Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Scenery

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful for beauty is God's handwriting - a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A little touch of red

Hi all! This has been a fun week, full of excitement with sharing the Sew Beautiful magazine article with family and friends. Thanks to everyone for all of the love and support! I can't believe that it is nearing the end of October...I wish that the month of October would be 60 days long...I love the trees and pumpkins and the chill in the night air.

Visited with our little cousins this week, and Olivia, age 3, sees trees that have changed and tells her mom "I see a little touch of red!" I saw some beautiful scenes during my travels this week, none of which compared to the trees located on the UNC-G campus where I was getting gas in my state vehicle. Glad I had my camera in my purse that day. Little touches of red are popping up everywhere and NOT just on the trees...Christmas is everywhere in the stores, and on everyone's minds.

The "Knotty Girls" are all working on ideas for our booth display at Holly Days on November 14th. This week I lucked out by finding the wooliest, most wonderful tree to display my ornaments upon! Complete with a snowman which I will be adorning with a WOOLIES scarf and hat, the tree is perfect for my Exceptional Woolies display. This morning I put together a little vignette on my buffet in the dining room...a little preview for you of items that will be for sale at Holly Days and at the Alamance County Arts Council Holiday sale.

Putting it all together has nudged me even more into high gear...I need to make more ornaments. I need to make more stockings. I need to make more mice. I need to make more cupcakes. I need two weeks at home. Oh well.

Got to get busy sewing! Hope you are having a happy weekend...Enjoy this last little bit of October!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gettin' Christmasy

I've been so inspired and energized by my big weekend of non-stop creating that I'm anxious to do more and more. I had not really planned on making Christmas tree wine covers..they just sort of happened during the weekend as I was sitting there with two green sweaters. I remembered seeing something similar on an old Martha Stewart program, and decided to do a similar thing using my repurposed felted wool and some sweet vintage trim that I purchased this summer at the Hospice Flea Market. I drew off a "Whoville" looking tree and cut 2, sewed them together and added sweet garland with daisy and rosebud trim and edging with some cool red and white trim. By the way...LOVED using my auction-purchased Singer and enjoyed zig-zagging my way through felt and trim.

Inspired by my three trees, I went to Goodwill in search of green sweaters (no luck) and then remembered the Military Surplus Store a block away from Goodwill....bought an army blanket and felted it...boy did it shed some wool! I ran into Granddaddy's Antiques to my favorite booth where I can always find some neat fabrics and sewing and knitting related items. Found some cute trims there, and Uncle Bud's Fabrics is also located in that same building so I was able to find some big rick rack and other trims in cute colors. So I am ready to crank out some more trees! I plan on doing some of my favorite polka dot trees as well. Love those dots!

I also have a special order for some mittens for little folks..haven't done any little ones, so that's going to be fun! I'm going to be home this weekend and I am SO looking forward to staying put for a while...I plan to SEW SEW SEW!!! I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

SOOOOOOO Beautiful!!!!!

Okay...I have SO much to tell and have had SO little sleep this this will be short and sweet. I spent the weekend at the cutest little cottage in Swansboro with all the girls sharing a booth at Holly Days in November (Renee, Kelly, Shannon and Amy). Kelly and Shannon are sisters and couldn't be more fun or more hospitable...their family cottage reeks of laughter and happiness and family stories. We cranked out work late into each night and sat down to craft again as soon as we got up in the morning. A few trips outside into the brisk October air gave us energizing breaks. There's just nothing like waking up and looking out on the water to start your day.

Kelly and Shannon (PeachyKeen coming soon to Etsy!) were busy making the cutest fabric pincushions and pumpkins and little hairbows...

Amy was amazing us all with her antique sock knitting machine...

Renee was in constant motion crocheting and knitting hats...

and I was spreading wooly lint and scraps all over the room while in a sewing frenzy with Woolies!

Joining us for the weekend was Shannon's doggie, Arthur, who was the cutest, sweetest thing! He enjoyed all the lovin' from the ladies.

