mail and files

I’ve been getting some fun mail lately and wanted to share.

My mom made me a card to congratulate me on my new job. (You can check out the previous card she made me for my new place here.)


I used to work at a newspaper so this is a very appropriate theme. And I worked at a kids’ gymnastics place until recently, so the cartwheel instructor classified also fits in!

I like how she always puts little details on the envelope.


She’s been quite excited for me to find full-time employment (in a field I find interesting that is suited to my skills no less).

I also got a very nice thank you note for the pillowcase dresses that I made for Haiti. The dresses were set to ship mid-August so they should be in Haiti now!


And my friend sent me some new tea to try out. I’ve been in a tea phase this summer so if you have any favorites let me know. Check out that swanky wrapping paper and card!


I also got another new job congrats card (thanks Maureen!) and a Christmas card from my godmother because my extended family celebrates Christmas in July every year. She included a JoAnn’s gift card that will be going to the purchase of some curtain fabric for the craft room.


Thanks for all the mail, ladies!

Though it’s been a month and a half since the move, I’m still working on settling into the new place. The boyfriend and I have been cruising thrift stores and peddler’s malls looking for random furniture. I’d never considered a filing cabinet as something I wanted, but I’ve been seeing a lot out there lately and this piece with its $20 price tag pulled me in.


It was a little rough (note the large black spot)…


 but some elbow grease cleaned it right up.

I put a TV on top, and now have TV in the craft room!


I’d like to use it to house some patterns, but right now it’s full of random papers and computer stuff that needs organized.

I’m hoping to post about other recent thrift store purchases and home sewing projects soon, but I’m far busier at my new PR job than in any job I’ve had since leaving school. (No more crafting at nap time like I did at the preschool!) I enjoy what I’m doing, but it’s not making me want to hop on the blog when I get home since I’m on the computer most of the day. I have been sewing and thrifting though, so there are things to blog when I get in a posting mood.

In other blog news, my teal and gray backpack has been going viral on Pinterest.

pinterest backpack for me pinterest backpack for me 2

I’m excited because my yellow sweater bag has been my most popular post for far too long, and I’m quite proud of how that backpack turned out. Thanks to all the pinners for stopping by!

The other backpack I made this summer went along with my godson Anthony for his first day of kindergarten this morning. It was able to hold all the stuff he had to take on his first day, which was apparently a lot!



It looks pretty snazzy with his school uniform! He’s such a cutie.

Well, that’s all for now bloggers. I hope it won’t be too long before my next post, but this week is shaping up to be a busy one!

p.s. I’ve just signed up for round two of the Secret Tote Bag Swap. I had so much fun in round one!


catching up

Since July I have:

– moved from a tiny apartment to a two-story duplex with craft room (nothing fancy, but so much space!)
– purchased my first smart phone, an iPhone 5

– finally started using Instagram – I’m photosarahcats. (I started with photosarahcrafts, but have yet to post a craft photo and at least 50% of my posts are of the kitties.)


Harvey likes the space and all the windows in the new place

– begun a new full-time job in public information and marketing

work parking lot

view from the parking lot. I even have windows in my office!

– left my other three jobs that I’d collected since I moved last year (working part-time at a preschool, substitute teaching, and working Fridays/nights/weekends at a kids gymnastics/birthday party place)


one job instead of three = time for drinking lemonade on the porch

– actually been making plans with the boyfriend/friends and going out and doing stuff around town (since I’m not working all the time and have a bit more financial freedom)


went to the racetrack for a night to enjoy the beautiful fall-like weather we’ve been having lately

And I’ve gotten some sewing done in there too. I made a test version of a potholder and hope to make a few more plus some oven mitts in the near future. I sewed up some orange gingham curtains for the kitchen, and hope to purchase some more curtain fabric for other rooms soon. I’m also working on a few bags right now.

So that’s been my life via Instagram! If you are on it let me know. It’s my new favorite thing. 🙂

addressing some blogging business

This is just a quick stop to give some overdue shout-outs and thank yous and let you know what I’ve been up to recently both online and off.

  • Thank you so much to Jess for the note and the bracelet! She won my monk bag giveaway and was so sweet to send me mail in return. I’m glad to have her as a follower. 🙂


Someone got a little jealous of my new bracelet and wanted in on the photo.


  • I got nominated for two awards (a Liebster from Fraser Valley Livin’ and a Wonderful Team Member Readership Award from Montana Designs) while I was on blog hiatus. Thanks so much ladies! I haven’t had time to sit down and think about my nominations but I’d definitely like to make some.
  • I wrote a guest post for Refashion Month over at House of Estrela. I’d seen her refashions over at Wunderbar and asked her if I could participate and she said yes! I talked about turning shirts and sweaters into bags and I’ll bring the post home to my blog soon. The yellow sweater bag is by far my most viewed post of all time thanks to Pinterest.
sweater totesA

check out the post at House of Estrela here!

