My Glamorous Life

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I have so neglected my blog.  It’s not that I don’t want to update it.  Really.  I miss my crafty blogging friends terribly!  It’s just that I fired Mr. Diva’s secretary in early December and my life has not been the same.  I’ve gone from a woman who woke up every morning living life spontaneous (sewing, shopping, lunch with friends, etc.) to a working mother with no help.

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And during this time, our office landlord decided to repaint and re-carpet our offices (we have 3 separate rooms).  Oh and we added 2 new phone lines (to our 4 existing lines), 2 plasma televisions, and an additional internet connection.  Also we rented a 3rd office.  We upgraded our photocopier to one that also scans so we can email documents when necessary.  The list goes on.

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Although I’ve hired a new secretary, there is way too much work for one person to do…actually, it’s enough work to keep 3 full-time support staff members constantly busy.  And it doesn’t help that neither one of us were given any training on what needs to be done, where things are kept, etc.  So we’re just winging it!

Oh and did I mention Mr. Diva is a CPA and it’s tax season?  I think you get the picture.

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The holidays were a blur.  Seriously.  Everything was last minute and very stressful.  However, I did manage to get a few articles up on Boutique Cafe:

Holiday Tips with The Diva:  Gift Wrapping

Holiday Tips with The Diva:  Bow Tutorial

Holiday Tips with The Diva:  Tulle Garland Tutorial

Holiday Tips with The Diva:  Scents of the Season

Boutique Cafe Holiday Homes Tour (my home tour starts at 2:58)

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Speaking of the holidays, I still have my nekkid (aka beyond naked) Christmas tree sitting in the middle of my living room…not to mention, I have yet to wrap up all the Christmas decorations and put them away in the attic.  I did get half of them away yesterday…woo hoo!

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And to top it off, Mr. Diva™ went to Las Vegas for 5 days while I was left to fend for myself and kids in 17 inches of snow.

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I shoveled three times.  And what was the first thing Mr. Diva said upon his return?  ‘”Why didn’t anyone take the snow off my car?”  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Men!

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On a creative note, Socialite Sister™ asked me to redecorate my sweet niece’s bedroom.  We searched endlessly for the perfect theme for little Miss Josie’s room until we came upon Timeless Treasure’s Mod Paris aka Bon Voyage.

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I purchased 8 yards of the pink heart fabric to make a Queen bed skirt.

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and the coordinating prints to make pillows and such.

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The main print also comes with a brown color way.  Only bought a yard of it as she’s purchased a brown duvet cover and we don’t want the room to be too dark.

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I bought the most awesome machine appliqué designs from Claire Atwood of Stitch On Time.  Yes, I have digitizing embroidery software, but at Claire’s prices, it isn’t worth it for me to do it myself.

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She even made me an appliqué of the camera graphic (6” x 10”) which I plan to cut out the centers, add photographs and frame several of them on the wall.

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Josie’s bedroom walls were already a soft pink, so I picked Pink Popsicle for her ceiling to make the room POP.

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And since I was being a bit adventurous, I had my BIL paint the back of her white bookcase a vibrant Rumba Orange.

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Now I need to find a wire dress form like this one.  I’d bought a similar one for Marielle’s room at HomeGoods for a mere $49.  There’s no way I’m paying $185 for one.  Guess I’d better start hunting for one in HomeGoods.

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Found this 13” vintage pink vespa on Ebay.  The seller still has a few more of them if you want one.

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Scored a bunch of vintage tatting of eBay, too while I was at it.  One can never have too much trims, KWIM?

I finally got in some sewing yesterday morning.  Well, actually I started sewing at 3am, because I needed some baby boy gifts for a Bridal Shower I was attending at noon.  I’d show you photos, but I forgot to take any.  I made some minky blankets and burp cloths using one of Joel Dewberry’s print.  They were a hit!  Yeah ME!

