Monday, April 30, 2018

April One Monthly Goal: Pressed, Folded and Shipped

As the fourth month of the year comes to a close (way to fast if you ask me) it's time to post about the fate of April's One Monthly Goal

The plan for this month was to get the backing made for En Provence, de-thread and press the flimsy, then package for shipping to Trudy for quilting.  The backing came together easily enough. 

The back used up all of the Geisha print, all of the pink floral and most of the magenta fabrics.  It feels good to get all of those out of the stash.  

It took me a full weekend to remove all the loose threads from the back and then press both the flimsy and the back.  Bonnie's quilts have so many seams, it's quite a challenge to be sure there are no threads that can show through the neutral squares. But after many hours of prep time, both were pressed, folded and packaged for shipment. 

Trudy is usually pretty quick with the quilting, we've already discussed thread colors and quilting motif.  So sometime in early May, En Provence should be back here ready for binding.  It will feel nice to finally get a quilt off the UFO list.

The One Monthly Goal for March was to get all the Vintage Dress blocks sashed.  Still working on meeting that goal. 

Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

The second row is all sashed and the first row is getting there.  Hopefully Vintage Dresses will make it to the finished flimsy stage by the end of May.  

While En Provence was the number one priority for April, there were a few other priorities on my quilty to do list.  Here's how I fared with those.

1.  En Provence - Make back, prep, ship  
2.  Geek Chic - Bind   
3.  Magnolia Mystery - prep for quilting
4. Vintage Dresses - finish sashing
5. Squared Away - finish green blocks 
                               finish yellow blocks
6. Inverted Star - finish green stars
                            finish yellow stars 
7.  On Ringo Lake - leaders and enders project.  

So there was good progress this month.  I'm hoping to get Magnolia Mystery prepped for quilting next weekend.  It's not a UFO yet as it's not a year old, but I want to get it off the list before Meadow Mist Designs starts her 2018 quilt along. 

That's it for the week and for the month of April.  Now it's time to decide whats on the quilty to do list for May.  Linking up with:

April's One Monthly Goal
Monday Design Wall 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Week 17: Stitching and De-Stashing

It's been such a pretty weekend, spring seems to have finally sprung.  I was more than ready for that.  My sewing room didn't see a lot of me yesterday and probably won't see much of me today as there are plans to get out and soak up some of that warm sunshine. Getting in at least my 15 minutes of stitching before the end of the day may be a challenge.  

It was a good week in terms of fitting in some stitching time here and there. 

Days with stitching time this week:  7 out of 7 days
Days with stitching time this month:  28 out of 28 days
Days with stitching time this year:  110 out of 118 days
Success rate:  93.22%

With the prettier weather it's going to be a challenge to keep up; like many of you, our yard really needs some work.  Plus I've been gearing up to get back on the bicycle.  The weight loss program has stalled and I need to add in some new physical activity to jump start it again.  So my stitching time most days will likely only be 15 minutes.  Still that's better than no stitching time at all.  How do you balance the increase in activities that comes with spring and summer?  

Mister Linky is set up at the bottom of the post so you can link up how well you did at finding time to stitch.  

Moving out stash has been slow going, but at least it's going out and not coming in.  

Fabric used this week:  0.45 y
Fabric used in 2018:  22.28 y
Fabric purchased in 2018:  6 y
Net fabric out for 2018:  16.28 y

The out remains higher than the in.  Though I will admit, those Connecting Threads flash sales have been a very tough temptation.  But I've resisted so far.  Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for this week's stash report.  

Have a great week of stitching and stash busting. 

1. Melissa G
2. maggie f
3. Julie in GA
4. Meloney
5. MartiDIY
6. Aileen K
7. di
8. Christina's Handicrafts
9. Shasta
10. Deana

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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: A Spot of Sunshine

Even with another day off, it seems like weekends go way to fast.  We took yesterday off to run a few errands, in particular to renew our drivers license.  Somewhere in the chaos of extra work stuff and around the house stuff, we completely forgot that's one reason we took off.  Thankfully, I remembered right a 4 PM, so rather than a coffee date we ended up standing in line at the tag agency.  Whew, at least that's done and we don't have to worry about it for 4 years. 

