26 August 2015

My Dad Taught Me to Bark...life lessons

 A hawk tried to swoop in and chicken-nap one of our chickens this morning.
Fortunately for them, I happened to be cleaning the windows in my bedroom that look out over the backyard.
I started barking, like my dad taught me.  (Where's the dog when you need her?)
I ran outside, only able to count 6 of the 8 hens.  Pearl would be able to give you their breed, names, and owners.  I just knew that it looked like we were missing some white ones.
It got me thinking, however.  This is a fragile life.  We are all precariously walking that line between existence here and existence beyond, perhaps some closer to the side of beyond than others, but either way. you just. never. know.
Yet, the funny thing is, we shouldn't be afraid.  As I was cleaning those windows, there was a dead bug on the edge of the window and Olive shrieked.  I nonchalantly flicked it off and told her there was absolutely no reason to be scared.  
I think I was talking more to myself than her, the realization of all the things in my head, those big, fancy dreams of mine, tend to just stay there.  They're frozen in the fear that I'll fail, or that I'll be mocked, or that it won't be as grand in real life as it is in my head.
I'd like to think that I will finish cleaning my windows and begin executing on my dreams.  I probably won't, but at least I've taken a step closer to them.  At the very least, I will love a little deeper, savor the moments of contentment a little longer, and pick my battles a lot more carefully.
By the way, the two missing hens were laying low until the danger passed.  They emerged and joined their squabbling sisters much to all our relief.
(PS These shots are from our quick trip to Tennessee.  I left a bit of my heart in the Smokies.  I also taught my girls the art of smashing little rocks with big rocks to reveal sparkling centers.  I think they enjoyed this little pit-stop lesson as much as the actual trip ;)
 That there is another lesson for another time. ;)

03 August 2015

Birthday Giveaway Winners!

I just came inside from adding another super (box) to one of my hives.  I was stung.  Four times on my left leg.  I don't know what they have against my left leg, but OUCH!  I guess it serves me right for waiting until dawn and avoiding the task of picking winners for all the giveaways!  But here we go, ready or not!

Gina, you get to go shopping at the Ruffle Fabric shop! Hooray! (mrsdaniels)

Ohio Girl will be getting $50 to spend at Imagine Gnats fabric shop!(bearpaws9)

Nickel...will be cutting and filing on a dime with a cute pocket knife from Blade HQ! (Cathy555)

Hayley Burns will be spending $50 at Piggy & Dirt on stained glass stars!(possumsdaughter)

Jess will be swaddling some little feet with a pair of Mon Petit Shoes for her baby #5!  (crannberri7)

June will be healing and soothing with a jar of Mom's Stuff! (jvarricchione)

RedMittens will be steaming up a storm with a new iron from Reliable!(mbhunt)

And last, but not least, the winner of the beautiful Rachel Baby Lock sewing machine is Kandyce Pinckney!(kandyce.pinckney)

Whew!  I've had such a fun week sharing some of my favorites with you.  Thanks for indulging a birthday girl. ;)

31 July 2015

Grand Finale: Babylock Sewing Machine! (Birthday Giveaway #8)

I am getting butterflies in my stomach about this giveaway, just typing this!  Many of you have noticed in my instagram feed that I have a new baby.  Not that kind.  Not the furry kind, either, although we have added one of those.  I'm talking about the sewing kind!  Last year when I taught a class at SNAP! conference, I was so impressed with the Babylock sewing machines that were in the sewing room.  Fast forward a few months and I have some fun, new things to share with you, both machines and projects.  But right now, I want to introduce the Rachel! Rachel (MSRP $799) is the perfect machine for those of you who know the basics, and want a little more jazz in your sewing machine, with an automatic buttonhole foot, a drop in bobbin, 50 stitches, and, my favorite feature, an automatic threader!!  I feel so spoiled. 

Why a Babylock?  Let me tell you a story first.  I like to shop at a certain grocery store.  I don't shop there for the cheapest price.  I don't shop there because it's the closest and most convenient.  I shop there because I like to be treated like an intelligent human being who knows things about food, who can carry on a decent conversation, and I like quality grocery items.  That's exactly why I like Babylock.  They make quality, they stand behind their products and they treat you like a person.  

differential feedfree arm sergingcolor-coded threading

So, let's get this Grand Finale Giveaway Going!
  • Leave a comment here for one entry.  What's your favorite thing to sew?  For a second entry, follow me on instagram (@nobigdillkaty) and tag a fellow sewing lover or two ;)
  • Please include your email address in your comment here.  Write it nobigdillblog {at} gmail {dot} come if you're more comfortable with that.
  • Only open to US residents, please.
  • Giveaway winners will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Hooray for sewing!  Hooray for birthdays! Good Luck!