Oh and next time I even think of using that Minky crap, smack me upside the head.  I have it everywhere.  I think I might even have inhaled some as I can feel it in my throat…ugh!

lisasiggie2

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A Few Quick Christmas Sewing Ideas

Can’t believe Christmas is right around the corner!  Here’s a few things to make for the holidays!

I love this method to making stockings!  How clever!

What a quick and easy project.  All you have do is be able to sew a straight line.

With an embroidery machine, you can personalize it~

These socks are simple to sew.  I’ve made dozens over the years.

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Check out this quick Crown Tutorial by Jessica Levitt.  Also be sure to take a look at her gorgeous new fabric line, Timber.

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Need a gift for your favorite Shutterbug?  How about this neat Patchwork Camera Strap?

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Love this easy Laptop Sleeve tutorial!  I really need to make one of these for Marielle.

Hope everyone is doing well!

lisasiggie

Fun with Friends in the NYC Fabric District

Every year after the big BBQ, no matter what, we go to the Fashion (Fabric) District to score some fabric and trim!  Our mission was to invade Pacific Trimming (my absolute favorite trim, buttons and findings store).

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You’ll know you’re at the right place when you see the big arse orange button in the front window.

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Connie has been helping me find the best goodies in town for several years.  Years ago while shopping at Pacific Trimming I accidentally left behind one of my big bags full of trim.  When I realized, I called and Connie said she had it and would hold it for me until I was back in the city.  For that, I am beyond loyal.  Whenever I bring my out-of-town friends on a fabric shopping adventure, the first place we stop is there!

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Lady M™ (aka Myrinda of Fabric Hound) has never missed a trip in the last 5 years!  Here she is special ordering a top secret item.

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My dear friend, Jenn (aka Peppermints and Petticoats) recently moved from Canada to New Jersey.  This was her first time to the big BBQ and also her first time out shopping the District with me.  I think she might have been a bit overwhelmed with all the choices.  But the good news is now that she lives closer, we’ll be able to go fabric shopping in the city often!

Ok…now for the loot!

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I used to go to MJ Trimmings and really loved all their stuff.  However, I can find a lot of the same things at Pacific for a lot less.  Some of the rhinestone and glass buttons were only $1 each!

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Of course I needed to restock my rhinestone buckle supply.  And with Pacific’s selection, I felt like I hit the jackpot!  You can get them for $2 (standard ones) and even the fancy Chez ones for $10!

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I found some awesome trims at great prices!  I had to get the polka dot pleated ruffles with black lace edging, a hologram ruffled elastic, chiffon elastic with orange tinsel edging, some soft sparkly pink trim, a double gathered net trim and some pink/brown zebra ribbon.

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And check out these beautiful velvet ribbons I couldn’t pass up!

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After leaving Pacific, we stopped into a few other stores where I found some beautiful silk shantung in bright pink and aqua.  I even scored a $3 a yard black textured net with rhinestones!  But the biggest find of the day was this gorgeous silver metallic open-work fabric encrusted in sequins and crystals for less than 1/2 price (originally $26/yard which I talked the seller down to just $10/yard)!

Definitely a successful adventure!  Especially when I can do it with my friends!

P.S. – I know many of you are waiting to hear about the big BBQ which was held Saturday, August 1st!  Let’s just say, I’ll need two blog posts to fill you in with all the details!  Stay tuned!

lisasiggie2

Some Painting and Redecorating

Last week I had a 2nd painter finish up what the 1st painter didn’t paint.  Truth be told, painter #1 was a meticulous painter…except one problem, ok, several problems.  Painter #1 first quoted us a rate of $200 a day.  Fine.  Then he changed his mind 3 weeks into the job and raised us to $250 a day.  By week 6, he states he’d prefer $300 a day…GO TO HELL, I told him.  So we kept it at $250 a day.

Well, that’s all good and fine, EXCEPT Painter #1 is the slowest painter in the world.  My house interior is 3,800 square feet.  We’ve paid over $7,500 and he still was not finished…WTH?  And mind you, he didn’t paint my bedroom, garden room,  hallways, stairs or garage!

