Three Quilts-to-Be

It’s been a crazy few weeks in Li’l Bumpkin world. During that time I was excited to get three new quilt orders. I went shopping (my favorite part!) a few days ago and after 4 hours in Michael Levine Fabrics, I came out with MAJOR winners. I can’t wait  to get these assembled. Join me in welcoming three new custom quilts to the Li’l Bumpkin Family!

1. Mod Safari

2. Worker Man

3. Spring Green Giraffe

Hopefully I’ll have these done and photographed in the next few weeks, so I’ll update soon!

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Featured on The Stir Mom’s Cafe – Holiday Gift Guide

Exciting news…The word of my quilts has gotten out – GO, TEAM! I was featured on The Stir – A Cafe Mom Blog in the Holiday Gift Guide. The Bumble Birds quilt is the number one choice in 5 Holiday Gifts for the All Natural Baby Gifts. Thank you, Cafe Mom. I am honored.

Check it out for yourself – http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/113165/5_holiday_gifts_for_the . There’s still time to place holiday orders!

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Pastel Heaven turns to Emma’s Heaven

About a month ago, my friend, Celia, and I had lunch to catch up. It had been many months since we had been able to see each other. I found out she had experienced a terrible loss. One of her closest friends from college, Noel, died of brain cancer. He was 32. If that wasn’t bad enough, Noel was married, to Hannah, and had a baby girl, Emma, on the way. I can’t even imagine what the family is going through. And my heart breaks for all their friends. It’s so hard to loose anyone at any age, but to loose a friend so young and have the world robbed of amazing talent and laughter just plain sucks.

 Later that night, I was making some vintage t-shirt burp cloths and I couldn’t get Hannah and Baby Emma off my mind. At one point I tried to put myself in Hannah’s shoes and I just cried. I couldn’t even start to try to “get” where she is (and never want to). I wanted to do something to help, but I knew that there’s really nothing anyone can do to make it better. And plus, I don’t even know Hannah personally. But still, I couldn’t shake them from my thoughts. By the time finished the cloths, I had made a decision.

“Baby needs a quilt.”

I immediately emailed Celia and told her that I wanted give Hannah and Emma some love and the only way I know of doing that is giving them a quilt to hold and cry into when it hurts and to cuddle and make some happy memories when it doesn’t hurt. I instructed Celia to go onto my Etsy shop and choose the one she thought Noel would like best for Emma and it’s was hers. After much debate, Pastel Heaven won (the nursery walls are a pastel green that matches the quilt). It’s now officially called Emma’s Heaven.

Oh, it doesn’t stop there though. While Celia was in the shop she spied and bought the Giraffe onesie and then ordered a custom butterfly onesie. With the butterflies, I used a tiny pink flower fabric I knew Celia fell in love with when I made the Boob Quilt to auction off for her AVON Breast Cancer Walk. I was happy to see her immediately recognize and oogle over it.

I hate that we have to deal with sadness and pain in life. I hate that we are cheated out of friends early on in the game by diseases. It’s not fair. But thank the Lord we have little reminders of joy and the grand possibilities of life in babies like Emma. I pray her life is filled with happiness and endless hilarious stories of her Daddy. I hope that Hannah feels a little comfort when she tucks Emma in her quilt. I probably will never meet Hannah or Emma, but I hope their days are a tiny bit brighter and they can feel my hugs and prayers every time they snuggle their quilt.

Sometimes a quilt is just neeed. Simple as that.

Please read more about Noel and his beautiful life at: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/noelsmith

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The Hideous Kitchen Counter is Now Consealed

It’s that time again – Sewing time with Laura S! 

So, the main thing that drives Laura S. the most crazy in her house is the most glorious funky shaped kitchen counter. I was actually kinda font of it. But I live to make my people happy, so I shall sew whatever my dear Laura S. wants.

We spent many hours shopping for the perfect fabric – something pretty, but not too much of a print to where it over powers the room. Finally, we stumbled upon a simple beige canvas at Michael Levine’s Discount Loft Store. The best fabric ever: perfect weight, easy to sew, and a dream to iron. I wish I had more for every other project, I love it.  Once we put up the curtain and I saw the difference, I now agree with Laura S. It was quite hideous.

Once we finished that project, I was in the restroom and asked Laura S. if she had thought of curtains for that window. Why, yes, of course she had, what was I thinking. Long story short, we dug through all her fabric scraps and pieced together curtains. Light and airy to light still comes through (it’s a tiny bathroom), but a little privacy on the bottom.  Easy breezy and done.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish so quickly when you : 1. Are laughing and cracking up with a close friend and 2. Put all fear and perfectionism aside and just DO and CREATE.

