Quick Sewing Room Clean-Up


Don’t laugh…This is the current disaster in my sewing room.  I’ve completely neglected it over the last few months (yes, that’s my pink Christmas tree that I never got around to decorating).  But now with the new year, it’s time to get my act together.  You know your sewing room is in the same state of disorganization, so let’s get it cleaned up quickly.

A few years back, I wrote The ABCs of Spring Cleaning Your Sewing Room over on SewMamaSew.  There’s even a printable PDF for your convenience.  I know it isn’t Spring yet, but heck, you’ll be getting a jump start on it!


While going through the piles of crap on my cutting table, I found lots of treasures I had forgotten about.  Yes, the bags of fabric from Joann’s Black Friday Sale were yet to be unpacked.  It’s mostly more flannel that I don’t need.  I know…don’t judge me.


I did find all the goodies I purchased during a recent NYC shopping adventure with my dear friend, Sara Norris.  Sara and I met online about 7 years ago while sewing children’s custom boutique clothing.  When she told me she was coming to New York City for a few days, I just knew I had to show her my fabric playground (aka NYC’s Garment District).


Sara and I had a ball while her husband, Mike, waited patiently as we went treasure hunting.  Our first stop was Pacific Trimming—an old favorite of mine for rhinestone buttons and buckles.


We discovered a trim shop, Hai’s Trimmings Inc.,  I had never visited before.  This place had more high-end trims than the other shops I usually go to.  I was even able to finally find 24 row rhinestone trim to recover my bathroom switch plate!  This place was AMAZING!


Sara surprised me with the cutest spool of velvet trim she found at Antropologie.  Love it!

Now it’s time to find a home in my sewing room for all these sewing things.  Hopefully, once I get my kid back to school tomorrow, I’ll get back in the groove!  Hoping to sew a lot more this year than last!


A Diva Needs Brother Husbands

It’s a new year and I’m determined to be more productive than last year.  There were so many things I wanted to accomplish last year, but didn’t.  I just didn’t have the physical or mental energy to get it all done.  So perhaps I need to come up with a better plan.

After watching an episode of Sister Wives, I had an idea.  Why aren’t there any Brother Husbands?  You know, a bunch of husbands that serve a Wife?  Think about it.


Jesse Metcalfe could cut the lawn, plant the annual flowers and clean the pool.  Oh wait, I don’t have a pool.  Whatever.


Ryan Scott could heat things up in the kitchen.  I’d even let him use my new bronze Kitchenaid mixer.


Scott McGillivray could put up the Christmas lights and do whatever needs fixing in and around the house!  He can start with building me a new garden room and then figure out how to retrofit one of the kitchen cabinet hinges which broke months ago.

Seems I’m not the only Diva that thinks like this.  Just think of the possibilities!  I’d have endless hours to craft and shop!

Now first let me say, I do love my Mr. Diva™…he’s a great guy.  He lets me be ME.  He doesn’t put any restrictions of any of my craziness.  And he puts up with all my quirks (like how I have to separate all my food on my dinner plate, no red in the house, etc.).  However, Mr. Diva™ doesn’t help with much around the house.  He doesn’t do yard work, can’t fix things and would never think of doing housework.  In his defense, he doesn’t insist that I do it either and he is more than willing to pay someone else to do it.

Guess I’ll keep him.  Anyway, what if all my husbands were sports fans who rooted for opposing teams?  And could you imagine the piles of laundry and the dishes?

Happy New Year!


Sew Glamorous Christmas Stocking Tutorial and Some Christmas Confessions

Glamorous Christmas Stocking Tutorial


Go check out my Glamorous Christmas Stocking Tutorial at Boutique Cafe.  It’s part of Boutique Cafe’s Christmas Festival Traditions and Tutorials.

Christmas Confessions


Christmas Confession #1:  I’ve never let my kids decorate MY tree.  They can put their handmade ornaments on their smaller trees in their room.  I know, I’m a bad mother.


Christmas Confession #2:  Even though your Santa may wear a RED suit, mine doesn’t.  I loathe RED.  There is not a speck of RED (or Christmas Green) in my house during the holidays or any other time.  My Santas have Gold, Cream, White, Silver, and Aqua robes…LOL!

Christmas Confession #3: I like getting Christmas cards with pictures of your adorable kids.  Except the ones that include those annual summaries of their overachievements.

Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas!


Christmas Sugar Cookie FAIL Times Two


Because I don’t have enough hobbies, I bought myself an early Christmas gift from Mr. Diva.  And yes, it is BRONZE to match my kitchen.  Determined to justify this purchase, I proceeded to make some sugar cookies.


The first Sugar Cookie recipe I used was from the Kitchenaid Mixer booklet that came with the mixer.  Conclusion:  Rock hard bland cookies.  Total FAIL!