I finally got fed up and told him I had to replace some furniture before he finishes painting.  Needless to say, I never called him again.

Painter #2 finished the hallway, stairs and some trim in under 2 days!  Never again will I allow Mr. Diva™ to hire one of his dirt bag friends.  Never.  I think Mr. Diva™ would agree.

In The Pink

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I did have Painter #1 paint my dining room ceiling PINK (Benjamin Moore #1325 Pure Pink).  Everyone thought Mr. Diva would get pissed, but he didn’t seem to mind.  Happy Wife = Happy Life.  And guess what?  Everyone who comes into the house notices the pink ceiling and loves it.

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I scored these awesome pediments at HomeGoods for a mere $12.99 each!  I’m thinking of painting them ivory and draping pink organza curtain panels behind them.  They’ll be perfect over the two dining room windows and add more Pink to the room!

I know I have at least 10 yards of pink organza which I bought for the dining room curtain panels at least two years ago.  Now to figure out what box I stashed it in…UGH!

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And yet another SCORE at HomeGoods!  I found two of these huge candelabras–one silver and one white.  And on my next visit to HomeGoods, I found the matching cake stand!

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After having a friend remove all the crystals, I spray painted them all white.  And then I had the same friend reattach all the crystals.  I’m going to use them for the food table at my big BBQ this weekend!

All That Glitters

Now before you start rolling your eyes, have you ever gotten an idea in your head and took it one step to far?  I have a habit of doing this more often than not.

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Thank you Benjamin Moore!  Benjamin Moore’s Tropicana Cabana #2048-50 was the closest match to Tiffany Blue.

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But the truth is my inspiration came from this beautiful custom boutique set made by Lisa of Lyndsay Leila Designs.

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When I saw this glass container at HomeGoods, I knew I had to have it!  Love anything with Bling!

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Found this awesome canvas of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s!  Added some hot fix crystals to her necklace and hair comb…PERFECT!

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Even my shower curtain rings are bejeweled…LOL!

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Got me a big ROCK!  Found this giant crystal paperweight at HomeGoods!  Perfect!  To clean it, I just throw it in the dishwasher along with the glass shelves!

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Found these aqua bath sponges at Target for only $1.99 each…and of course, I added more bling!

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Picked up a simple white shadow box for $8 at HomeGoods (of course). Then I covered the background with some Michael Miller aqua dumb dot fabric, added long black satin gloves ($4), fake pearls ($2), cheap sunglasses ($3) and my fancy crystal brooch (which is removable if I need it).  Smashing!

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Since I didn’t have enough Michael Miller aqua dumb dot fabric, I opted for another print of which I had 2 bolts on hand.  I sewed up a simple window scarf.  Not bad.

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I embroidered my aqua towels.  Instead of “Tiffany & Co.,” I thought “Diva & Co.” was more fitting.

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Go over to HGTV’s Rate My Space and give me a few stars…pretty please?

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OMG!  Hot Fix Suzy™ had to show me the rhinestone toilets from Jemal Wright!  I’m not going to even inquire about the cost as I’m sure it would be out of my price range…LOL!

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Think I might have to settle for these rhinestone drawer handles.  But I really want that toilet.

A Bright Idea

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Marielle’s new chandelier is finally installed!  Just in time for the big BBQ this past Saturday!  This fixture is HUGE.  The photo doesn’t do it justice…it’s a whopping 27 inches wide by 30 inches high!

Now I know you are all dying to hear about the big Diva Q…stay tuned, I have lots of pics and details to post…LOL

lisasiggie

Silk Spider Web Rose Tutorial Plus a FREE Giveaway

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EDITED:  WE HAVE A WINNER

True Random Number Generator Result: #19

Erica is the winner of the Silk Spider Web Rose Kit. Please email me at domesticdiva@si.rr.com with your full name and mailing address!

Congrats!

I’ve made dozens of tiny silk ribbon spider web roses, but I needed something BIG for the front of a Christening gown.  And they say, bigger IS better, so I made these simple roses and thought you, too, would like to make them.  As an incentive to get you to try this easy tutorial, I’m giving away a kit with all the supplies you need to make these roses yourself.