Satisfaction achieved.

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Treats for my Peeps

Ok, I admit it. I have a hard time accepting help and gifts without wanting to give something in return. I love giving treats. So, when my cousin, Lisa, saved me from death’s door with her cough syrup and an Etsy friend, Jennifer, helped me with marketing fonts – free of charge – you know treats were needed!

Oh, what to make? Nothing too big, but extra special to let the ladies know how much I appreciate them and their generosity. After much debate, I settled on pot holders/trivets and coasters. The next dilemma, what colors?

Well, Lisa was easy – Ole Miss colors, UGH. Now, understand, I’m a hard core LSU fan, most of our family are the same (being from Louisiana, it makes sense). But Lisa has always been the black sheep when it came to football (49ers instead of the Saints? Good Lord.) Nevertheless, I managed to suck it up and cut and piece the fabric together… Of course, playing the LSU fight song and drinking an Abita beer during the process did dull the agony a bit.  

Now, for Jennifer, it was a little harder. We know each other through Etsy. She designed and printed all my labels that adorn my creations – gorgeous, right? I know, she’s awesome. But Jen and I never really chatted beyond our professional messages back and forth. So, instead of guessing I just asked – What’s your favorite room in your home? What are your favorite colors? What’s the color scheme in that room? She answered as if she were my long-lost twin, “I LOVE blues and greens together…and some brown added too. My furniture is like a light olive green. Some may call it baby food/puke green. My walls are aqua-ish. 🙂 Dark brown furniture. I love natural browns, beiges, blues, greens…Does this help?” Um, YES, Jennifer, it does…and by the way, we are the same person.

It was super fun going through my scraps and making art from nothing. And both gals were super excited to get their treats. I’m just happy that I could give something in return and tell them how much I treasure them. Love you gals!

Get your very OWN custom coasters, pot holders and trivets in my Etsy shop! www.etsy.com/shop/Lilbumpkin.com

Lisa’s Response: Just got home to find my treats in the mail! I love love love them- and the Ole Miss colors are awesome ( I know that was hard for you so that makes it even more special!) I am already using them! Love you!  P.S. Great LSU game today!! So happy they beat Bama.. you know that I am a closet LSU fan ( except the weekend before Thanksgiving!)

Jen’s response: Got the treats!!! I got them on Saturday. I LOVE them! 🙂 The fabric is DEFINITELY what I would have chosen…and the labels are just awesome on them! I can’t believe I made those labels…they seem so much better than usual. LOL. THANK YOU so much!!!!!!!
Jennifer

Need labels? Visit Jen’s Etsy Shop! – http://www.etsy.com/shop/JennifersJewels

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Vintage Shirts for Baby’s Burps

We all know I love sewing for my besties. Nicole is one of my closest friends and also my manager. She hosted a baby shower for one of her best friends, Stephanie. Steph is waiting to find her baby’s gender until the birth, so Nicole was looking for something  neutral. She also wanted to get something that Steph really NEEDED. I asked her what did she use most when she was a new Mom and she answered, “You can NEVER have too many bibs and burp cloths.” Done!

As I was sketching ideas, I came up with something completely new for me – Vintage T-Shirts. They are one of the most absorbent things ever, so I figured they would make great bibs and burp cloths. Talk about making something that no one else could every have. Plus, you know how I love to recycle and reuse. Double bonus.Nicole loved the idea and put her complete trust in me. 

Though I personally know and adore Stephanie, I wanted more details about her. Nicole  answered a questionnaire and gave me all sorts of fun Steph facts: eats organic, loves green living, her hubby is from Brazil, she is an artist, loves dogs and all things California.

I spent the weekend shopping at various Goodwill stores with David. We had so much fun plundering through the racks. Of course, we found shirts for our friends who are expecting (Needless to say, I have more sewing to do). We stocked up, people.

It took me a while to get the right size and shape for the bibs and cloths. It was a large learning curve, to say the least. I designed a pattern, but each bib or cloth took on is its own life depending on the design from the shirt. So, I had to make adjustments as I went. The edging was the hardest – and after consulting with a few senior crafters, I bought a new sewing machine foot and finished the edges.

I am in love with every bib and cloth.

The MTV bib is in honor of us growing up in the 80s. I’m sure Steph will appreciate it.