30 July 2015

Reliable Iron! (Birthday Giveaway #7)

Remember many moons ago when I found an ORANGE iron (for my NEO-Never Enough Orange-Sewing Studio)?!?!  I am continuously in love my orange-y goodness.  She's so hot and steamy.  Seriously, though, it's been 4 years and she is still steaming up a storm.  I don't think I've ever owned an iron this long.  I don't believe my mom ever did, either, come to think of it.  Maybe I'm just really hard on irons, but my Reliable is just that, reliable! ;)
Sadly, they don't have any Velocitys in stock right now, but my Reliable lady, Kimberly, said they have one of these two beauties for a giveaway!!  I am in love with the Maven's ($199 MSRP) cork handle and cloth cord!!  Such a sleek thing, isn't she?


The other option is this bad boy.  The Senza ($299 MRSP).  Sounds sultry.  What do you think.  Can you handle this much iron?
They both come with a water tank (I know! So fancy!) with an option for continuous steam!  I don't know, I'd probably have to actually read the user's manual to learn all the fanciness capacity.  Are you getting as excited about an iron as I am?
  • Leave a comment to be entered into the drawing.  What kind of relationship do you have with ironing?
  • Please include your email address in your comment.  Write it nobigdillblog {at} gmail {dot} com if you're more comfortable that way.
  • Giveaway winners will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Good Luck!
  • PS I have one more giveaway tomorrow.  You definitely don't want to miss it!! ;)

Mom's Stuff Salve! (Birthday Giveaway #6)

I know, I know, I just posted about Mom's Stuff not very long ago, but when I was brainstorming what I wanted to share with you for my birthday giveaway, Mom's Stuff was one of the first things on my list!  We all want to be able to pronounce the ingredients of the food we put in our body, and it just makes sense that we can pronounce and know what the ingredients are that we put on our body, ingredients that actually do something and aren't added as just fluff and filler.  In fact, you can read about each and every ingredient here.  I get a lot of satisfaction sharing this with people (can you tell?)  Just last week, while I was at girl's camp, I met a woman who has come here with her family from England for her daughter's cancer treatment at a proton facility (I've heard it's the latest and greatest).  I told her about Mom's Stuff, wishing I had a jar to give her on the spot for her daughter.  All of nature's finest in one little jar!  It's just solid goodness.  Okay.  You know how I feel about it. ;) 
On to the giveaway!
  • Leave a comment to be entered.  What is your favorite medicine cabinet product?
  • Please leave your email address.  Write it in the form nobigdillblog {at} gmail {dot} com if you're more comfortable with that.
  • Giveaway winners will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Good luck!

Mon Petit Shoes! (Birthday Giveaway #5)

If you couldn't tell yet, I am a big fan of the small businesses.  I like to know the people behind the product, and maybe it's psychological, but it makes the product even better knowing there are real people behind the scenes making and following their dreams and passions.  

Today I have the most adorable little leather shoes, Mon Petit Shoes.  I know that not everyone has a pair of little feet running (or crawling) around their house, but you'd be the hit of the next baby shower you go to, showing up with a pair of these babies!  Julie started out making these for her own girls, and like most good ideas, it caught on and she's created a business to share her amazing product with everyone, and at a very reasonable price. She even made a custom pair of orange lace-ups for Drummer!  I love when you can start to see their little footprint on the bottom of the soul. :)
To enter to win a pair of your favorite little leather shoes:
  • Leave a comment on this post.
  • Please include your email address. Write it in the form nobigdillblog {at} gmail {dot} com if you're more comfortable with that
  • Giveaway winners will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Tell all your expecting mother friends! ;)

29 July 2015

$50 of Stars! (Birthday Giveaway #4)