I spent some time out on the pier making photos of some of my finished Wooly Wearables for Bottled Beverages..and those bottles sure were warm, but I was freezing...went in for a second pair of pants and another shirt and was COLD.

Before leaving for home, we had a little photo shoot of some of our finished work, and all of us sporting hats made by Renee! It was a GREAT weekend...and we hope to make this an annual event!

I will post soon with details on some of my newest creations...I have something brand new to Woolies that I made several of this weekend. Can't wait to show you!

The next big exciting thing I have to share is that the magazine is OUT!!!!!! I ca
me home from a glorious weekend, checked my mailbox and found several complimentary copies of Sew Beautiful Issue #127 November/December 2009. So...if you have a desire, please run right out and get a copy...and find me on page 58: Wooly Wonderland by Susan Puckett. I have to admit that this is by far one of the more exciting things that has happened to me...four whole pages of beautiful pictures of MY work???? What???? I am still pinching myself.

See the Sew Beautiful website for stores that carry Sew Beautiful. I know that "around these parts" they have it at Wal-Mart, JoAnne's, Hobby Lobby and Barnes and Noble. I have my dear friend Renee to thank for putting the idea into the editor's head, and starting this whole year of excitement and anticipation of seeing myself and my work in a magazine!!!! Wooooohoooooooooo!

Okay...I must go to bed now...if I can sleep...the adrenalin rush from the mailbox dance is still pumping through my veins! And I lied, ya'll...this was NOT short...but I had so much good stuff to share...what an exciting day!

Goodnight is VERY VERY good!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Hello my friends...This has been the wildest weather week ever...I was laying on the beach in 90 degree weather on Saturday, and then freezing and turning on my heat for the first time on Tuesday! The rainy, nippy weather and my daughter coming home for her Fall Break spurred me to do some cooking this week. On the way home from the beach, my friends and I saw many produce stands along the way...and stopped to buy some fruits and veggies. I even bought a bag of peanut brittle that we dove into as soon as I got back in the car. My Grandmother Evans used to make that delicious, hurt-your-teeth-it's-so-doggone-sweet stuff, and boy do I love it about once a year or so! We were talking about fall food...and I commented that being an Eastern N.C. girl, I never ate pinto beans until I married and moved to the Piedmont. I never knew that people had pinto bean suppers and cooked huge cast iron pots of pintos with green pepper and onions and seasoned with ham. I only knew of the pintos in the can...and boy there is a BIG difference (sorry, Bush' can't compete). Well, this discussion gave me a hankering for some pintos and then the weather turned raw and cold and I had to have some! I bought the DRY pintos and soaked them for about 6 hours, then put them in the crock pot with ham bits, a big chopped onion and lots of green pepper, gobs of pepper, some salt and my secret weapon, Adobo seasoning. I cooked these slow all day in the crock pot. Right before eating them, I poured them into a pot and put them on the stove to reduce the liquid (they needed to thicken a tad), and made some cornbread and grilled Italian sausage, served with lots of mustard. Wow...this was a stellar FALL menu...yum.

Sara Beth came home last night and her roommate Lindsey joined us for dinner. I had bought sweet potatoes at the produce stand, and wanted to do something with them besides just bake them. I didn't want to cover them in lots of brown sugar and marshmallows either. I found a recipe for Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes on the Food Network website. Sooooo simple...only 4 ingredients other than the potatoes themselves: Honey, Olive Oil, Lemon and a sprinkle of salt. The comments with the recipe were all wonderful and I decided to try it. We loved it! So healthy and so delicious. It's a keeper of a recipe and I plan to make it at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas for my vegetarian niece and the rest of the family!

