Oh Brother! Embroidered Napkins

July 29, 2015

One of the greatest things the Brother Canada Inno-vis NQ3500D computerized sewing machine could do was EMBROIDER! Without switching into embroidery mode, you could create embroidery borders and patterns using the 290 stitches the machine had programmed. Here is a sample of a few that I tried on a scrap piece of fabric.

But to embroidery designs, words or monograms you needed to switch the machine into embroidery mode. The true embroidery aspect of the machine was out of this world. You could use many of the pre-set designs, along with many Disney designs, but the awesome feature was that you could create your own pattern or import designs as it had a USB portal. I wish I had the machine for more than a month trial, there was so much you could do but would need many months to truly uncover. The only limit was your imagination.

I ran out of time to try a design that required several thread colours, didn't have time to run to the fabric store to get them, so I decided to embroider some napkins for my daughter's basement suite with a few short sayings. 

First up I needed to add the embroidery unit that slides onto the side.

 Next, I needed to figure out the placement of the design.

 Using the computerized touch screen, I was able to enter in what I wanted to say, adjust the size of the font, direction, and the placement on the fabric.

Once all the information was entered, it embroidered HANDS FREE! You just sit back and watch the machine go.


Afterwards, I cut away the stabilizer that needed to be ironed on for best embroidery results.


Stay tuned for a video in a few days....still trying to figure out iMovie!

XO Barbara

* I was given a Brother Canada Innov-is NQ3500D computerized sewing machine for a one month trial. All my opinions are my own.

Oh Brother.....Sewing A Box Cushion

July 21, 2015

It was Christmas in June here at me casa, as Brother Canada had asked me to try out their Innov-is NQ3500D computertized sewing machine, valued at approx. $3800.

 How could I say no?

As an avid seamstress, I have always wanted to try my hand at those fancy schmany machines. Little did I know that the machine came with a nice thick manual, one that I could NEVER go through in the one month trial period I was given. So I decided, I just need to come up with some projects and just jump in.

My parents recently downsized from a house to a condo, and I was gifted this vintage Ikea wicker chair. By vintage I mean it is over 20 years old. It had a cushion cover circa 80's that I made in high school, it was time for an updated version. I am very pleased with how it turned out!

Chair is vintage Ikea and fabric is from Tonic Living.

Moving on....this should be all about the Cadillac of sewing machines. So I finally unpacked and put it together and bravely turned it on. Folliwing the manual I managed to get it threaded and change the foot so I could make piping. It had a piping foot! Cue: angels singing again!

This machine sews like a dream. Fully computerized and partially automated, it was such a fun toy to play with! It has a touch screen where you can adjust the stitches, the length, width and type of stitch. There is an automatic presser foot release, needle drop and at the end of stitching you can have the threads cut at the touch of a button. Quite fun! There is also a speed control button where you can adjust the speed of the pedal foot, which is awesome for sewing control. I have tried to take a few videos to show you a few of the bits and bobs, which I will share in a few days. There were endless stitch options and embroidery options that I could have easily played with it for a year and still not use it to its full capacity. It was a sad day when I had to return the sewer's dream machine.

Look at all the stitch options - all 290 of them!

Pop by later this week when I show you the embroidery aspect of the machine along with a video. It was my first time using iMovie, so please don't laugh....

 Using the embroidery option I made a little something for my daughter's dining table - be sure to pop by.

XO Barbara

* I was given a Brother Canada Innov-is NQ3500D computerized sewing machine for a one month trial. All my opinions are my own.

A FAT Makeover

July 3, 2015

Recently I was given a chair by my cousin who was attempting to sell it on a Facebook bidding site. I hijacked that bidding war and won it for a whole $1! My sweet cousin dropped it off, and I still owe him that buck. He knows where I live....

Using the leftover FAT chalk paint from my Ikea Markor cabinet makeover, I painted the chair and gave it a bit of sanding along the edges. 

A little side note about FAT paint, it was created by my friend Victoria and her brother in a mixer in her kitchen to a thriving small business that is taking over North America, one small boutique retailer at a time! So proud of my friend! 