This giveaway is not so random, because you probably know by now that my parents make these stained glass stars, and you probably know by now that I loved them and would like a whole rainbow of them in my windows. They've really got something for everyone, and if you can't find a single thing (highly doubtful), they'll make you something custom.
Star Baby - 3 inch stained glass star
They can satisfy your craving for teeny tiny stars
Honey Bee ornament, stained glass, bee sun catcher, golden bee,
your very own hive of bees,
Katy Star- Juicy Orange Star-- 9 inch lacquered and stained glass star
stars named after me! ;)
Stars and Stripes- 8.5 inch lacquered glass star in red white and blue
FREE SHIPPING- 33 Colors Obsessive-Compulsive Bakers Twine Assortment - 15 yards of each
And, did you know that you can also get your favorite color baker's twine, too? Or one of each! ;)  They're offering a $50 gift certificate to anything in their shop!  
  • Leave a comment to be entered.  What would you get?
  • Please leave your email address in your comment, in the form of nobigdilblog {at} gmail {dot} com if you're more comfortable with that.
  • Winners will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Get your husband to enter for you, too ;) Good Luck!

Sharp AND Cute (Birthday Giveaway #3)

Sometimes I'm random.  Like right now.  Pocket knives, Katy?  Fabric is expected, but pocketknives?  I've always loved pocketknives.  When I was little, my dad had a pocket knife he carried with him everywhere, the kind that opened up to reveal a pair of needle nose pliers.  And they were highly utilized.  That was how our loose teeth were pulled out.  No strings attached to doors, no biting into apples, it was always dad's pocketknife pliers.  Surprisingly, we weren't afraid of this method, either, and haven't required therapy.    
When I went to spend a summer with my sister in Nantucket after high school to clean rooms at a bed & breakfast, I met a woman who was an aspiring bed & breakfast owner.  She had gone to culinary school and I wanted to follow in her footsteps.  She was from New England and had a thick accent to go with her heritage.  When I left to spend a semester in Paris, she gave me a going-away gift of a pocket knife.  She told me every good chef should have one.  I still have it and love it.  I almost lost it through airport security once and had to mail it home to myself, which took weeks, but we were finally reunited. ;)
Recently, Ryan gave me a keychain pocketknife, and boy, that thing has come in handy, from opening packages to slicing up a snack on-the-go, it's been a handy thing to have with me at all times (except don't forget to take it off your keychain when you travel!)  My brother, Jacob, sells knives online, and I texted him to ask if he had any "girly" knives.  He sent me the link to these beauties.  Aren't they adorable?  I told him I was a bit disappointed there is no orange ;), but there are certainly plenty of options to appease the desire for cuteness and functionality on your keychain.  
So, that brings us to Birthday Giveaway #3!  They're only $15.99, so you could hop over there and just grab one if you're like me who "never wins anything." ;)  But I'm still having a giveaway, because someone has to win, right?
  • Leave a comment on this post to be entered into the drawing. Which one would you get?
  • Please leave your email address, written in a form like nobigdillblog {at} gmail {com}, if you're more comfortable with that.
  • Giveaway winners will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Hooray for randomness and good luck!

28 July 2015

$50 in Fabric!! (Birthday Giveaway #2)

Speaking of fabric, it's my favorite, so we're going to do another fabric giveaway!!  Haha!  I love that I have friends who have fabric shops.  I must be living my life right, or something.  Rachael is the shop owner of Imagine Gnats, and I love that she is just as excited about getting new fabrics in her shop as I am about getting new fabric to sew with.  I went through her almost 200 fabrics and picked out what'd I'd take home with me if it happened to be shopping-spree-with-no-limit-on-my-budget time.  Hey, a girl can dream, right?
imagine gnats

Artisan Cotton!  I want to meet those artists, because they've got a mighty fine thing going. 
Crepe de chine in black and white.  Because, hello.  Black and white and French all over.
480_KOF-03_Y heathered double gauze in yellow
Then there's this heathered double gauze.  She had me at double gauze.  Love.
480_KOF-03_P heathered double gauze in pink


nani iro pocho JG-13000-I
Throw Nani Iro in front of double gauze and I just go weak in the knees.  Kryptonite right there, baby.
Just when you thought you'd sewn with everything, you discover quilted jersey
13728 cotton jersey blue lime stripe
This sweet, tiny stripe knit in blue and lime!
SRK-15201-1 rebecca embroideries
SRK-15577-2 swiss dot chambray black
And you can never go wrong with the classic Swiss dot chambray.

  • Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win a $50 gift certificate for anything you little sewing heart desires.
  • Please include your email address, written out like nobigdillblog {at} gmail {dot} com if you're more comfortable with that.
  • Giveaway winner will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Have another friend enter (especially if she doesn't sew ;)
  • Good luck!