Ok…so let’s get started!

Supplies Needed

  • Embroidery Hoop
  • Silk Dupioni or Silk Shantung 3″ x 40″
  • Matching Silk Foundation Fabric for Embroidery Hoop
  • Matching Thread or Embroidery Floss
  • Hand Sewing Needle
  • Safety Pin 
  • Hot Glue Gun (optional)
  • Rhinestone or other Decorative Button (optional)

First let me say, you can make your silk rose as big or small as you want.  It all depends on:

  • the size of your “spider web” (foundation circle)
  • the width and length of your silk fabric strip.  If you want a small rose, make your silk strip no wider than 1 inch.  If you want a jumbo rose, cut your strip 4 inches wide.

I made a quick video tutorial to help.  Written instructions can be found below.

Laying the Foundation

Hoop some background fabric in your embroidery hoop.

Now decide how big you want your rose to be.  Take any circular item such as a can, cup or small container.  Trace it onto the hooped fabric using a pencil or disappearing ink pen.  Mark 5 points in the shape of an upside-down star and your center point like this:

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Thread your needle with matching thread.  Come up at point A.  Go down at point B.  Come up at the center point (pictured below)catching the A-B thread:

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Go down at point C creating a fly stitch:

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Now come up at point D and down at the center point.  Then come up at point E and down and the center point.  Now tie a knot on the underside (don’t cut the thread off just yet).  You’ll now have 5 spokes.

Creating the Rose

To make a fabric strip, cut into the selvage edge of the fabric and tear it to the other selvage edge.  You want frayed fabric strips…adds more character…LOL.  Take your fabric strip and secure one short end to the center of the star using the needle and thread.  Leave your needle and thread on the underside of the hoop.  You’ll need it at the end to secure your rose to the foundation fabric.

Now attach a safety pin to the other side of your fabric strip.  This will enable you to easily thread the fabric strip through your spokes.

Start weaving your fabric strip over and under the spokes in a circular motion.  Keep twisting your fabric strip as you create the rose.

Once you have covered all of your spokes, complete the rose by tucking the end of the fabric strip under the rose and removing the safety pin.

Using the needle and thread that is attached to the underside of your hoop, secure the rose with a few stitches.

Cut out your finished rose making sure NOT to cut your foundation spokes.  Sew it to a garment, glue it to a hair clip or use it to decorate a tote.  The options are endless.  You can even create these roses directly onto your items.

Now, don’t think you can only make these roses with silk fabric.  Try quilter’s cotton, chiffon, organza, cotton knit, velvet, beaded satin, spandex or even tulle.

Various Uses for Silk Spider Web Roses

  • Covered Buttons
  • Thumb Tacks
  • Baby Items such as bibs, booties, blankets and clothing
  • Bridal Items such as money bags and garters
  • Headbands
  • Hair bows
  • Hats
  • Pillows
  • Sachets
  • Christmas Ornaments
  • Brooches
  • Purses and Totes

Silk Spider Web Rose Kit Giveaway

To win the supplies you’ll need to make these roses, post a comment and I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner on Friday!

I’d love to see the roses you make, so please post a link and share your pics!

lisasiggie2

 

Designing a Christening Gown, Finding a Treasure and Happy Birthday to ME!

PLAYING WITH LACE

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I was so terrified honored when my dear friend, Diana (you know, the one who made all the delicious caramels apples for the big BBQ), asked me to create the perfect Christening gown for her new daughter, Sophia.

She decided on a simple an over-the-top ivory silk shantung gown with an underlay of vintage lace. 

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Diana is even going to let me add a big vintage pink silk sash which will be tied into a big bow on the back of the dress and embellished with Swarovski crystals.  Luckily, I have one of those cool hot fix crystal tools from Hot Fix Suzy™!

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As much as we both loved the alençon lace, it was too glitzy for the Christening gown we’ve envisioned.

