Sunday, August 19, 2012

Who wants a surprise gift?

I love getting surprise gifts as much as giving surprise gifts.  I found a few blogs that are participating in a Surprise Pay-It forward.  I found it on Claire Bear's blog. So if you love to get a surprise gift and have a blog, post a comment.

Here is how it works.

I will send a surprise gift to the first 3 people to comment on this post.  This gift will be made by me and I will send it sometime within the next year.  Exactly when you will receive it will be a surprise.

And here are the rules:

1.  I will make a little something for the first 3 people who comment on this post.  It will be a surprise and may arrive at any time in the next 365 days (yes, a year).

2.  To sign up to receive a gift from me you must play along too.  Share the giving love on your blog by promising to send a handmade goodie to the first three people who comment on your blog post.

3.  You must have a blog.

4.  After commenting on my post, you have to post this (or similar) on your blog to spread the love.  If you haven’t posted in 48 hours then the next commenter will be chosen.

If you want to join in just comment below and if you’re one of the first three I’ll send you something before the end of August next year!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lovely day for a Japanese Summer Festival

Today was a gorgeous day for a Japanese Summer Festival at Mitsuwa. Located in Edgewater, NJ overlooking the NYC skyline, the Festival was packed with lots of people. There were live performances like the Tsukasa Taiko Performance, food stalls and activities for the kids. It was a lot of fun and good food..

People were also encouraged to dress up with Yukatas and Kimonos as this is a Japanese tradition. There were so many cute kids dressed up in Yukatas.. Kawaii..

Tsukasa Taiko Performance
The best part was the food, of course. :-)The lines for the food stalls was long but it was worth the wait.. Yummm.They had Yakisoba Pan-fried Noodle, Okonomiyaki Pancake, Cotton Candy, Hiyash Ramen, Hayashi Rice, Gyoza, Iced Green Tea, Grilled Lobster, Grilled Scallop, Yakitori Skewered Chicken, Shaved Ice and my newly discovered favorite, the Yakionigiri Grilled Rice ball...

 The Yaki Onigiri Grilled Rice ball is exactly what the same suggest. It's grilled rice ball. They grill the rice ball until it's crispy on the outside. It's coated with soy sauce as it's being grilled. I love crispy rice.. Check out this awesome tutorial on how to make Yaki Onigiri for yourself. I'm definitely going to try it soon.

 If you have never visited Mitsuwa Marketplace, it's a Japanese supermarket with a great food court filled with delicious Japanese food and desserts. I included pictures above of the food options inside the food court. They have everything on display so it's easier to see what you're going to get if you're not familiar with Japanese cuisine. They frequently have special events to bring in specialized foods from all different areas of Japan. It's a must try. Check to see if there is Mitsuwa in your area.

~~Words of Encouragement~~
But Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word of God. Luke 4:4 (NKJV)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Goodbye Pittsburgh.. Hello Cincinnati, Ohio

So yesterday was the last and final day of the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo in Pittsburgh. It was a great last day.. I had two more hands on classes and last minute shopping to do before the expo closed out.

Day 3 - Last two classes was very light as compared to the first day. I was able to finish both project in each class :-) The first class was to make a Quilted Cosmetic Bag with Chris Dolinar from Husqvarna Viking. The main attraction for this class was a product called Texture Magic. Just like the name of the product, it will add dimension and texture to any fabric. it's a steam-activated shrinking fabric made of polyester. The fabric shrinks 30% in all directions when steam is applied. You first sew your patterned lines on the fabric with the Texture Magic sheet. Then steam the back side of the sheet and watch the magic happens. If you haven't tried it, it's a must try product.. I'm hooked on Texture Magic, I had to buy some right away in one of the vendor booths right after class.. Go to your local quilt or sew shop and ask for Texture Magic.

The second class was making Gifts in Minutes: Pretty, Practical Projects with Hope Yoder. For those who are not familiar with Hope Yoder, you're in for a treat. She sells fabric button machines. She has different size fabric button machines with different accessories for each size. In the class we made two types of buttons. The small one is a 1 inch button which turned into a keychain and the larger one is a 2.5 inch button which turned into a mirror. Who can resist a mirror especially one that says "Mrs Always Right".. LOL
For these two buttons, we first embroidered the designs on 3 inch gross grain ribbon, cut them out and assembled on the button machines. It was pretty cool and very easy to assemble the buttons. Check out her website and how-to videos. Hope also sells very cute embroidery designs that you can put on the buttons. The second project was to make a tissue holder which was super easy to make. I loved this class because Hope combined piercing, embroidery, sewing and button making all in one class to make these cute gifts..

So that concludes the end of the expo for 2012. I found out that this is the first time the expo is being hosted in Pittsburgh. I guess Pittsburgh was a success since they announced that they were coming back next year. hooray :-)
Read more about the Original Sewing & Quilting Expo.
Part 1: Day 1 & 2 of the expo and Make-it booth with Beth Bradley.
Part 3: My favorite vendors from the expo

With the expo complete, I was going to stay another day to sight see and check out the attractions in Pittsburgh but looking at the weather, there was a heavy storm coming all day Sunday. When I looked at the weather map, it was enough to make changes Sunday's plans and got moving to try to beat the storm.
So left Pittsburgh asap and started our drive down to Cincinnati. As you can see, we still hit parts and piece of the storm as we drove on Sunday. Visibility was poor at times as seen in the picture below.

