Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chenille Totes & Large Purses: Part I

What are these you might ask? Well, this is my next big project I'm tackling. It's the beginning forms of 7 large purses and 19 totes in 17 different chenille, suede and upholstery fabrics.

I had cut out these pieces about four years ago or more. And then I got sidetracked with the home improvement project and they got put in a box, almost forgotten. My goal over the next few months will be to finish these bags and put them up on the web site and sewing blog.

Here are some pictures of a few of the fabrics that are coming.

This is an exceptionally rich textured chenille upholstery fabric. I've made about four totes out of this fabric over the years and this will be the last one. Ten years ago I was willing to spend $60.00 on a yard of upholstery chenille if the design caught my eye like this one did. This bag will be one of a kind with black upholstery velvet straps.

India Gold

This has been a favorite upholstery chenille fabric of mine for years. It is an in-stock fabric. I have about 5 yards of it left and have made several different items out of it: handbags, totes, wall hangings, table runners and placemats. I still have my own oversized tote made out of it. It is a somewhat stiff, low nap chenille.

Chenille Asian Calligraphy

This fabric was very difficult to photograph. It's light to medium weight chenille upholstery. It's a deep dark green with an interesting swirl of red and light gold woven design. The design is harder to see than what you see in the image. I've got about a yard and a half left and this will be the first large purse and tote made out of this fabric.

Inspiration Green/Red

As I progress on getting these bags made, I will put up more images of the fabrics.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Throw Blanket Sale!

See the 2010 Throw Blanket Sale HERE
The Throw Blanket Sale has been extended through January 31st, 2009!

NEW! Fleece and flannel throw blankets are now on sale too! Regularly $49.00 plus shipping, any fleece and flannel blanket from in-stock flannel prints is only $40.00, shipping included. (Excludes patchwork throws.)

Colors Shown:
Rose, Medium Green, Country Blue, Burgundy

I've had people tell me that my fleece and panne throw blankets are their favorite blankets, ever! From now until December 31st, you can order one of these gorgeous blankets at a great savings. A standard fleece and panne throw is 44" x 59."

Regularly, the standard fleece and panne blankets run $45.00 plus shipping. In stock panne colors are now on sale for $35, and shipping is only $3.00, no matter your location! A double size is also available at a reduced cost. Email me for prices and shipping on double sized blankets 59" x 90."

In Stock Panne Colors

Lavender, Dark Purple*, Lilac, Purple

Zebra, Brown Snakeskin, Pink Paisley, Dark Gold

Midnight Blue, Bright Yellow, Navy (more muted)

Gun Metal, Peach

Rose, Baby Yellow, Baby Blue*, Baby Green

White, Hot Pink,* Black

Sky Blue*, Baby Blue*, Country Blue

Forest Green, Deep Red

Colors not shown: Olive Green
*Limited quantities

Hurry! To guarantee delivery by December 25th, I must receive your order by December 10th.

To purchase, email me @: sprocket.trials @

I accept PAYPAL @: customerservice @

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fabric Shopping on Black Friday

Do you know Kim of Darwin? Not only is she a fabulous sewer and knitter, she's also hysterically funny. She recently wrote this entry about shopping at Jo-Ann's on Black Friday and how crafty you have to be to get the best fabrics. I've never experienced shopping like Kim describes at Jo-Ann's! It must be a fight to the finish in a small town where there is only one store for miles. Each year on the day after Thanksgiving, Jo-Ann's has a blockbuster sale on flannel from 6 am to 12 noon. In years past, the flannel was on sale for .99 cents a yard. This year the price went up to $1.49. That's still a tremendous savings on fabric that can sell regularly for around six dollars a yard.

Since I live in a big metropolis, I have quite a few Jo-Ann's to choose from. There are two within six miles of me and another three within fifteen miles. On the day before Thanksgiving I had scoped out four stores, just to see which ones I wanted shop at on Friday. I thought I would "try" to get out the door before six am to visit as many as I could but I was up late Thanksgiving evening trying to get some sewing orders finished and in the mail. Consequently, I didn't leave the house until 7:30 am. Even so, I was able to make some great finds at the Porter Ranch store and the Reseda store on Friday.

My shopping spree.

Usually, I'm looking for interesting prints to make my oversized Christmas stockings or animal prints for fleece and flannel throw blankets. For the first time, I was shopping for baby themed flannel prints. I was shopping to build an inventory. My goal is to work next year on making some patchwork baby throw blankets. Many people have told me they are very easy to make and I thought I would see if I could tackle a patchwork blanket.

I've made a few patchwork blankets before, but I bought the patchwork fabric already made that you see in the images of this blankie.