The seat was covered with a watercolour floral fabric from Tonic Living, looking simply stunning. Eventually this chair will make it's way to my eldest daughter's apartment. Her roommate along with the roommate's furniture will most likely move out this fall, so we are looking to furnish her space with Craigslist and thrift shop finds. The one key piece she was gifted was an antique pedastal table that belonged to her great-grandmother that my SIL has in her basement. Her vision is to get a collection of mismatched chairs to go with the table. This chair is the first! 



Currently I am working on a few sewing projects, because this gal got to test out a skookum sewing machine for a month! Can't wait to share.


Go Big or Go Home

June 24, 2015

Recently Minted reached out to some of us Blogpodium attendees if we would like to review their site and product! Well...they didn't have to twist my arm in the least. I have admired Minted for their cards for quite some time, and to be frank, was a tad jealous of ALL the other bloggers who got to order Christmas cards and art with Minted. Little did I know that Minted also sells art created by independent artists. Being a mom of a daughter who loves to draw and paint, I know how much work, time, energy and soul does into a piece. Being able to support an independent artist is really important to me. So I did not skip a beat!

After browsing their artwork site, which has oodles of fabulous artwork by independent artists, I found one that caught my eye. I love black and white artwork, particularly sketches, and this piece reminded me of my European upbringing. You can choose your size, frame colour/type OR simply order a print. I ordered a 30 x 30 inch sized print with a black frame. It came matted, framed and ready to be hung within a few days of ordering. And Minted doesn't even skimp on packaging, I loved what I saw when I unwrapped the artwork!

The inside of the box!

All I had to do was find the right place for it.

This large art piece fills up this nook in my daughter's room/guest room beautifully!
She arrived home a few days ago from travelling and studying in Europe for 7 weeks, so the timing couldn't be more perfect. In the fall when she goes back to school. If she likes this piece she can take it to create impact in her suite! When you live in a rental place, sometimes if you are discouraged from hanging art because of nail holes, a large piece can create a lot of drama with just one nail hole.

Thanks Minted!

* I was given a Minted product for review. The review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

XO Barbara

Lately: In The Garden

May 25, 2015

H e l l o o o o !

Again, let the blog slide. I have to admit I have blog posts constantly circulating in my head, but I never actually sit down to write, or photograph. I am lazy like that.

What I have been busy doing is working on the yard. Again, bad blogger me, did NOT take photos of the back yard when we moved in. It was seriously an overgrown disaster. Since I LOVE gardening, we negogiated a discounted rent if we took care of the landscaping. The landlords tore everything out last summer and I had a blank slate to work with. There were a gazillion raised garden beds that were poorly planned out in the back yard. They were haphazardly built, sloping here, sloping there -simply an eyesore. I tore them all out and using the topsoil the landlords dumped in the back yard, starting creating flower beds. My ever so awesome hubby rebuilt the garden bed behind our shed! We laid grass seed down on the patches that were left after the raised beds were ripped out. Again, no before photos.

My mom who has the utlimate green thumb has been guiding me and supplying me with about 75% of the plants in all the garden beds. She simply divided up most of her perennials last fall and early this spring. I think I may have spent only $200 on the whole yard, and that is to buy annual bedding plants, lavendar, and vegetables seeds and plants. I spent most of the spring babying veggie plants on my kitchen window sill only to have some dumb animal dig them up when I planted them in my garden. Without my Henry around anymore, the cats and racoons think they can use my garden beds as their toilet. Tips anyone? My mom says orange peels deter cats. Thoughts?

This past long weekend, I spent most of it weeding, moving plants and planting annuals and vegetables. We still need to work on the sad state of our lawn and build a fire pit area.

WARNING: Photo heavy post. 

I bought these two resin Adirondack chairs for $15 on Craigslist for our lounging area in the back corner. Hoping to create this as a fire pit area.

 Little basil seedlings - easy to grow from seed!

 Hubby is in the way (this is real life baby)... but this area needs some primping...need new cushions, or recover the ones we have? Need an umbrella and to hang up our strings of patio lights.
Note the fire pit waiting to be used, my plan is to use some of the bricks we pulled out of the ground where the previous tenants made a slapdash patio that was overgrown with weeks. Hoping to use some to create a pad for the fire pit in the back corner of the yard.

That's the yard folks! I have put a lot of elbow grease into the space. Love watching things grow and transform. I can not WAIT until school is out and I can focus on my LIST of to-do's!

XO Barbara

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