and quickly made up a pillow for her.  I was trying to snap a photo of the pillow to show Joannie and it seemed as if the pillow had horrible "static cling". I kept trying to brush off little bits of the poly fiber fill stuffing and realized the stuffing fibers were actually coming THROUGH the satin fabric.  I told my husband about it and he said something about stuffing the pillow inside another pillow. Brilliant!  Actually, I had done this once before but I was glad he reminded me!

The satin was not too expensive so I just made another black satin fabric pillow and stuffed pillow #1 inside pillow #2.  This was easier said than done. I did not leave a big enough opening so I had to rip the seam open wider to stuff cram the stuffed pillow in there.  I was not completely happy with the pillow.  Joannie said she was surprised I got it done so quickly and mentioned she was going out of town.  She asked me to mail it to her church since she'd be out of town.  As a result, I felt no rush to get this in the mail today.

I kept thinking about the pillow.  A satin pillow is a really terrific idea!  I can see this as sort of a luxurious sleeping pillow, don't you think?

I made another black satin pillow today and it turned out much better. This time, I took some plain cotton fabric and cut out three pillow panels.  I put the cotton fabric panels up against the wrong sides of the three black satin fabric panels and  stitched the pillow together. This way, there would be an extra barrier so the fiber filling could not work it's way through the satin. The pillow, as a result, has a rich, supple feel to it. I could also fill this pillow rather firmly since the pillow is double thickness and it has a great shape.  I think Joannie will be really pleased when she receives this. 

I think I will try to add satin pillows to my shop. I loved the challenge of being faced with a problem with this pillow and figuring out a solution. I kind of want a satin pillow for me. 

Before I sign off, I want to share a photo of a big order. These pillows went to a lady in Beverly Hills, California. Nine pillows was a BIG order for me!