Right now I am getting my wool, my sewing machine and all my necessary supplies ready for a crafting retreat weekend with the girls I'm sharing a booth with at Holly Days. It's going to be a fun and productive weekend, with everyone busy at their individual crafts! Amy is going to be cranking out socks on her antique sock knitting machine, Renee will be knitting and crocheting hats and working on her monogrammed bag tags, hairbands and baby things; Kelly and Shannon are working on lots of cute hairbows and other cool accessories. I, of course, will be working on "wooly wearables for bottled beverages", flower pins, purses, glasses cases....and more! The "Knotty Girls" are also going to think about our booth layout. Each of us will have our own individual little "shop" within a's going to be fun for the shoppers at Holly Days (November 14 at Front Street Methodist Church, Burlington, NC). Can't wait to tell you all about our weekend and show you some pictures next post. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I want an extended wooly vacation!

Hello everybody...I love my "real" job...I truly do...I have been teaching children with exceptional needs for 25 years, and I have never tired of the joys of teaching...BUT....this Fall I am really struggling with wanting to be home at my sewing machine and in a chair with a needle and thread. I'm also teaching a class at the community college one night a week...and boy, let me tell you...that is WAY more time consuming than you would think. My weekends have been a little bit spoiled with the impending Monday night class hanging over my head, when all I wanna have some fun...(singing Sheryl Crow in my head)...

So...I am whining. I know it. I hate whiny behavior...but I am doing it right here for everyone and his brother to see...shame on me. But there's so much I want to do, and so little time to do would be nice if there were at least a few 3 day weekends in my near future, and NOTHING ELSE TO DO. But it's not gonna happen.

This past weekend was way busy...but fun. I attended an auction on Saturday morning at a friend's parent's home...sad and hard for him to see his parents' and grandfather's belongings sold...what made it easier was seeing some of his friends take home some of those belongings that he will see us enjoy. I was excited to get a Singer sewing machine. I've been wanting an extra machine, especially for taking with me when I want to work somewhere away from home. This machine is lighter than my "Signature" machine. In just the last week, I had looked at some threads on an Etsy forum regarding sewer's preferences and had been hunting on Ebay for sewing machines. I was thrilled when the very first thing I saw as I walked up to the auction was a sewing machine in the original box...which my friend says his mom probably used twice. SCORE. And for $32.50 to aren't you jealous? This one is old enough to have metal parts...which hopefully will make it a longer lasting investment.

Saturday evening my friend Betsy and her daughter Paxton came to spend the night with me. They are the friends we visited this summer at the Outer Banks. Paxton is a fabulous basketball player and shows her stuff in front of college coaches at big "expos" I think they call them...anyway...she has had lots of colleges looking at her, cuz she is GREAT. Betsy is my friend that I've had the longest of anyone in the world (as you see I'm avoiding calling her my oldest friend), because I do have OLDER friends! We have known each other since first grade and went through 12 grades together, were bridesmaids in each other's weddings, and we still love each other just as much as we did at age 6. I had fun showing Betsy all the woolies I've been working on...she is amazed that she and Paxton were here one year ago for this same basketball event and I had not begun making woolies yet! Talking about that with her, I realized just how much I HAVE done in 12 months...and that helps put things in perspective. I guess I need to focus a little more on what I HAVE done rather than the constant list-making and thinking about all that I haven't done. Hmmm..good idea. It really is amazing that in one year I have begun this new venture, and in just a couple of weeks will be featured in Sew Beautiful! I am returning to venues where I sold things last year (by request, which is great)...and if I could crank out more work I could commit to even more venues. So life is good. Very very good. And I'm so very fortunate to have THREE jobs, so shame on me even more for complaining one little bit! I'm gonna bask in my good fortune...and do what I can physically do...and it's all good. Thanks for being my sounding board to help me gain some perspective on my silly self.

Today is the birthday of my wonderful sister, Jane...Happy Birthday to you! Jane is my supporter, my friend, my creative mentor and always my "big sister" who shares all things sentimental and special about our wonderful childhood and our unbelievable parents. We are lucky girls, and I am blessed to have her as my sister. (Check out Jane's beautiful work on her Etsy site!) I'm including my very favorite picture of the two of us. Jane was 7 and I was a year old and I never get tired of looking at this one..She has been the BEST sister ever..all of my life!