Next up, I mixed up at batch from a recipe at Allrecipes.com which received great reviews.  These cookies were at least edible, but not yummy like I had hoped.  Another FAIL!

I’m going to try this recipe from Moms Who Think which uses half-n-half and this recipe from The Kitchn which adds lemon zest, almond extract and cream cheese.  I’ll let you know how they turn out.  Do you have a great Sugar Cookie recipe?

On a brighter note, I made homemade mashed potatoes for the first time in my life.  The mixer whipped them up effortlessly!  They were delicious!

What do you make in your mixer?  I need ideas so my mixer doesn’t become a heavy paperweight (like my crock pot) on my kitchen countertop.

With friendship,


Christmas Crafting…The Sad Type

graveblanket 2 

While everyone is busy doing cute Christmas crafts, I’ve had something else on my mind.  In mid-October, I lost my beloved Mother-in-Law, Mary.  She was the Mother-in-Law every girl dreamed of having.  I don’t think I had an argument with her in 20 years.  It’s hard to imagine life without her now.


I spent her last few days caring for her at her home.  It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.  If you’ve ever done in-home hospice care, you know what I mean.


My Father-in-Law had kidney stone surgery (he’s 90 years old) and the doctor wanted him to stay overnight at the hospital.  However, I begged the doctor to let me take care of him at home to be with his wife in her final hours.  Thankfully, I got him home just hours before my Mother-in-Law passed.  It was heartbreaking to watch him say goodbye after sharing 65 years of marriage with her.


In the meantime, my husband got kidney stones and gout–losing his mom was just too much for him.  And I ended up with pneumonia.  So as soon as my husband was well, I checked myself into the Critical Care Unit at our local hospital for a few days.  With the help of some IV steroids and antibiotics, I was back to normal in no time.


We had buried my Mother-in-Law at the cemetery up the street, so we can visit her gravesite often.  Whenever I have a few extra minutes, I go and see her.  It’s too soon to add her gravestone…but we can add flowers and such.


I went to purchase a grave blanket for her, but couldn’t bring myself to settle for standard plastic poinsettias and bright red florist bows—not to mention dropping $150 on them.  My Mother-in-Law was too special.  So I made my own 4 foot grave blanket using evergreens, berries, ornaments, pinecones and ribbons.  My Mother-in-Law would have loved it.  It’s classy like she was.


NYC Style Italian Sausage and Peppers


Nothing is better than some Italian Sausage and Peppers on a cold New York City Fall weekend!  I’ve had so much going on in my life, but I desperately needed to get back to my kitchen and share another one of my favorite recipes with you.  Thanks for pushing me!


First let’s talk about ingredients. It’s real simple—everything will taste better if you use FRESH ingredients.  Fresh pork sausage from your local butcher will ALWAYS taste better than some frozen sausage crap from the supermarket.  Peppers you roast yourself have a much better taste than those you get in a jar marinated in vinegar (yuk!).  Same goes for fresh herbs.  Now granted, I might not have fresh oregano on hand at all times, but I try to use fresh whenever possible…and you should, too.  Don’t be a loser.

Oh and on a side note…many Sausage and Pepper recipes use Tomatoes of some type (sauce, chopped, peeled, etc.).  I prefer mine without tomatoes.  The choice is yours.

Prep and Cooking Time:  35 minutes

Feeds about 6 Hungry People.


  • 8 – 12 Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 4 – 8 Bell Peppers (Red, Orange and/or Yellow—NO GREEN)
  • 1 Large Onion (I prefer the White Spanish variety)
  • 3 cloves of Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Basil (5 leaves)
  • Fresh Parsley (10 leaves)
  • Fresh Oregano (pinch)
  • White Wine (big splash)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Butter
  • Olive Oil (big splash)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Hot Red Pepper Flakes to taste (optional)


Fire up your outdoor BBQ, indoor broiler or stovetop and burn the heck out of your peppers.  Don’t worry…you really can’t overcook them.


Once burnt, put them in a bowl of cold water to loosen their skins.  Remove the skins and seeds from the peppers.  Rinse.  Tear peppers into strips.  Set aside in a bowl.  (Note:  you can prepare your Roasted Peppers a day or two before to save time  Just keep them in the fridge until you are ready to use them.)


Brown your Sausage in a big frying pan with some Olive Oil over a medium to high flame.  Remove sausage and set aside.  DO NOT CLEAN FRYING PAN.


Add Butter to your frying pan and loosen up all of the brown caramelized gunk sausage fat in the pan.  Slice your Garlic and Onions.  Chop up your Parsley and Basil leaves.  Throw it all in the same frying pan you used to fry the Sausage.  Sautee until transparent.


Add roasted peppers, oregano, salt and pepper.

Stir in some White Wine.  And have yourself a glass or two while you’re at it.  You deserve it.