There was a bit of sewing interspersed with all the errands.  I finished one of this month's yellow/gold Squared Away blocks.

Squared Away Sampler
designed by Mari (The Academic Quilter)

I really love these golds with the brighter yellow in the back ground fabric.  The second block is partially assembled, the fabrics for the third block are selected, but haven't been cut into parts yet. At least there's been some progress and I'm not an entire month behind. 

That's all the scrappy goodness I have to show off this week.  Sashing continues on the Vintage Dresses and hopefully I'll have the center assembled and ready to show off on Monday.

Linking up with Angela over at Soscrappy for this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Linking up on Sunday with Oh Scrap.   

Monday, April 23, 2018

Weekend Stitching: Just a Little Something or Other

Weekends always go so fast, even when the weather is nasty.  Though to be fair, this was a busy weekend.  My Guy and I were asked to play photographers for our local clean up day sponsored by the company we work for.  I covered one location, he covered the second.  I bailed just as the heavy rain started, DSLRs don't do so hot when it's really raining.  In the evening, we attended a retirement party for one of the scientists that hired in the same year I did.  His retirement leaves me as the last of that "incoming class".  It's going to be a bit odd going forward, as one individual noted that leaves me as one of the few who know where all the skeletons are.  

Most of last week was spent getting En Provence ready to ship out for quilting.  So there hasn't been a lot going on that's photo worthy.  I'm back to sashing the Vintage Dress blocks, but at the moment it doesn't look much different than it did the last time I posted about it.   I've been playing a bit more with the left over 1" strips from the frames around those blocks. 

These 4 patches will finish at 1".  Not sure what I'm going to do with them at this point.  I'll keep making them till I use up the strips and then decide the next step.  I don't usually work this small, but I'm having a hard time just throwing away such nicely cut strips. 

That's it for me this week.  I'm off on Friday, so I'm hoping to get in some very nice sewing room time that day.  Linking up with 

1. Julie in GA
2. maggie f
3. Meloney
4. MartiDIY
5. Aileen K
6. Kat @ Rose Prairie
7. Christina's Handicrafts

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Week 16: Stitching and De-stashing

Another cold and wet weekend.  Hopefully all the rain will bring May flowers, if they haven't all frozen yet.  It's a good weekend for stitching, but there have been a few other things on the agenda this weekend.  One of those is to look back at how well we did on finding those hidden pockets of time to stitch a bit. 

Even with a busy schedule this week, I did pretty well at eking out my 15 minutes. 

Days with stitching time this week:  7 out of 7 days
Days with stitching time this month:  21 out of 21 days
Days with stitching time this year:  103 out of 111 days
Success rate:  92.8%

But this week time in the sewing room didn't equate to getting a lot of fabric out of the stash.  

Fabric used this week:  0.06 yards
Fabric used in 2018:  5.64 yards
Fabric purchased in 2018: 6 yards
Net fabric out for 2018:  15.83 yards

Most of the week was spent prepping En Provence for quilting, so there wasn't much time spent at the sewing machine.  So even thought my outage numbers aren't anything to blog about, I'm still linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report. 

It wasn't a bad week, but it wasn't a great week either.  Hopefully your stitching week went really well.  

Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekend Stitching - Finally, A Finish

Most of the time spent in the sewing room this weekend has been focused on getting En Provence ready to send out for quilting.  The back is ready, but there is still one row of blocks that need to have the loose threads removed from the back.  There's a reason I kept putting off this prep step, it takes forever!   

I did take a break from those prep steps Saturday night (my back could only take so much of being bent over the cutting table) to finish hand stitching the binding down on the Scientist in Training's quilt.  

Here's the "art shot"  of the finished quilt.  I forgot we have a test tube rack left over from one of the SITs science fair projects, that would have made a nice prop if I'd remembered.  Here's the whole quilt.  

Geek Chic
Pattern is Under Construction by the Missouri Star Quilt Company
found in Missouri Star Quilt Company Block Idea Book (Summer Vol 4 Issue 3)

I like it, the SIT likes it, My Guy doesn't. But since this is for the SIT and she likes it, that's all that matters.  I had a lot of fun with these fabrics. 