The doggie bib is in honor of Steph’s dog, Buddy. We musn’t neglect the first baby.

I wanted to visually honor Stephanie’s love for green living, eating local and organic and recycling and reusing. Luckily, I found three t-shirts that screamed green – literally. With all the cloths, I had to piece them together to give as much length as possible and give room for the neck cut-out (these won’t fall off as you’re burping baby!). The piecing made for some beautiful designs and imagary. I even added a decorative leaf stitch to the first cloth. It ties it together perfectly! 

Since all the cloths are reversable, I wanted both sides to be interesting. On the Tree Cloth, I appliqued the logo from the front of the t-shirt along with my logo label. It’s my favorite.

One of the most iconic places in California is In-And-Out Burger. We all love it and go often. I’m so incredibly jealous of this one, I’m currently on a mission from God to find another T-shirt to make one for me…you know, for the baby that I don’t have. Of course, I could always use it to throw under my cat when he throws up (when tends to happen on a bi-weekly basis).

When I gave them to Nicole all wrapped up and purdy like, she went ballistic she loved them so much.  The baby shower was this past Saturday and Nicole said, “Steph and the girls went [monkeypoop] over your stuff!!! They all asked about you. Thanks so much!”

I love love making my friends and clients happy. I can’t wait to see photos and video from the shower. I’ll share as soon as I hear from Nicole. You’ll see the bibs and cloths posted in my Etsy store for custom orders soon : www.etsy.com/shop/Lilbumpkin

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Happy Birthday to Me!

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!

I love birthdays, but am especially obessed with my own. It’s the bestest day ever. I do a count down ever year for my loved ones starting a month ahead of time. It’s a tradition. In the past I’ve gone all out and threw crazy themed parties: Annie and 80s Roller Skating (yup, wood rink and all!) being the last few. As fate would have it, my love of the 70s made this year’s slightly different.

As you read in my Inspiration from the Past posting, while on our Pacific Coast trip, David and I found an awesome Antique Mall in Bellingham, WA where I found my birthday present – a vintage 70s light fixture. I was instantly in love and knew I would regret not getting it. So, I did what had to – bargained with the seller…and my husband.

Now, let me explain a little. David and I are EXCELLENT bargain shoppers and are major recylers and re-users.  We’ve both grown up in modest households and we were taught early on to use coupons, repourpose and make deals while shopping. When we buy clothes, we go to resale stores like Buffalo Exchange, Crossraods Trading Co. or Goodwill. We buy furniture off of Craigslist and at Swap Meets (Flea Markets for you East Coasters). We book all our travel itenraries on discount websites. In otherwords, we never pay full price for anything (’cause we’re awesome and why should we? Why should anyone?). In addition, we when we DO buy things, they’re usually not big ticket items – we have an one-bedroom apartment, we don’t have room for big ticket. So, I don’t think this light fixture was a thrill for David since it was more “big ticket” than the $30 lamp I bought at TJMax last year.  I knew in order to score my gorgeous light fixture, I had to pull out the big guns – subtracting money from somewhere else.

Understanding what a HUGE deal my birthday is in my world, I turn to David and tell him if I can talk the seller down on the price, I will sacrific my usual crazy birthday party if I could buy the light fixture as my present. I KNOW. HUGE DEAL. Of course, Mr. David is wise and knew this light was probably cheaper that throwing a huge party anyway and left it up to me to decide.

You know I got the light.

I am in love with it and it adds the most beautiful ambiance to the room. I’m happy with my bargain. To make things even sweeter, I put up a large mirror on the wall behind the light fixture. I know it wasn’t in my original bargain, but it just sort of happened.

I was at Salvation Army shopping for vintage t-shirt to make burp cloths out of for a client – that’s another post. I turn around and see a huge black bamboo frame. PERFECT. It’s 3′ x 4′ and only $20. SERIOUSLY?! You can’t get a 8 x 10 frame for that these days.  I snatched it up. Gave it a new coat of high gloss black spray paint and then had a glass guy put in mirror for me. The result – perfection. Very sassy and makes our place feel like it’s twice the size. Why we didn’t think of hanging a huge mirror 6 years ago is beyond me.

But the cherry on top of this story… I’m still having a party…it’s a Come See My Birthday Light Fixture Potluck Birthday Party. Instead of presents, friends are bringing some food to share and will join me in staring  at and oooing and ahhhing over my light fixture all night.  NICE. Everyone wins.

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