Sunday, December 18, 2011


Oh, that title was a horrible joke. But, good news: I have picked a winner for my entry in last week's Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day!

There were 57 comments, so I picked a random number with the help of and the winner was comment #20!

I hope the canal festival is a go for this year!

And it needs to be said again; thank you to everyone who commented! Your stories were great and I treasure all your kind words about my work.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thank you!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered my giveaway this week! I loved reading about your favorite holiday traditions; lots of you have some really cool stuff going on this time of year. Comments on my last post are now closed and I'll pick a winner on Sunday. EXCITEMENT.

I'd like to say a special thank you to those of you who followed my blog, liked me on Facebook or favorited me on etsy! And thanks to Sew, Mama, Sew! for being so excellent and fun.

Tomorrow is Mr. Oliver's 4th birthday party, which makes for a busy day. And I still have lots of gifts to make for Christmas, so I will see you on Sunday!

Monday, December 12, 2011


I've been meaning to come back here and write another post and what better to draw me back than a giveaway!

I love the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog and had a ton of fun participating (meaning entering tons and tons of contests) in their last giveaway day back in May. I vowed that I would do my own giveaway next time, and figured I'd have to wait until next May. So I was surprised to see that SMS is doing a giveaway day TODAY (well, really, this week). But what a fun surprise!

So here's the deal. I am giving away one item of the winner's choice from my etsy shop, Ania Jane Threads. All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post telling me about your favorite local holiday tradition. Are there any cool festivals or events going on where you are? Is there something special people in your area do this time of year? I'd love to hear about it!

**Please make sure you include your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win!**

The giveaway will be open until 8pm EST Friday, December 16. I'll pick the winner that weekend using and I'll let the lucky person know by December 18 through email and on my blog.

You might be wondering what it is that I make, so here are a few pictures:

I embroider and sew wrist cuffs and child's headbands, so if you'd like to win something like what I've posted here, feel free to enter! International entries are welcome.

You are more than welcome to follow my blog or "like" my Facebook page, but that's not required to enter the giveaway. I promise to start posting more here once the holidays are over ;)

Thank you, and good luck!

PS: You can find tons more giveaways back at the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Creator

My husband bought me my sewing machine for Christmas almost 3 years ago and I've been learning how to sew bit by bit since then. I've made drapes, a grocery bag, adorable little hanging baskets, a wall hanging quilt, a child's jacket, a coat for myself, and a few other things, all with the help of a pattern or a tutorial I'd found online. Most things I've made have come out looking pretty decent and I'd wonder once in a while if I could open my own shop. But! I figured I would and could open a shop only when I started having some ideas of my own.

So this summer when I discovered how much I liked embroidery and felt how much it kindled my creativity, I decided I'd reached the point at which I could start creating things. But boy, it's tough sometimes. Creating a pattern takes time, patience, a lot of paper and little bit of math. And for the first time I'm the one deciding whether or not this piece could use some stabilizer or interfacing and I'm the one figuring out how to put it all together and what seam allowances and stitches to use. The things I'm making aren't complicated at all construction-wise. I'm not making purses over here or anything (yet), but it's a lot different making something without the help of a pattern or a friendly tutorial full of pictures.

I suppose what I'm saying is THANK YOU to all the sewists out there who take the time to make tutorials and put together patterns for the rest of us to use. I know now how hard you work not only to create something new but to remember how you did it well enough to describe the process for someone else.

That said, I'm dealing with a creator dilemma right now on these Christmas ornaments I'm making. I think I like the edge finishing on the snowman a lot better than the edges on the bell. What do you think??

ps- Thank you to my husband, too, for that sewing machine. I swear at it because I love it :P

Monday, November 7, 2011

This Post Brought to You by the Semi-Colon

This morning marks the end of a super busy, super fun weekend (besides the Bills losing to the Jets, but we'll just pretend that never happened). We had a poker night in which poker was actually played; I started learning how to crochet; we went to a sweet little girl's first birthday party; I went to a fun, mimosas-and-tasty-food-filled baby shower, and then spent a few hours at our awesome neighbors' house watching the end of some horrible sporting event that I can't quite remember, hmmm... And when we got home, the kids were so wiped out that they went to sleep early. Thanks to Daylight Savings Time ending, I found myself free for the night at 7pm. How strange and confusing! Of course, one cannot resist the call of the sewing machine at times like these, so I hunkered down in the basement with a handful of Halloween candy and finished a project for a friend. It feels so great to get things done and to not have to sacrifice hours of sleep to do so. This is why I love Daylight Savings Time.

But! I have neglected to mention perhaps the most exciting thing to happen this weekend: my first Etsy sale! My lovely friend Jen graced my shop with her online presence and bought a wrist cuff. I am so grateful and happy. THANKS JEN!

It's a new week now and time to begin work on new projects. I have the embroidery for a new wrist cuff done and need to sew it up with a new print; I have new fabric coming today that I must wash and prep; I have ornaments to embroider names and designs on, and I have headbands to photograph and finally list in my shop. Here's hoping I can resist the allure of my cozy new ball of yarn and endless rows of practice crochet to actually accomplish some of these tasks!

My not-so-mobile command center, full of projects for the new week

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Productive Non-Productive Day

Today was a beautiful Fall day: blue skies, hardly any wind, crunchy leaves on the ground. How could anyone sew on a day like today? So I took the kids on a little wagon ride and when we got home (long after the juice boxes ran dry) we planted tulip bulbs. Those bulbs were the last item on my list of Fall gardening tasks; it feels good to have accomplished most of what I wanted to do in my flower beds this year.

But any Fall day, beautiful or not, turns into a Fall night and those are always perfect for sewing, right? The kids fell asleep early and I thought I'd get moving after snagging a few of last night's treats, but my helpful husband helpfully helped me out by turning on an episode of Doctor Who. Who am I to say no to the Doctor? So we said goodbye to #10 (so very sad about this) and once that was over it was definitely too late to sew. Definitely. But it was still too early for bed and I resolved to knocking out a backlog of "work" on the old computer here and why not make a post, too?


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Here I am!

I've never started one of these fancy "web blogs" or "internet journals" and made it last longer than about one post. You know that post: the ambitious post, the quirky funny post. The last post.

So I'll keep this simple for now. I'm hoping to write about the things I like to make. I like to do hand embroidery and sew my creations into something useful or just pretty. My name is Nicole; I live in Buffalo, NY with my husband and two sweet, beautiful children creatures. I hope I come back!