My two favorites are the colored squares periodic table and the fabric in the block next to it that has the word "chemistry" in it.  Not sure if the SIT has picked a favorite or if she just likes the whole quilt.  Trudy kept the quilting very simple, which lets the fabrics really shine.  

The back is made up of left overs from the front. 

Some of what's left may end up as cuffs on pillow cases if the SIT wants me to make her a couple.  Unfortunately, it's a bit late in the semester for the SIT to get much use out of it, but she'll have it for next school year.  

I'm glad to be able to claim at least one finish for this year.  Hopefully I've got the pump primed and the finishes will become a bit more frequent this quarter.  I'll be linking up with the 2018 Finish Along when the quarter ends.  Linking up with my typical parties today (Main Crush Monday won't go live till Tuesday this week).  

Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Monday Design Wall 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Week 15: Stitching and De-Stashing (Happy Tax Day, US)

Is it really April 15th?  The weather here sure isn't spring-like.  We woke up to sub-freezing temperatures, strong winds and dreary skies.  The strong winds and dreary skies aren't atypical of the season, but the low temp isn't typical.  Though I'm sure this weather reflects the moods of those in the United States who don't have their taxes done.  My Guy has reviewed ours, so all that's left is to write the checks and address the envelopes for mailing. That will take all of 5 minutes. Otherwise my plan for today is to play in the sewing room.  It's too cold to do much else.

It's the fifteenth week of 2018.  A third of the year is almost over!  Wow, how did that happen?  But I'm getting off topic, it's end of the 15th week so it's time to stop and take stock of how much sewing room time we were able to fit in this week. 

I did well this week at finding time to stitch for at least 15 minutes each day.  Here's how the all the stats look as of this week:

Days with stitching time this week:  7 out of 7 days
Days with stitching time this month:  14 out of 14 days
Days with stitching time this year:  96 out of 104 days
Success rate: 92.3%

Having time to stitch has been nice.  The backing for En Provence has been prepped for quilting. The plan is to do the same for the flimsy today.  Since bending over the cutting table takes a toll on my back, I took a break last night from all the prepping and finished the binding in Geek Chic.  I hope to get pictures for tomorrow's post this afternoon if the sun comes out.  You can link up your stitching report at the bottom of the post. 

It was a successful week on the de-stashing front as well. 

Fabric used this week:  5.19 yards  
Fabric used in 2018: 5.58 yards
Fabric purchased this week: 2 yards
Fabric purchased in 2018:  6 yards
Net Fabric out for 2018:  15.77 yards

The incoming fabric is intended to be the border for Vintage Dresses.  Nothing in the stash worked well and I didn't want to just settle.  I did allow myself an incoming stash budget of 20 yards for the year, so I'm still on track with my stash busting goals even with the addition.  Hopefully most of it will be going right back out. Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for this week's stash report.  

I'll close with a sign of spring in Oklahoma that's typical; the brilliant sunsets we get due to the smoke from all the farmers burning off their fields. 

At least there is something colorful to look at since the flowers haven't really been doing much as yet.  Hopefully we will start to see more signs of spring in the US this week.   

Here's the weekly link up for those tracking their stitching time: 

1. Melissa G
2. maggie f
3. Julie in GA
4. Meloney
5. MartiDIY
6. Aileen K
7. di
8. Susanne
9. Mary-Kay
10. Shasta
11. Christina's Handicrafts
12. Deana

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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Greened Up but no Sunshine Yet

Greened up but no sunshine yet describes both my Rainbow Scrap Challenge efforts and our weather.  It's been dreary, cold, and often wet.  Things are greening up, but there sure hasn't been a lot of sunshine.  On the stitching front, green blocks are slowly making way for yellow ones.  I finally finished up the last of the green blocks for Squared Away.  Here's all the blocks through March. 

  Squared Away Sampler designed by Mari (The Academic Quilter)

I haven't started on April's yellow blocks yet, but that's on tap for today. 

