I have a blog quality control supervisor who lives at my house.

Actually, I think she is quality control, publicity, and community outreach all rolled into one.

She is a fashionista, an artist, a cheerleader and on any given day….she could give Warren Buffet a run for his money.


And today, she totally supervised the number pillow project of 2012.


Number Bag

The number pillow project all started with this pillow.

Bless that pillow’s heart.

I don’t think the upstairs was ever really comfortable with hosting such an inferior member of the pillow family.


And at this point, it’s going to be an uphill battle to see if the playroom will ever recover.


So when I saw these tote bags for only $4.99….with the EXACT numbers I had been trying to recreate, I knew this was the way to save face with the pillow community.

I could make these tote bags into pillows.

The pillows I originally imagined.  Beautiful number pillows….from a simple tote bag.

It was my chance for a do-over.

The numbered pillow project….take two.


pillow project


Quality control supervised the entire project closely.

She watched to make sure I cut off the handles correctly.

And watched as I took a picture.

She carefully observed to make sure I cut the tote bag into two matching squares……

…..and took another picture.


Seam photo


Quality control was there when I sewed the seams for the pillow and turned it inside out and stuffed it and sewed up the open edge and took it to the playroom…

….and documented it all with the camera.


number pillow


And as I stood in the playroom admiring the new pillow…..quality control spoke up,


“Ummm….mom…..you are a photogenic mom.”

I quickly turned around and smiled at her.  Photogenic, huh?

Was it the eyebrows?

Or the hair.


That was it.

It had to be the hair.  I mean….I just got a cut and color.


“Thanks, honey,”  I said.  “You made my day.”


She looked at me quizzically and furrowed her brow….searching intently for the right words to explain.


“Yeah.  That’s it.  Photogenic.  And you know why you are photogenic? 

Because you’re a photo mom. 

A photo mom…you know….a mom who’s always taking photos.”

And then, satisfied her job was done….she walked away with a smile on her face.




A photo taking mom……that would be me.

I’m just sayin’.

If the blog thing doesn’t work out…..

 ……I could have a really bright future. with Olan Mills.  🙂

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  1. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Now, I know the sole reason and solution to my blog and all of my problems. I have no quality control supervisor!!! What am I going to do? Don't worry, KariAnne. I am certain, without one teensy weensy doubt, that it is the eyebrows, new cut and new color job. Then go and add the red lipstick and sunglasses, and you are a superstar.♥ Watch out for the paparazzi at Haven. Do you think they would complain if you bring your bodyguards?

  2. Image for Michelle Michelle

    You crack me up. I love starting my day by reading your blog. You have the best ideas. I love the pillow. Watch out Christmas Tree Shops. After reading this, everyone will be running to get tote bags to make that adorable pillow.

  3. Image for Kimberly from Serendipity. Kimberly from Serendipity.

    Love the pillow and I wish that we had one of those shops here because you KNOW that I'd be grabbing one to do the very same thing! QC sounds like my kind of gal. She's supervisory material, for sure. As for you, given the eyebrows and the cut/color, have you considered modelling? I personally thought that I'd look into doing a few shots for Behr Paints, Bosh Power tools or maybe even Krylon (a girl's gotta have aspirations, you know) right after my next cut and color. Just watching out for ya'...keeping your options open...helpin' a girlfriend out. xo

  4. Image for Laura Laura

    Ha, I've always said kids are the great levelers. Just when you are feeling great about yourself, one of your kids will pop up to bring you back to reality. I think God gave us kids to make sure we can always get our heads through the door. However, I must say that once they are grown up and gone from home, you can just let your ego inflate as much as you want. Hugs, Laura P.S. Love the pillows :)

  5. Image for judi judi

    you just crack me up! thanks for the early morning chuckle. ;) love those tote bag turned pillows...so how long ago did you purchase those totes? 'cause i NEED to get me some! and i love the "bless her heart" #7 pillow too...simple but so coastal, cottagey cool.

  6. Image for Stephanie Durdan Stephanie Durdan

    Awesome pillows! I used to have a pillow designing/making business for eight years until I sold it. :-) "Photogenic Mom" is better than what I called my mom when I was about eight. I thought she had a cute walk and I remember telling her, "Mom, you walk like a lady of the evening." Of course, I had NO IDEA what that was. It stunned her and of course she didn't really walk like a prostitute.

  7. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Love the pillow....Now if it were me....I would have just stuffed the tote bag, sewn up the opening and wha--laa...a pillow with a handle...but you with your QC, fashionisata, financial guru by your side, turned a tote bag into a work of art...and then on top of that you turned to into your photogenic self and made great photos...Great project!!....loved very word of this post....and numbers too!

  8. Image for karen@somewhatquirky karen@somewhatquirky

    Man, just when I was thinking that you were so brave to photograph your stitching so closely ( and that your sewing skill were so good) I find out it is a tote bag. GREAT idea! And cute. And cheap! And fun!