Cook until everything is tender.


Cut browned Sausages on the diagonal and add to frying pan.

Lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Make sure Sausage is fully cooked.

Serve with fresh Italian Semolina Bread!  Enjoy!

P.S. – Yes, you can double this recipe and freeze it if you’d like.  However, It doesn’t matter how much I make…there is NEVER enough left to freeze…LOL!

With friendship,


Sew Unbalanced


Seems like my life is just dashing past me.  I have such good intentions, but spend my days doing projects for others.  Rarely do I get any creative “ME” time these days.  And I don’t know about you, but if I don’t get my crafting time, I get bitchy.  Really bitchy.

And yes, I’m selfish like that.  Although I love my friends, I need my solitude.  I need to spend time inside my brain.  There’s so many projects in my head that it becomes overwhelming at times.  Not like crazy.  But more like frustrated that I can’t do MY OWN stuff.


Selfish Seamstress – buy it HERE!

However, sometimes it’s not busyness.  It’s laziness.  Wait…maybe it’s not laziness at all.  Maybe I’m simply EXHAUSTED!  By the time I finish taking care of everyone else’s crap, I have absolutely no energy to do the things I want to do for myself, my family and my home.

As a New Year’s resolution this year, I promised myself that I would not volunteer to help others with their projects.  You may think that’s rotten of me, but understand that everyone thinks I have nothing to do all day.  Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t need me to do put together a small gift basket, do a little alteration on their new dress, or help them with a quick craft project.  Although I want to scream, “LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!”…I succumb to the pressure and give in to their requests.  And this builds resentment.  And quite honestly, I’ve had enough.  I really need to take the advice of Elaine, the Selfish Seamstress.


photo source

But here’s the thing—I genuinely LIKE helping others.  Actually, I probably thrive on it.  Sad, I know.  So I’m thinking my problem is more one of BALANCE.  Yep.  How the heck do the rest of you do it?  Between family, friends, housekeeping, school, blogging, sewing, decorating, etc.—Tell me how you find balance in your life.


Sew, The Little Diva Goes to College


This week Mr. Diva™ and I took a 7 hour car ride (separately, cause Mr. Diva doesn’t drive as well as me) to drop our daughter, Marielle, off at SUNY Canton.  The staff laughed as we unloaded her crap belongings onto the curb.  She had 2 full carloads of stuff.  And then she sent me to Walmart FOUR TIMES for more things.  And yes, Mr. Diva™ was carrying on about all the money I was spending.  But not to worry…I ignore him most times.  He was just standing there shaking his head and dying of embarrassment.

Originally Marielle was to scheduled to dorm with two girls…sharing 3 beds, 2 closets and 2 desks.  She was in tears.  Marielle has two custom closets at home crammed with all the latest fashions.  So what do I do?  I call the school dorm assignment person and tell them the truth—that my daughter is in tears and doesn’t want to go to college, because SHE HAS TO SHARE A CLOSET.  Seriously.  I asked the woman not to laugh, but she said she had the same problem with her own daughter the year before.  And then she fixed our “problem.”  Marielle was given a double room, however, her new roommate decided not to dorm at college this year.


We arrived to find a hideous medium blue painted room…ugh!  But not a problem…with the mass inventory of fabric in my stash, I fixed that!   I hung zebra and hot pink fabric as wallpaper, added curtains to the windows and closets, arranged her clothes on hot pink Huggable Hangers and coordinated EVERYTHING (cause I’m anal like that).

I even draped hot pink chiffon fabric across a long wood beam, but they made me take it down…something about it being a fire hazard.  Whatever.  Now I need to make her some pink and black vinyl embellishments with my Silhouette.  Beyond her name, what else should I make in vinyl for her?

I wish Marielle would take more pictures so you can all see the other half of her room.  But of course, she’s too busy at “frat parties” already.  Typical teenager.


Within the next few weeks the college will consolidate the room and she will get a new roommate.  Let’s hope the new roommate doesn’t show up with a purple comforter and ruin the whole color scheme.  Only kidding.  If she does, I’ll just buy her a new pink comforter for Christmas.  Brilliant?  Heck, in the worst case, I’ll just have to take down half the fabric from the new roommate’s side of the wall.  Crossing fingers.

By the way…at age 48, I finally got to sleep in a dorm room for the first time (as the hotels were sold old the second night).  That was an experience sharing a bathroom with 6 girls.

And for those who are curious, Marielle is studying Mortuary Science…yep, she wants to be a Mortician/Funeral Director.  I know…you are probably thinking that’s creepy.  But it’s the perfect job for her as she won’t have to be behind a desk all day.  Plus, she can do Grief Counseling and has just the right amount of empathy to help families through their darkest hours.


Sew Tuned In


I must have been living under a rock.  Two new sewing shows?  Oh yeah!