The other RSC project for 2018 is to make sawtooth stars for the border of the 2014 RSC project, Inverted Stars. I need 60 plus blocks for that, so I've been making five blocks a month.  Only three of the green blocks are finished. 

 Just for fun, I put all the sawtooth stars up on the design wall.  

I didn't distribute all the dark stars well, but this was just to see how the colors and light versus dark balanced out.  The really dark stars are either dark, dark blue or dark magenta.  The last two green stars are still under construction, but should get finished this weekend.  Then I can make a start on the yellow stars.  

Linking up with Angela over at Soscrappy

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

2018 Finish Along - Second Quarter Projects

This year is supposed to be all about finishing up a few UFOs.  My plan was drafted back in December, twelve finishes for 2018.  I was so optimistic linking up with the first quarter of the 2018 Finish-A-Long, there were 4 quilts on my list.  

But here it is the second week of the second quarter and there are no finishes from my list.  😢   It's not that nothing happened, all the projects have been moved along, just not to the finish line. So looking at what's on the list and what's doable this quarter based on what I know is scheduled at work and home, here's the list for this quarter.  

1.  Geek Chic (Chain Reaction), from the first quarter list. 

This quilt is partially bound and will definitely be finished before the end of April. So unlike last quarter, there will be at least one finish this quarter. 

2.  Magnolia Mystery, from the first quarter list

  Magnolia Mystery by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs

The backing is made, the quilt just needs to be prepped for quilting, packed up and sent out for quilting.  I need a weekend for that and March was very shy on free weekends for quilting.  Hopefully April will be better on that front.  This one should get done this quarter.

3.  EnProvence (French Cherry Blossums), from the first quarter list

 En Provence, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)

This is my April UFO.  It was on last quarter's list as all that was needed was the backing and I had hoped to fit that in somewhere. Didn't happen.  But now the backing is made and plans are to prep it for quilting this weekend, package it up and send it out for quilting next week.  This one should also get finished this quarter.  

4.  Vintage Dresses, from the first quarter list

 Vintage Dresses blocks by Charise Randell, Setting by Kate

This project was my March UFO.  Due to business travel, spring break and several nights where I had homework, this just didn't make it to finished top. The plan was to give this as a graduation quilt. Not sure I can finish it by May, but hopefully I can finish it off this quarter. 

5.  Christmas Angels

 Christmas Angels  Pattern by Kate

This is the last picture of it's status, but I'm pretty sure all the blocks are made, the quilt just needs to be set together, backing made and then sent out for quilting.  Hopefully all that happens in time for me to get it bound before the quarter ends.  

6.  Red, White and Blue Stars

  Red, White and Blue Stars, Setting by Kate

This is my oldest UFO, from 2005.  I still need to make a few more star blocks, plus the alternating blocks.  I doubt this one gets done, but I'll add it on as my stretch goal for the quarter.  

There are some easy finishes on my list and some I'll be really challenged to get finished this quarter.  But even if I don't get things finished progress will be made and that counts for a lot.    

Good luck with your finishing plans for second quarter.  I'm linking up with the 2018 Finish-A-Long over at She Can Quilt.  

Monday, April 9, 2018

Weekend Stitching: A Bit of This and a Bit of That

Snow on Saturday and light sleet Sunday made for a miserably cold and nasty weekend.  A perfect weekend to spend stitching.  It was nice to spend some quiet time in the sewing room after all the hustle and bustle of March.  

First priority was to get the backing made for En Provence.  

Done.  This is one side of the backing, the other side has the same pink/magenta strips.  The backing used up all of the Geisha yardage and I have about a quarter yard left of the other two.  It feels good to get some of these older stash fabrics into a project.  My stash report will look really good this week.  Next on the agenda is to get this back and En Provence pressed, prepped for quilting and packaged to send out.  I'll probably wait till next weekend to tackle that.  

A bit of hand stitching on the binding for Geek Chic also got done. 

Chemistry Geek: Pattern is Under Construction by the Missouri Star Quilt Company

Two corners done, so just passed halfway with stitching down the binding.  Hopefully this will be a finish by next weekend.  

A bit of progress was also made on Vintage Dresses. 