We made a pit stop in Columbus to attend Sunday morning Church service at Calvary Chapel Columbus. The church folks were very friendly and inviting.. Worship was spirit filled.. Thanks for making us feel welcomed.
We arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio safe and sound.

We're going to visit the Creation Museum.  Has anyone been there before? How did you like it? Any suggestions on what else to do in Cincinnati?

Read more about the Original Sewing & Quilting Expo.  
Part 1: Day 1 & 2 workshops and Make-it booth with Beth Bradley
Part 3: My few of my Favorite vendors at the expo

~~Words of Encouragement~~
I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8 (NLT)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Exhausted.. who knew sitting and sewing all day was so exhausting?

It's been a great 2 days at the Original Sewing & Quilting show in Pittsburgh. I'm having so much fun and learning tons of new things..
When you enter the convention center, you' have to get in line to get your daily wrist band and daily drawing ticket.  This drawing ticket is very important.  Each day at the end of the day, they draw a few lucky winners to win a grand prize of a sewing machine or a goodie bag filled with notions and gift certificates. They even pick two winners everyday to get free value package voucher to come back next year for free with classes included.

See the prizes below.  They had 5 sewing machines that they are giving away..  I have one more chance to win a prize tomorrow.. Wish me luck..

So two days down, one more day to go with two more classes left...

Day 1- I had two hands-on classes that I mentioned in my earlier post.
Cosmetic Serger-y Workshop with Gail Yellen and Mini Messenger Tote with Kathy Stachowicz &  Susan Zellers class both were serger classes.. I was right about the serger, they provided each person in the class with a Babylock Evolution serger :-)
I was so happy to get chance to use this machine.  It was a dream to try the serger that claims to be tension free and have auto threading system.  They had a great deal if you wanted to take one home with you.  Retail price is $4000+ but they were selling it for $2500 which includes the project book and the 3 year gold warranty..  
The Cosmetic Serger-y was a great class because Gail basically taught you how to use the serger and what you can do with it.. This a great class for beginners and I had fun playing with the serger and all it's features.
Then in the second class, the Mini Messenger Tote bag with Kathy and Sue, I got to use the serger for the rest of the afternoon to make my tote bag.  It was a good learning experience to be forced to sew with the serger instead of a sewing machine.  I ran out of time so my tote is 75% complete.  I didn't get a chance to put the finishing touches like the handles but it came out really nice.  I'll have to finish it when I get home.
I was so tired after the first day that I just went to bed early.   Who would have thought that two 4 hour classes of sewing was so exhausting???

Day 2 - I had one hands-on class and left plenty of time to go around the expo to go SHOPPING!!
Mitered Corners and Setting Triangles with Nelly Vileikis was such a fun class.  Nelly is so funny and had so much fun, I would come back to take more classes with her.   She explains everything so clear and adds lots of good tips.  There were a lot of mature quilters that commented that her techniques will make their quilting so much easier. 

With this class, we had the Babylock Sophia 2 (sewing & embroidery combo machine).  We only used it as a sewing machine but it's a cute little machine.
Here is the sample piece that we attempted to make during this class.  I was only able to finish 2 mitered squares so I'll post pictures of my finish product once I get it done.
After class, I walked the grounds to check out the vendors.. I'll post more about the vendors tomorrow..  I had some extra time so I went to visit the Make-it Center with Beth Bradley.  There were 4 projects to choose from and I decide to make the Zipper Flower Brooch.  Beth was so nice and patient with everyone.  She would walk you through how to make the project you selected and worked with you on your own pace. It was fun just to sit around chatting with Beth and the other ladies at the table.  Thanks Beth, it was nice meeting you..

Once you completed your project, Beth took a picture of you and your finished project.

Here is my finished Zipper flower brooch with the latest version of the Sew it All magazine.  I chose the white and black polka dot zipper combo. Beth had made one with just the red zippers. You can choose what ever combination you wanted to make.  The pattern for the brooch is in the Sew it All magazine, so go get a copy before the next issue comes out. 

Here is a close up of the brooch.  Option 1 is the way it is supposed to look but I wanted to play with it a bit and turned the larger zipper leaves inside out to get the look for Option 2.  I think it looks great with both ways.  Which one do you like better?

Part 2: Read about the last day and final day of the Expo in my next post.
Part 3: My few of my Favorite vendors at the expo

~~Words of Encouragement~~
Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7 (NLT)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Finally arrived in Pittsburgh

After 6 hours of driving... I have finally arrived in Pittsburgh, PA. Tomorrow is the first day of the Original Sewing & Quilting Expo.. I'm so excited, I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight.. I feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas day to arrive :-)
Pittsburgh seems like a very nice place to live. I didn't get a chance to go to the main city area since the expo is in the next town over (Monroeville) but I'll definitely make to sight see after the expo is over.
Trivia Question:
In the past Pittsburgh was know as:
a) Gateway to the West
b) Smoke City
c) Steel City
d) All of the above

If you guested "d", your correct!!!! This town has a rich history, going back to the Native Americans. Can't wait to check it out.
So first stop will be the expo. But after that, there are 10 must see scenic views in Pittsburgh. I think I will have to at least try to hit the first two; Duquesne Incline and the West End Overlook.

More to come over the next few days...

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