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We decided on the perfect lace which has a soft hand.

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The abundant tulle underskirt layers will be trimmed with various vintage laces…some ivory and some pink!

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But before I can start on the Christening Gown, I’ll need to tidy up my sewing room…ugh!  Prior to sewing any special occasion dress (especially whites), I always give my sewing room the Mr. Clean treatment.  DONE!

Seems I started 14 pair of lounge pants for my daughter, 7 onesies for above new baby and various other sewing projects.  Off they all go to the UFO (Un Finished Objects) pile…LOL!

Sophia’s Christening is June 28th…so I had better get moving!

UNIQUE PATTERN MAKING

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Kathleen of Fashion-Incubator recently posted about a defunct company, East-West Musical Instruments Co., which created the most unique leather jackets.  These jackets are a work of art.

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And wouldn’t you know, I’ve had this beautiful one they created back in the 70s.  It was given to me by my childhood housekeeper who received it from Edgar Winter.

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I certainly made a fashion statement as a teenager as everyone went nuts when they saw this silver leather jacket.  I didn’t realize it was valuable.  Check this one out.  Elvis’ jacket went for over $30,000!  It is marked jacket #432, I believe!

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I can’t imagine the hours of pattern making and sewing that went into creating this masterpiece.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

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Last week, I celebrated my 46th birthday (May 22nd) with a delicious Mocha Butter Cream cake (thanks to my sister, Linda).  I had cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner for two days..haha!

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And no…that’s not my front lawn above…although it is not below me to get one of those!  I did, however, display the obnoxious amount of fresh flowers Mr. Diva surprised me with in the front window.  It pisses off all the other housewives in the neighborhood.

Now to get to work…hope everyone is having a great week!

With friendship,

Lisa

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Fabric.com Sew Much Fun Sweepstakes

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Enter HERE!

lisasiggie2

CPSIA–Just When You Thought it was Safe to Get Back to the Sewing Room…

UPDATED:  RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING GUIDE FROM THE CPSC AT 1:23 AM TODAY!:

Guidance on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) for Small Businesses, Resellers, Crafters, and Charities

Nothing like waiting until last minute?  Unbelievable!

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Not sure how the rest of you feel, but this whole CPSIA stuff continues to mentally and physically DRAIN me!  I spend a tremendous amount of time reading, bewildered, rereading, twittering, disseminating information, testing, retesting, and banging my head against the wall.

It has all knocked the life out of me.  Some think it’s no big deal.  But the reality of it is another story.

BANNEDLEAD

Read the latest 7 items from the CPSC from this past Thursday and Friday.  Now before you get all excited and think you are off the hook, perhaps you should read some of the thoughts around the web:

Fashion-Incubator:  3 Days Until National Bankruptcy Day

Senator DeMint:  Congress Turns Toy Story into Nightmare for Small Business

Rick Woldenberg:  The Emperor Has No Clothes

Rick Woldenberg:  CPSC Commissioners Speak Out

Rick Woldenberg:  CPSIA More Serious Message

Overlawyered:  CPSIA Roulette

Overlawyered:  What Will Be Enforced?

Overlawyered:  CPSIA Fifty Stars and an Asterisk

Overlawyered:  CPSIA Chronicles February 10th

The Common Room:  There’s a Difference Between a Policy and a Law

The Common Room:  CPSIA and State Attorney General

The Common Room:  Open Letter to NRDC

Shopfloor:  Ambiguous Enforcement-Certain Disruption

CPSIA by Numbers (Part 1):  How Much Safer Will CPSIA Make Us?

CPSIA by Numbers (Part 2):Stochastic Approach

CPSIA by Numbers (Part 3):  Scary Sounding Chemicals

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(Note:  Yes, I did eat the tires off my first carriage….LOL!)