It's a great print with different prints of blue and a chenille blended into the patchwork. Jo-Ann's has some great patchwork fabric in a few pink, green, or blue themed colors but the regular price ranges from $13 to $17 a yard. I need two yards to make a 42" x 59" throw which means just the fabric alone will push the materials cost of the blanket close to forty dollars. I have to wait until it's not on sale and use a coupon to make the price affordable.

Here is a close up of some of the baby flannel prints I will use when I start work next year on making some limited edition, patchwork baby throws.

I also wanted you show you the big roll of cotton chenille I scored a few days ago with a 50% off coupon. This is regularly priced at $12.99 a yard. I will use this fabric in making the the flannel patchwork blankets.

In the mean time, I am sewing, sewing, sewing every moment I am not writing up my coverage of the Phil Spector retrial. I am getting sewing orders about every other day, and it's been an interesting balancing act trying to get to court on time, sew orders, blog on the trial and keep my house clean. As you can probably guess, the clean house is losing. We won't be having anyone over until long after the holidays have passed and the Spector retrial has a resolution.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ornaments/Package Toppers Part III

(These ornaments were offered in 2008. See the current sale for 2009.)

Here are four more Ornament Collections to decorate your tree or packages. You can save even more by ordering a mixed bag (you will get a selection of different ornaments) of 13 ornament/package toppers for only $5.00. Shipping is free on all Ornament orders of $5.00 or more. These items are a terrific savings. The Ornaments normally sell for $1.00 each. Click on the image to see a close up of the Ornaments.

Small Santa Stamps $3.25 (5 Sets Available)
Gingerbread $3.50 (5 Sets Available)

Five Doggies $2.50 (2 Sets Available)

Large Santa Stamps $3.75 (5 Sets Available)
To purchase, email me @: sprocket.trials @

I accept PAYPAL @: customerservice @

Sunday, November 9, 2008


These sachets are filled entirely with a blend of lavender flower tops and peppermint leaves. They smell heavenly! If you order an Ornament Collection set with any sachet order, shipping is free! Click on the images to see a close up of the sachets.

Garden Cats Sachet Collection $10.00 (4 Sets Available)
Dogs & Bones Sachets
Complete Collection $11.00 (3 Sets Available)
4 Dogs & Bones only $8.00; Large 2 Dogs Sachet only $5.00

Christmas Pets Sachets
Complete Collection $8.00 (5 sets Available)
Christmas Dogs only Sachets $6.00; Christmas Cats only Sachets $3.00

Dog Pack $4.50 (2 Available)

Special Cats (2 each Available)
Branch Cat $3.75 (2 Available); Tail Wave Cat $3.75 (1 Available)
Crouching Cat $3.75 (1 Available); Two Cats $3.75 (SOLD OUT)

Special Cats (one-of-a-kind each)
Ledge Cat $3.75 (1 Available) Log Cat $3.75 (1 Available)
Fat CAt $3.75 (1 Available)

Kitty & Doggie Hearts (4 of each, Available)
Small Kitty Heart $3.50; Large Kitty Heart $5.00
Small Doggie Heart $3.50; Large Doggie Heart $5.00

To purchase, email me @: sprocket.trials @

I accept PAYPAL @: customerservice @

Ornaments/Package Toppers Part II

(This is the 2008 sale. See the new sale for 2009.)

Here are three more Ornament Collections to decorate your tree or packages. You can save even more by ordering a mixed bag (you will get a selection of different ornaments) of 13 ornament/package toppers for only $5.00. Shipping is free on all Ornament orders of $5.00 or more. These items are a terrific savings. The Ornaments normally sell for $1.00 each. Click on the image to see a close up of the Ornaments.

Cat Faces $4.25 (4 Sets Available)

Dogs & Bones $3.25 3 Sets Available)

All Hearts Christmas $10.00 (5 sets Available)*
Large All Hearts Christmas Sachet available separately $6.00 *(All Hearts Come Home For Christmas Ornament is single sided)

To purchase, email me @: sprocket.trials @

I accept PAYPAL @: customerservice @

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture Update

While I was in court yesterday, Mr. Sprocket had another follow-up visit with his surgeon. It looks like he is going to approve physical therapy sooner than the December 18th date. The surgeon told Mr. Sprocket that if things go well, he "might" be able to go back to work by the first of the year. This is exceptionally good news for us.

When Mr. Sprocket's son was here, he did all the work of putting the HVAC package unit on the roof back together while Mr. Sprocket supervised. Now that it's back together, Mr. Sprocket is working on wiring up a slew of different operating controls for the economizer. That doesn't involve any lifting of weight, just attaching the right wire to the relay in the attic and then to the control panel or thermostat on the wall.

All that wiring involves a lot of rotation of his forearm at the elbow joint, (pronation and supination). It's been painful at times, which is why this is taking such a long time. He will work on wiring the control panel a day, then rest his arm a few days.

