Summertime, summertime, sum sum summertime!

I don’t know about you, but it certainly has been fairly warm around here the last week or so.  In fact, we are waiting on storms to come rolling through to hopefully lower our temperature some.  Gotta love the Midwest!

Believe it or not, we are already counting the days down to our next retreat (yes, it is not until October but some of us are feeling like it can’t get here soon enough!).  Of course maybe that is just me.

I would love to report that I am getting lots of projects done, but truthfully I haven’t turned my machine on in a few months.  However, the Small Blonde has decided on a Transformers birthday party and I am now contemplating making Transformer pillowcases  instead of goodie bags.  Why?  Because I am a glutton for punishment.  His last party was dinosaurs and I made dinosaur tails for all the small people.  Again, I am a glutton for punishment.  I figure that I will have to get started on them soon so I don’t have to worry about finishing them the night before the party.  Although, as everyone knows, that is the most productive time to get anything done.  I aways seem to be finishing things up at the last-minute and I always vow that next time it will be different but so far I’ve been pretty true to my standard of waiting until the last-minute to get anything done.  I’m still hoping that I can break this pattern and get more organized.  Perhaps if I can start getting the Transformer fabric cut out of the yardage that would be one big step in the right direction.  After all they don’t take that much time to make.  Of course I have already purchased fabric with intent to make pillow cases.

I think I have mentioned that I also crochet.  I found this super cool book at Joann‘s last night – Crochet One-Skein Wonders: 101 Projects.  You can see it here.  I have a bit of leftover yarn from various projects that I should be able to use up through this book.

I also found a new book from one of my new favorite quilters, Kim Schaefer.  Well, I guess it’s not totally new, but it is new to me.  Bright and Bold Cozy Modern Quilts.  You can see it here.  I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with this book.  So far I’ve managed peruse the glossy photos but I have not actually created my plan of attack for any of the quilts or table runners in there.  I like that she provides table runners in her books.  They are like mini quilts that you can use in your home.  Something just a little different. I think if you were creative you could totally blow them up into wall hangings or throws or bed quilts, but you don’t have to.  You can create a small work for your table or your neighbor’s table.  Or in my case, my mother-in-law’s table.

One thing I am excited about is that I finally ordered some machine embroidery thread for my embroidery machine.  Yep, I got it for Christmas and I haven’t even turned it on.  However, after watching Joann’s have some on sale at least 3 times, I finally managed to get an order placed.  However, it was a bit more difficult to place an order than I had thought it would be.  You see, I had 2 gift cards from Christmas that I wanted to use to buy said thread.  (ha ha that rhymes!)  However, on the website it says that you can’t use more than one gift card to place an order.  Weird right?  It also says to call their customer service number.  So, I do thinking that they will be able to place the order for me using my two gift cards.  After all, if I go into the store I can use more than one gift card to pay for my purchases.  I was wrong.  I was told by customer service that I could not use more than one gift card to pay for an online order and that I could go into my local Joann’s and have the two gift cards combined into 1 gift card and then I would be able to place my order online.  Silly isn’t it?  Of course the thread I want is only available online.  Not available in stores.  It’s not really a hardship to head to Joann’s except that I had to wait for two small people to finish a nap and then drive across town to get there before they closed because it is Saturday and it would be my luck that the sale would be over on Sunday and this would be the 4th time that I missed purchasing this thread while it was on sale.  Sounds exhausting doesn’t it?  Since it was coupon commotion there I had some coupons to use and picked up the two afore-mentioned books and some fabric and some yarn to complete a crochet project.  So, it wasn’t really horrible to have to run to Joann’s.

When I got to the counter I thought I should just get the difficult stuff out-of-the-way first.  Lucky for me I had a gal that had only been there a month.  Okay, that’s fine, everyone needs to start somewhere right?  She was really nice and tried to be very helpful and was trying to explain my situation over the headset to the other workers in the store who were all confused about why one would need to combine gift cards.  I mean really, why?  Most online stores will let you use at least two and some will let you use as many as humanly possible (which is really quite a lot in case you were wondering).  One of the workers even went to check the handbook because none of them had ever done this before.  Guess what they came back with.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  No Can do.  Can’t find anything on how to do this.  I will admit at this point I was not terribly surprised.  So, I used both my gift cards in store rather than being able to use them online.  I am disappointed in Joann’s.  Using multiple gift cards should not be a difficult endeavor.  Especially for a chain store with online sales.  While I love the coupons and the service I get at my local store, I am disappointed with my recent transaction.

Will it stop me from shopping there?  Not at my local, but I will probably think twice about using their online services.  Which is really quite a bummer because I can go online the day after Thanksgiving to take advantage of the Black Friday sales without having to go into the store and fight the crowds.  Plus with the flyers and coupons I can usually save a little money and still get a good product.  I hope you don’t have the same difficulty, but you should be aware of their gift card policy in case you should have a similar issue.

Hopefully you are accomplishing lots during your summer!