Honestly, I don’t have a game plan yet.  I rented an XRF gun to lead test my boys’ clothing line and everything else in my sewing studio (over $400/day).  All fabrics, elastics and trims passed.  Problems occurred with some snaps and zipper heads (thankfully I have lead-free substitutes).  Not sure if the reflection of the silver on these items gave me false-positive results.  So what I’ll need to do now is have these items in question re-tested by a professional (more $$$).

But the good news is I can continue to sell for the next year.  Yet, unless the CPSC decides to allow component testing next year, my business won’t be able to survive the high cost of third-party lab testing.  Kathleen of Fashion-Incubator sums up how I feel.

With friendship,

Lisa

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Christmas 2008…Wishing For a Miracle

Somehow I forgot to post this the day after Christmas (guess I was just a tad distracted, you think?)

December 26, 2008

Christmas was so different this year.  I’m so glad it’s over.  Usually all the holiday ceramics I made years ago bring me joy.

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I went through the motions.  Never finished shopping or decorating.  Didn’t really cared that my presents were without handmade bows and calligraphy gift tags.  Or that I didn’t buy all the gifts I had set out to purchase.

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The tree had stood undecorated for two weeks until my daughter decorated it on Christmas Eve.

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Christmas decorations were place randomly around the house hoping to add Christmas cheer.

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My heart was breaking each and every minute of the day.

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There were no gifts under the tree until Christmas morning, because I waited until last minute to wrap them.

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All I would think about was if a Christmas Miracle (a new kidney) would come in time…

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Would my prayers be answered before it was too late?

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Although I did not feel hopeless, the reality of Marielle’s health became more than I could bear…

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But I kept it to myself.  I didn’t want to make my loved ones worry anymore than they already were.

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I forced myself to keep conversation light and smile so everyone would continue to think I was strong…

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The stockings were hung haphazardly on the stairs…

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Never did put a single Pink Christmas Light on the outside of the house.  I did, however, manage to put my 2 foot angels in the front window…

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I did get Marielle an embroidered stocking to match her Pink and Zebra bedroom…

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And she got my Pink Christmas Tree which was “supposed” to go in my Pink Sewing Room.  The things us mothers sacrifice for our children…LOL.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!  Perhaps next Christmas will be brighter for me.

lisasiggie2

Design Your Own Ultimate Sewing Room Contest

C O N T E S T       H A S        E N D E D ! ! !

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Can’t believe I forgot to mention this!  Have you entered the Fabric.com / Craft Stylish Ultimate Sewing Room Contest yet?  There’s over $7,000  in prizes!  Prizes include:

FabricComGiftCard 

Fabric.com Shopping Card Value – $1,500

Baby Lock

Baby Lock Ellure Sewing Machine Value – $2,499

Reliable Corporation IronMaven

Reliable Corporation IronMaven™ J490A Value – $399

Reliable Corporation C81 - Vacuum & Up-Air Pressing Table

Reliable Corporation C81 – Vacuum & Up-Air Pressing Table Value – $499

Fabulous Fit Dress Forms Pro Series® Misses Regular Form

Fabulous Fit Dress Forms Pro Series® Misses Regular Form Value – $687

Sylvia Sewing Cabinets Model 810 work table

Sylvia Sewing Cabinets Model 810 work table Value – $1,099.95

American & Efird

American & Efird Mettler Thread 28 Spool Gift PackValue – $82.10

Threads magazine

1-Year subscription to Threads magazine Value – $32.95

Threads Fitting DVD Series

Threads Fitting DVD Series Value – $99.95

Threads Industry Insider Techniques

Threads Industry Insider Techniques Volume 1 & 2 Value – $59.90

The Best of Threads DVD-ROM

The Best of Threads DVD-ROM Volume 1 & 2 Value – $99.90

Here’s the Official Rules.  Hurry–the contest end December 31, 2008!

Here are the two sewing room designs I entered:

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The_Domestic_Divas_Sewing_Hideaway_lg

Design Your Own Ultimate Sewing Room NOW!  Check out the sewing room gallery to see what others have created.  Creating a sewing room online is so simply—really.  Go do it now!  You never know if you’ll be one of the winners, KWIM?

lisa

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