The thermostat is a top of the line Honeywell model, that lets you do all kinds of programming. The personally designed extra control panel that Mr. Sprocket installed just below it, looks like it came from part of cockpit control board. Switches and timers and lights that go on or off, depending. He even installed sensors to determine if the outside air temperature is lower than the inside air. When that happens, the economizer will automatically open and the house can be cooled with the outside air. I can not wait until everything is finished and working and the control panel mounted on the wall.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ornaments/Package Toppers Part I

(This is the 2008 sale. Please see the new sale for 2009.)

I've started making these little ornament/package toppers. They are made from cotton prints and are filled with lavender, peppermint and polyester stuffing. They are little decorations you can hang on your tree that are kid friendly and won't break. You can also add them to a present to top off your package. And, they smell wonderful!

Normally, these little items have sold for $1.00 a piece at a craft show but as you can see, I've really cut the prices. You can save even more by ordering a mixed bag (you will get a selection of different ornaments) of 13 ornament/package toppers for only $5.00. Shipping is free on orders of $5.00 or more. Click on a photo to see a close up of the collections.

There will be more collections coming in the weeks ahead.

Snowtime $4.00 (Four Sets Available)
Four Snowmen $2.00 (Ten Sets Available)

Five Cats $2.50 (One set left)

Christmas Bears $2.00 (Four Sets Available)
Christmas Mice ($1.50 (Five Sets Available)

Six Doggies Collection $3.00
(Sold Out!)
Blue Angels Collection $4.00
(Five Sets Available)

Holiday $4.50 (Five Sets Available)
To purchase, email me @: sprocket.trials @

I accept PAYPAL @: customerservice @

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Miniature Stocking Sachets

Introducing the Mini Stocking Sachet.

Anyone who has ever purchased from me knows that I've always included a little sachet in with their purchase. In the past when I used to do holiday craft shows, my little package toppers and sachets were always a big hit. The Mini Stocking Sachet is filled with lavender, peppermint and polyester stuffing. They can be hung on your tree as a decoration or a unique package topper to your gift. They come with a little tag on them like in the first photo, but I've photographed them without the tag so you can see the whole stocking. With a minimum order of $5.00, shipping and handling on the sachets is free.

Mini Velvet Stocking Sachets, $1.00 ea
Red Velvet, Green Velvet
Mini Christmas Stocking Sachets, $1.00 ea
Pink Stockings, Santas, Christmas Blue, Teddy BearsMini Santa Close-up

Mini Kitties Stocking Sachets $1.00 each
Meiow, Kitty Moon, Cartoon Cats, Hearts
Close up of the Cartoon Cats

Close-up of Mini Hearts & Mini Kitty Moon

Mini Rose Panne Stocking Sachets

Mini Betty Boop Stocking Sachets
(Only Two Left! $1.25 each)

Still to come, the package toppers/ornaments collections and discounts on throw blankets, christmas stockings and holiday napkins & placemats.

To purchase, email me @: sprocket.trials @

I accept PAYPAL @: customerservice @

Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture Update

I've been getting a lot of interest in the story of Mr. Sprocket's injury, so I thought I would update everyone on his recovery progress. On September 3rd, Mr. Sprock got his last cast off. His arm would not straighten out completely, but his doctor's told him to take it slow and that in time it would. He found that the removable arm rest cast they made for him was just too much trouble to put on and take off, so he stopped using it.

For a few weeks his arm was still quite swollen from the elbow down through his hand. He was told he was not allowed to lift any weight with the arm. This has always been hard for him since his right arm is his dominant hand. He has been trying to cook and flip a fry pan with his left arm and has gotten quite good at that. After two weeks, his arm now hangs almost completely straight.

If he tries to extend it perfectly straight, he's in pain. He is still unable to fully extend his fingers of his right hand back into a hyper extension like he can his left hand. What I mean is, put your palm down on a flat surface, like a table and lift your fingers up, keeping your palm on the table. He can barely do that with his right hand.

On September 30th, he had a follow-up visit with his doctors. We thought that by then, he would be started on physical therapy but that's not what happened. He was told that he would not be put on physical therapy until December 18th, which would be exactly six months out from his surgery. Until then, the most he is allowed to lift is five pounds. There is still a substantial risk that he could pull out the anchor that was drilled into one of the bones in his forearm if he lifts too much weight, too soon.

In the past week, Mr. Sprocket has been working on updating the controls to our central air/heating system, which means he has been using his arm more with a lot of pronation and supination movements to wire in the new connections.

Consequently, he has been experiencing more pain than usual and has gone back to taking 800mg of motrin three times a day to manage pain and help keep the inflammation down. He has been reluctant to take any codine, since he doesn't want to depend on it and wants to be aware of when he is over doing it.

He goes back to the doctor for just a follow up visit in the beginning of November.