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell
The third row is assembled and has been sewn to the bottom two rows. Just two rows left to assemble.  I'm really liking how the sashing is working out.  I'll need to make a finial decision on the borders soon.  

So it was a good week in the sewing room.  There was also progress on a couple of Rainbow Scrap Projects, but didn't get any photos of that progress.  It was so nice to have the time to putter in the sewing room.  Now I'm good to go on the sanity front, at least till tonight when I'm sure I'll need another dose of stitching to be prepared for what's looking like a really busy Tuesday. 

Linking up with:

Monday Making
Design Wall Monday
Main Crush Monday 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Week 14 of 2018: Stitching and De-stashing

Other than the stress that comes with doing the taxes, it's been a very nice weekend.  It's also been a very cold weekend. We woke up to snow yesterday morning.  That's pretty unusual for our neck of the woods.  But it was really nice not to have to go anywhere in that cold.  There's nothing on the agenda for today, well except to finish the taxes.  But before I get back to that, it's more fun to look back at how things went in the sewing room this week.  

Finding time to stitch was on track since there were no pesky business trips to tire me out.

Days with stitching this week:  7 out of 7 days
Days with stitching this month:  7 out of 7 days
Days with stitching this year:  89 out of 97 days
Success rate:  91.8%

Mr Linky is all set up below for you share how well you did at finding time to stitch this week. 

De-stashing is going slowly at the moment, but there is a bit out with nothing in for the week. 

Fabric used this week:  0.39 yards
Fabric used in 2018:  16.58 yards
Fabric purchased in 2018:  4 yards
Net fabric out for 2018:  12.58 yards

Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the stash report this week.  

Since I'm on a fabric diet, it seems I've switched my focus to patterns.  When we were in Texas last month, I picked up a few for my collection. 

I'm playing with ideas for a new quilt for my bed. Urban Cabin is in contention for that project.  The Tulip Fields jumped in my basket I think because we'd seen the tulip farm the day before.  It would be a fun scrappy project for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I haven't started many new quilts the last few years as the UFO list really needs to be a bit shorter, but I'm hoping that happens this year and I can play with several new projects next year.  Keeping up with my daily stitching time will help get me there.   How successful were you at finding time to stitch this week?  

1. maggie f
2. Julie in GA
3. Melissa G
4. Sharon
5. Meloney
6. MartiDIY
7. Aileen K
8. Shasta
9. dreamworthy quilts
10. Christina's Handicrafts

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April One Monthly Goal: Backing Up

Hard to believe it's a new month and that it's already April.  Since it is a new month, it's time to decide on this month's One Monthly Goal

For April the plan is to move En Provence off the UFO list.  

En Provence, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)
En Provence has been a finished flimsy since December 2017.  It needs a backing so it can be sent out for quilting.  The goal for April is to piece a backing using fabric from the top and this focus fabric left over from another project. 

There are 3 to 4 yards left of this geisha fabric sitting in the stash.  It will make a pretty back for En Provence, with the added bonus of moving it out of the stash. Now to figure out a name for this quilt. The Asian themed fabrics don't match Bonnie's French inspired moniker.  

Along with the one monthly goal, I've been setting a priority list each month. Having a ranked list helps me use my sometimes limited quilting time more effectively.  So here's the April priority list:

1.  En Provence - make back, prep for quilting, send out for quilting, bind. 
2.  Geek Chic - finish binding
3.  Magnolia Mystery - prep for quilting, send out for quilting
4.  Vintage Dresses - Finish sashing
5.  Squared Away - finish green blocks, make yellow blocks
6.  Inverted Star - finish green stars, make 5 yellow stars
7.  On Ringo Lake - leaders and enders project

That's quite a list isn't it?  I won't get to all of it.  That's OK, I'm grateful for whatever progress I can make each month.  Though it would really be nice to get some finishes this quarter.  I'm still at zero on that front for 2018.  

Linking up with Patty over at Elm Street Quilts.  Good luck with your OMG and priorities for this month.  

