Friday, January 6, 2012

Welcome to my Sweatshop

I've been holed up in my sewing room for weeks.

My friends thought I fell off the face of the Earth.

At times, I thought I fell off the face of the Earth.

I took on way more Christmas orders than I could handle.

But that's life when a sista doesn't know how to say no.

This year seemed to be the year of the purples.

And thanks to my ever-growing fabric stash (courtesy of Damma Taffy's online fabric shopping addiction) my customers had a lot to choose from.

I took that picture last summer ... right after my amazing mother flew out here to organize my life.

I'm embarrassed to say it's a yearly trip for her.

She neatly folded and bagged (dust is a huge issue on the farm) all of my fabric. Then stacked it in color-coordinating order.

Since then, Damma Taffy's shopping habit has been alive and well. I just got (a lot) more fabric in the mail the other day.

We're talking several boxes.

Merry Christmas to me.

(Sidenote: She's so hip, she's on Facebook. Under occupation, she has listed: came out of retirement to become 2nd assistant to the President of the Apron Empire and to head the purchases and acquisitions dept.)

Love that woman.

Moving on.

This apron was for an LSU fan.

Just for the record, I will make an apron for any school except the University of Kansas.

I'm glad we got that out of the way.

This year was also the year of theme aprons.

So fun to make.

This one is obviously for a firefighter/mom.

Paws and bones for the dog lover.

Everyone chose such bright and fun color combinations this year.

A friend of mine ordered the two aprons above for her husband's mother and sister.

And wouldn't you know, he surprised her with an apron of her own on Christmas Day.

She modeled it for us as she cooked up a storm on New Year's Eve.

Hands down, little Olivia's apron was my favorite.

The silk taffeta bodice and tutu skirt hardly make it practical ... and that's exactly why it's fit for a little princess.

Jacob's mom ordered him an art smock to go with his new art set he asked Santa for.

And Elijah got personalized luggage from his Grandmother.

But somewhere around December 22nd, I was about to pull my hair out.

Most sewing machines these days just aren't meant for the amount of wear and tear I put on them.

Breakdown after breakdown ... machine and machine.

I finally resorted to Grandma Oleen's good ol' Pfaff.

Although I'm sure she's snickering up in heaven because I managed to break the otherwise indestructible hunk of metal.

Thankfully just the spool holder, as you can see I rednecked it out with my own little fix.

Add that to the list of machines going into the shop next week.

As a last resort my good old trusty Featherweight was on standby, but thankfully I never had to use it.

Fortunately, my baby, my main embroidery machine, worked like a charm through it all.

If that thing breaks, I will have no reason to live.

Okay, that's a lie.

And super dramatic.

But there are some truths to it.

Meanwhile, my little furball assistants were in no way any help.

The farm office couch is cursed.

The minute anyone, man or beast, sits down on it they are destined to fall asleep.

Glad to see you found a use for my quilt Woodrow.

Aprons weren't the only thing on my list this year.

I got lots of embroidery orders.

I made dozens of these kitchen towels for various orders.

I also got lots of orders for personalized napkins.

Santa got a lot of these with his cookies this year.

And to break up the monotony of it all, a football order.

A friend of Virginia Tech's quarterback had this jersey personalized for him.

And this towel went to the cutest little blue-eyed baby girl this side of the Mississippi.

Another customer ordered a casserole carrier.

And nothing makes my day better than when someone brings me a 31 bag and asks me to jazz it up a bit.

Take that 31.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas 2011

Christmas was a whirlwind this year.

Isn't it always?

This year was our turn to spend the holidays with J's family.

Since we stuck relatively close to home, I thought I would put up a few decorations.

I even decorated the farm office for once.

And that's when I found out my husband was a closet Clark Griswold.

10 foot ceilings + 12 foot tree = not happening.

But thanks to a handsaw, a step ladder and some extra-long grilling tongs to reach ornaments on top ... we got the tree trimmed and decorated.

(Pay no attention to the floor. It's a farm office. There is no hope.)

The decorations are a tad guido for a farm, I know.

But that's how we roll.

Add in scented candles in every room and Christmas music blaring 24/7 and it definitely sucked all of the testosterone out of the building.

Woodrow was not impressed.

He just wanted out.

And of course I had to host a Christmas dinner party for friends as an excuse to get my holiday dishes out.

(As soon as I find my silly camera, I will post actual pics from the dinner)

But until then, Merry Christmas and happy 2012!