First up is It’s Sew Easy!  The scheduled initial air date was Thursday, June 30, 2011.  It replaces America Sews with Sue Hausmann.  Here’s some info I found on their website:  

It’s Sew Easy offers a new concept to Public Television viewers. The program does not feature a main host, but is based on designers and education that revolves around the experts. The focus is on contemporary style, not age. The goal is not to stress perfection, but rather concentrate on easy ways to accomplish a great project. Projects will be easy enough for beginners but creatively challenging, combined with interesting style elements to pique the interest of all sewing enthusiasts.


Special guest designers appearing include: Valerie Mayen and Suede (both of Project Runway fame), Bobbie Bullard, Colbey Decker, Shannon Dennis, Stephanie Kimura, Nancy Odom, Eileen Roche, Peggy Sagers, my beautiful Sheree Schattenmann, Angela Wolf, Linda Augsburg, Pamela Damour, Tricia Waddell, Londa Rohlfing, Janet Pray, Cindy Losekamp, Gina Moorehead, Rebecca Cornell, Christy Howden, and Trish Preston.

The format will include two main projects per week and one shorter technique segment. Shows will be themed. Each project will include project instructions and a pattern with a link to the instructions found on the It’s Sew Easy website, plus additional related projects and patterns.

Show themes include: Apparel Details and Embellishments, Simple Sewing-Easy Tricks, Dress Up Ready Made Home Décor, Garment Construction Tips, Surface Embellishment, Restyling, Fun Fabrics, T-shirt Surgery, Gifts, and more.

It’s Sew Easy taped in March, 2011. It will be available to all Public Television stations across the country. The shows are shot and posted at EDR Media’s Beachwood Studios Production Center in Beachwood, Ohio.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find it on my TV lineup.  I do, however, get Sue Hausmann’s show, so maybe I’ll get it soon.  Fingers crossed.


Next up is Sew It All TV!  Use the TV station finder to see if it’s available in your broadcasting area.  If not, write your local TV station and request it!  And no, I also don’t have this show in my broadcast area.  FML.


Ok…with all this talk about sewing shows, I have to tell you…I have only TWO things on my Bucket List.  Yep.  Just two.  The first is to visit Tahiti.  I’ve been many places, but never Tahiti.  I’ve spent hours and hours surfing the web learning everything I can about Tahiti, checking airline prices, swooning over beautiful little huts in the water.  Mr. Diva said he won’t go, so in the next few years, I’ve decided I’ll just go myself.  Maybe I won’t come back.

Thirty years ago, I had plane tickets to Tahiti with this guy.  I was only 19 years old and my older brother wouldn’t let me go (fearing I would become a missing person).  He was probably right considering that guy ended up stalking me for two years until someone went and had “a talk” with him.


And that brings me to the second thing on my Bucket List—my own TV show.  Don’t laugh, but for years I’ve dreamed about having my own TV show.  No, not like Oprah or Martha.  More like Diva.  Yes, there would be sewing, decorating, cooking and organizing.  But it would be different, because I have no desire to make my own laundry detergent (nor of folding fitted sheets properly).


My show would have to be on a cable television network, because I curse.  A lot.


Oh crap.  There is already a Diva TV over in the UK!  But I’m not going to let that stop me.  I just have to figure out how to pull it off.  Any suggestions?

So tell me…What’s on YOUR BUCKET LIST?  Because I need some ideas.  Having just two things on my bucket list is sad, right?

With friendship,



Sew Cuts Like A Knife


Like most of you who sew, I, too, have an obsession with scissors.  Heck, I’ve had this obsession long before I saw my first sewing machine.  I’m almost positive I’ve given one of my siblings a haircut in my younger years.

Well anyway, a few months ago when I went to Eileen’s Spring Fiesta in Mechanicsburg, PA, she gave me a tour of her new sewing room.  And what do I see?


Giant Scissors on her wall!


Don’t you think they look AWESOME in my sewing room?  They look perfect on my Idea Board!  Thanks Eileen!


So, to compensate her for my thievery of her Giant Scissors, I bough her some cool fabric out of guilt (Mrs. Sews and Sews).  I’m sure a nice friend.  Now all I have to do is actually mail it to her.  Maybe I’ll save on postage and just have her pick it up when she come to the big BBQ.  Yep…sounds like a plan.


How cool are these giant scissors by Design Dragon?  I’d be afraid to hear how much they probably cost.


Or what about these Huge Scissors?  Those things should be considered a weapon!


Would I be nuts to get these Scissors Nail Art?  They do scream, “Seamstress.”  Actually they probably scream, “Cutter.”  I think I’ll pass.


Check out this neat Runs With Scissor machine embroidery appliqué design by Claire!  Love it!


What about these awesome postcards?


Even better for this southpaw…a magnet for my refrigerator!

Happy Sewing!


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