Monday, April 2, 2018

2018 Ambitions: Successes and Failures

You had to wonder if Mother Nature decided to play along with April Fool's Day this year.  We had freezing rain most of the way home yesterday.  It wasn't heavy enough to make the roads bad, but it certainly was nerve racking wondering if conditions would get any worse.  We got home without incident and thankfully the Scientist in Training only hit one minor patch on her way back to school last night.  We are under a winter weather watch this morning for more freezing rain.   The calendar may say spring, but winter hasn't left yet. 

Speaking of things that are still hanging around, Vintage Dresses is still up on the design wall. 

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

The third row of dresses is ready to be sewn together.  That leaves two rows of dresses and three more rows of sashing to finish.  The One Monthly Goal for March was to get all the sashing made have all the rows sewn together.  That didn't happen.  This is only the 4th time in the two years I've been playing along with the OMG that I didn't finish a monthly goal.  March was just really busy on both the work and family fronts.  Looking at it that way, I'm just going to be happy that there was good progress in spite of the busy month. That's pretty much it for what's going on in the sewing room for the last week.  I'm linking up with the usual suspects:

Monday Making
Design Wall Monday
Main Crush Monday

The rest of this post is a review.  Back in December, I developed a list of quilting ambitions as part of Quilting Jet Girls 2018 Planning Party.  It helps me remember to celebrate my successes and stay focused on my goals for the year if I review my progress on that list at the end of each quarter.  So here's the status of those ambitions.  

Ambition #1: Shorten the UFO List
                       No Progress

Ambition #2: Participate in select quilt along/mysteries 
                       Progress:  Squared Away quilt along is started

 Squared Away Sampler
designed by Mari (The Academic Quilter)
The 2018 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Project

Ambition #3:  Find 15 minutes to stitch each day
                        Success rate = 91%

Ambition #4:   Stash Management
                         Purchase less than 5 yards per quarter (4 yards in)
                         Organize the stash - a little progress
                         Use only stash fabrics for new projects - yes
Ambition #5:  Blog once a week
                        41 blog posts for 13 weeks = 3/week

I'm doing better than I expected on my ambitions for the year.  Finding time to stitch, blog and limit the amount of stash additions is going well.  The biggest disappointment is that the UFO list isn't going down.  There has been progress on several UFOs, they just haven't progressed to the point of being finished. So for second quarter, I need to work a little harder on moving those almost finished UFOs along.  

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Week 13 of 2018: Stitching and De-Stashing

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful Sunday.  Happy Easter to those who celebrate the holiday.  We'll be hanging out with family today.  We've reached the point all the kids are too old for egg hunts and the new batch of grandkids aren't big enough yet. It's supposed to be cold and wet tomorrow anyway, so I imagine we'll all sit around with coffee and talk.  

Since it's Sunday, it's also time to reflect on how easy/hard it was to find stitching time this week.  

My week wasn't too bad:

Days with stitching this week:  6 out of 7 days
Days with stitching this month:  26 out of 31 days
Days with stitching this year:  82 out of 90 days
Success rate:  91.1%

The business trip to Houston meant there just wasn't time and energy to stitch one day this week.  My success rate is over 90%, which is my goal for the year.   You can share your success at finding some stitching time at the bottom of the post. 

The stash report is a bit mixed this week.    

Fabric used this week:  0.62 yards
Fabric used in 2018:  16.19 yards
Fabric purchased in 2018:  4 yards
Net fabric out for 2018:  12.19 yards

I finally have some fabric in for 2018.  I bought 16 fat quarters, mainly to use as frames for the Vintage Dress quilt or as backgrounds for the Squared Away blocks.  My goal for 2018 was to purchase no more than 5 yards of fabric a quarter.  I'm one yard under my goal for the first quarter, so I'm still on track.  Especially since the stash out is bigger than the stash in.

That's it for me this week.  How did you on finding some time to indulge in some me time in the sewing room this week?

1. Julie in GA
2. MartiDIY
3. Aileen K
4. Jennifer in Indy
5. di
6. Mary-Kay
7. Deana
8. maggie f
9. michele
10. Emily @ The Darling Dogwood
11. Christina's Handicrafts
12. Deana

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Happy Easter