  • I’ve finished a doll quilt for Emma. It started out plain…

emmadollquilt01Abut craft room inspiration struck and I had fun with it. I’ll share the finished product soon!

  • I finished another tote as a belated birthday present. I really like how it turned out and can’t wait to share it with the intended recipient!
  • I’m replacing the elastic in cloth diapers for a friend who uses them for her daughter. So far so good, though there’s a LOT of diapers left to do. She just announced that baby #2 will be joining them next year, so hopefully the replaced elastic will hold up for awhile. I’ll be writing about the whole process once I’ve finished.

The one with the replaced elastic is on the left. The old elastic had stretched out almost an inch resulting in some saggy legs and leakage… never good.

  • I am working on an Elegance and Elephants romper for Emma. I do have a few more 2T patterns that I’d like to try down the road, but I’m just about ready to send off the items (shorts, apron, hat, & doll quilt) that I’ve been making for her the last couple of months.
  • And last but not least, my mom sent me a really cute handmade card to celebrate my move. Thanks Mom! I always enjoy getting mail from you. 🙂


She always includes cute little details on the envelope.


Well that’s all for now! I’m still settling in but we’re in the finishing touches stage since most things are unpacked and in place. I got to show some friends and family around this weekend and gave my parents a video tour. I hope to get some pictures up and post about the new craft room soon!

moving on up

I’m on a brief hiatus as you may have noticed. First, I was away for an extended weekend visiting my family and this past week I’ve been moving. No more craft corner, a.k.a. a bookshelf and small sewing table, in the living room/dining room/kitchen area (with extra supplies living in my bedroom closet and under the bed). I’ll be working out of a craft ROOM with two closets! The move made me realize about 50% of my possessions are craft-related so it will be nice to have them all in one place.

Every time I’ve sat down to write one of the two posts I’d started before all this happened (Emma’s apron and the tote I received in the secret tote bag swap) I’ve either remembered stuff I have to pack, or fallen asleep. (I’ve also been in charge of planning and carrying out summer camp this week at the school where I work. It’s been fun, but also hot, sticky, and exhausting.)

So here’s a pic a piece of the two posts I hope to have up sometime next week.


Emma’s apron



Harvs sneaks in a lick while Jackson sniffs my secret tote swap bag

The move will be finalized over the weekend and I hope to get my sewing machine and computer set up quickly. (Note to self: remember to set up internet at the new place…) I’ll be pretty excited to have some new background in my blog pics! (And of course have a craft room!!)

I haven’t been reading (m)any blogs lately either so I’m looking forward to catching up on what everyone has been doing while I’ve been away!

visiting Tamarack

When I saw the Tamarack sign on my drive to visit family in Virginia I had no idea what it meant. But if a place adopts a quilt block element as a logo, I figure I should probably check into it. I Googled it from my grandparents’ house and decided to make a stop on my way back since it was so close to the interstate.

The main reason I wanted to visit was because they feature products from West Virginia artisans. You can check out their website for more specifics, but it was hard for me to decipher what exactly Tamarack was from that information. It turns out it is a number of different things (gift shop, food court, conference center, artist studios, art gallery, etc.) all under one roof.

If you are driving on I-64/I-77, it’s exit 45 and it’s RIGHT there. At first I thought the very standard looking rest area was Tamarack, but it actually had a very unique design and is located just behind the rest stop.


The building is laid out in a circular design with lots of light and a central courtyard.


This art gallery is one of the elements of Tamarack.

I took a few quick snapshots when I was walking around because I wasn’t sure about the photo policy and didn’t want to get hassled. I also wanted to respect the artists’ work since I know they are protective of their creative property.


these figures were amazingly detailed.

When I first walked in, there was an extensive gift shop featuring West Virginia made items. I always love glass and these items were no exception.


The item I was most tempted to buy was a mug from Linn Pottery. They are microwave, oven, dishwasher, and refrigerator safe making them very functional and workable for my daily life (where dishes that aren’t dishwasher safe pile up in the sink and on the counter). I made sure to get a business card so I can look them up later.


I always see great single quilt blocks floating around the blog-o-sphere and the idea of framing a single block or two as wall art appeals to me.


Besides the gift shop areas, gallery, theatre, and food court, there are also a number of artist studios around the outside of the circle. My first thought was, “Wow, that would be a great motivation to keep your work space neat and organized!” I’m really not sure how I would work with people able to watch me work. I wondered if the artists come in early in the morning or late at night when the place is closed, but I suppose they get used to (or perhaps even enjoy?) working in a fish tank since that’s what they signed up to do.


the ceramics studio


the textiles studio

I wasn’t there very long, but it was an interesting stop and a good way to break up the monotony of the drive back home. Just another day in the crafty life of photosarah.


this drive made me wish spring had already sprung. it was a bit boring and brown.