  9. Image for Peggy Peggy

    I love your new pillow! And I have to admit I liked the original number pillow also, you know its cute in that homespun kind of way.... you know what I mean, right? LIke at the ones at Pottery Barn or Anthropology... the ones intentionally made a little wonky so that it looks like its been in the family for ages, made by great-grandma, using what she had available. A family heirloom of sorts. Oh do I ever know about quality control management.... I have 3, yep THREE of them at my house. And do they agree with each other, sometimes, usually but do they agree with me? Well that is a different matter. You know my cool tomato cage turned outdoor chandy???? well it has now been dubbed "The Hippie Chandelier" by one of quality control. Hmmph! And then the dear sweet boy informed me just yesterday "you do realize I'm not insulting the light. Its really cool! It just so........... hippie." So back to your new pillow... I love, love, love it! Now I need to start taking a serious look at totes (and continue to keep an eye out for cute napkins and placemats... my normal pillow covers.) Have a great day!

  10. Image for Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage

    When will your skills cease - not only can you sew up a mean pillow from random objects, but now I see how photogenic you are! Forget blogging, the catwalk is calling. All eyes will be on your eyebrows as you strut your money maker! Kelly

  11. Image for Kelly @ JAX does design Kelly @ JAX does design

    Great idea to turn the tote bags into a pillow - it was obviously meant to be, seeing as the tote bags were already sporting the numbers that you wanted :-) I'm totally photogenic - in the always taking photos kind of way :-) I guess we could call ourselves prophotolific ;-)

  12. Image for Mrs. C Mrs. C

    Who else would have found that adorable tote at Christmas Tree Shops and could have seen that it had another destiny, other than you? And who else would have turned that adorable number tote into a pillow? No one. You're the bomb-diggety! (I just read "bomb-diggety" somewhere else and needed to type it out.) (And I mean it, you really are.) Freshy pillows, numeric pillows, you may just need to write a book about pillow possibilities & the potential of totes changing their identities. All the while, being your photogenic self. You've inspired me to do something. All of your projects do inspire. Thank you!

  13. Image for Linda @ it all started with paint Linda @ it all started with paint

    I'm in pillow love. And I'm wondering where my closest Christmas Tree shoppe is ... and at first glance I thought your photogenic self sewed those numbers on your own and I was all excited that you were going to show me how to do it so well ... :) Linda

  14. Image for Anne Anne

    Oh I'm so with Shirley on this one! Only I wouldn't sew at all, fusible tape all the way!!! and I think you're photogenic as well as a good photographer - oh no, wait that should read a good photo-taking mom... Sweet cushion and I'm so pleased I know what bless it's heart is all about now. Blogging is such an education for me!!

  15. Image for Athena at Minerva's Garden Athena at Minerva's Garden

    This looks like the most cozy, comfortable place to curl up with a great book! I love the red accents against the blue stripes of the chair--very pretty. And you are highly photogenic--your daughter hit it spot on. Lovely!

  16. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    The new color job and eyebrows did it! I hear the phone and Olan Mills is calling! What a great idea for a pillow- a tote! Clearly, you are more than just a pretty face!

  17. Image for Kelly @ View Along the Way Kelly @ View Along the Way

    "Save face with the pillow community" - Hahaha! I'm imagining a large group of people who do things like hold annual conventions to discuss pillows, which requires an expensive membership and invitation to join, which goes around frowning upon projects it deems inferior. I think the pillow community would be proud of you and your amazing tote bag pillow. And your eyebrows.

  18. Image for Sonya Sonya

    Love the idea of turning the canvas bag into a pillow. The red graphics really pop! KariAnne, I want to tell you how much I truly enjoy reading your blog! You always make me smile with your humor, your beautiful photography and inspiring ideas. There's no doubt in my mind the blog thing is a great fit for you!

  19. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    Love the red really stands out and makes the pillow really say hey look at me.........ok I know the pillow doesn't talk but you know what I mean........lol

  20. Image for Becca Becca

    So. Clever! A super great idea, Karianne! {Though I liked your old pillow, too!} I pinned this guy, too- so I can remember to look out for charming canvas bags, also! xo Becca

  21. Image for Linda @ it all started with paint Linda @ it all started with paint

    You know I just adore your pillows ... and am trying to figure out how to make my own ... sadly The Christmas Tree Shop does not have a locale in Chicago or IL for that matter! Oh, I'll be pinning and tweeting and FB'ing too! Thanks for linking up to Pillowpalooza my friend ... :) Linda

  22. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Can I just tell you, I grew up in Massachusetts and up there sailcloth tote bags like that run in the hundreds of dollars. Leave it to the good 'ol CTS to knock them off for under 5 bucks! And for YOU for having the wherewithall to make a good thing better by turning them into pillows. As for quality control, she's totally hired.

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