Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Machine Quilting Issues

No pictures today, just some talkin'.  I'm trying to remember to stop by every few days to chat, but more often than not, realize that I thought about it, and realized I had something else to do.  Making that pledge to be more open about my process right before the holiday....what was I thinking?!  Anyway, yesterday I sat down with Stephanie's baby quilt to begin quilting it for real, and boy! Do I need some practice! My swirlys are lopsided and uneven, and my bamboo-ish filler design for the sashing is....leaving something to be desired.  I'm sad to say that I think this quilt will go down as a FMQ practice quilt that I actually gave as a gift to a close friend!! Oh, the horrors! 

Currently, I am on a break after sewing for 15 minutes, trying to prevent sore muscles and frustration.  Trying to figure out how to use my fingertips to move the quilt without having to pinch it up to move it.  I wish I could steal  snag borrow mom's sewing table; it has a nice hole to drop your machine into, leaving your quilt at the level of the needle, like a perfect extension table.  I asked for a nice extension table for Christmas, not the $200+ full-sized sewing table, but the little attachments you can add when quilting.  However, even if I do receive it (HINT HINT, I WANT THAT TABLE!! ;)  it will not come before I have done most of the work for this quilt.  Sadly, DH and I jury-rigged an extension table from a cardboard box and tape, but it's not a very smooth surface, so the quilt sandwich doesn't to move as nicely as it should.

Anyway, my break-time is over, and I must return to the quilt for at least one more round before we call this evening a total KO.  Eventually, I WILL defeat the process of FMQ, but it probably won't be tonight.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Adventures in Decorating

Today, I decorated the cutest cupcakes in the world. Bought the book, "Hello, Cupcake" and it has the best ideas ever.  Now I desperately need the companion book, "What's New, Cupcake"!!! Check out the adorable Snow Family and trees.....

Aren't they just precious???  I love that she uses every day candies and such to decorate her creations.  Starburst, however are NOT as easy as she makes it out to roll out, but once I got the hang of nuking them for 5 seconds to soften 'em up a bit, it wasn't so bad.  I will say that in the future, I will be buying appropriate decorating tips and bags, because the zippie bags she suggests just didn't work out the way I expected them to. It's difficult to cut the accurate shaped tips to create the leaves.  I will NOT do that again. 

But I do like her recipe for making a firmer cake that doesn't fall apart, I LOVE it!  She adds 1 cup of buttermilk in place of whatever amount of water the box calls for.  Then you use the required amount of oil, and use 4 eggs.  The cake has a much firmer, yet still light texture that was a breeze to decorate.  Which would have been marvelous to have when I made Stephanie's baby shower cake, and I had to glue it together with icing all over to make it the correct shape.  It all worked out in the end, the finished cake was beautiful and she loved it, but I had to keep shoving the cake into the freezer to get it to firm up a bit before trying again!

Exhibit A: Messy cake


Exhibit B: Beautiful cake


Messy exhibit will NEVER happen again, now!!  I can't wait to try new ideas with cakes and cupcakes!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Machine Quilting: A First

Today, I embark upon a new journey.  I have a quilt that is pieced, sandwiched and pin basted. It has been that way for 3 weeks. It has gone from teasing me with the promise of newness, taunting me that I'm scared, begging for me to come put a stitch in it, to yelling and cursing "Da** you, woman!! Come work on me, now!" (And considering that it's a baby quilt, it's going to need it's mouth washed out now to teach it to not say words like that!)

I have checked out books from the library on machine quilting.  I have bought a free motion foot for my machine.  I have surfed the web searching for hints and ideas on patterns and ease.  I have made some small samples.  Yet I have still to put one stitch in the actual quilt.  I'm scared to.

I'm scared that I'll mess it up somehow.  To be perfectly honest, what really scares me is the straight foundation stitching.  I still can't get my straight stitches even, much less perfectly straight.  Now, I know, perfection doesn't exist in home-made items, especially when made for small children.  But, this quilt is for a close friend's first baby.  She'll be using this everyday, and at some point, she'll start looking at it in detail.  What if she notices the wobbly lines?  What if the stitches are so uneven that she see them from a distance and seriously packs it up, only pulling it out when I come over?  Or, even worse, what if I get going, look at the stitches myself, and think they're horrible?  I can always pull them out and try again, I mean, that's why some wonderful person years ago created the seam ripper, right?  But I am afraid of disappointing myself. 

I have been so excited about this project for months, and once I started piecing the quilt, it just flew together.  Right now, it's perfect.  I'm afraid that my inexperienced machine quilting will take it from perfection to the rag heap.  And yet, I must do it.  She's already seen the quilt, she knows I'm making it, and she loves it already. Which means I have to finish it.  Which basically means I need to stop whining, log off the computer, and move to the sewing machine.  Here, I feel safe, though.  Here, I know what I'm doing. When I get to the machine, I don't.  And that scares me. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Felt Food Mania

Okay. So I promised to do more updating and here I am. It occurred to me that I posted a while back that I had finished my first box load of felt food and mailed it off, or at least I mentioned it in the Finished column.  Yet I never posted any pictures or links to the inspiration and patterns that helped me create them.  (Many of them you will see were found at Helping Little Hands' Felt Food Cook-Along) Prepare for a bunch of links!
This box is the size of one of those medium Priority Mail boxes. And just look at what all fit into it!!

 Felt cookies from this website. No patterns were used, it's really simple. Just two cream colored felt pieces layered together with a fun frosting, sprinkled. The chocolate chip cookies were inspired by these blueberry muffins.  I loved her idea that the blueberries are not always on top, and since chocolate chips usually look the same in the cookies, I duplicated it.  After sewing the random curly-q's to the wrong sides, I sewed the right sides together, leaving a space to flip them through.  Now, I also think that they look better a bit thicker, so I used scrap batting from quilting projects to stuff them before hand sewing the cookies closed.  K says her little girl is in love with the cookies right now. 

I love these tomatoes.  I'll show you the website and pattern I found them on, but when you see it, you'll kick yourself for not seeing how simple they are! It's nothing more than a large circle gathered and stuffed.  Cut out a leafy top, sew it on and you're done! And the tomato slices were just as easy, you'll see!

I have been wracking my brain and wearing out my search engine, but I cannot for the life of me think of where I saw an idea for the hamburger and buns.  At the bare minimum, I probably saw one in a Flickr pool of felt food and was inspired to create my own pattern based out of the creation of other foods, like the sliced bread (below).  The only thing that makes the burgers cuter than a bug to me is the grill marks: black embroidery thread stitched in straight lines. I don't know about you, but my hubby never manages to get the perfect cross-hatch on a burger.

These are some of my favorite pieces, and until K's little girl got the cookies, she too was in love with the first slice of bread I made for her.  Rather than create 3 different links, I'm just going to make one, back to the Felt Food Cook-Along, because that's where all but the lunch meat came from.  The lunch meat is little more than a piece of pink felt (or 2 if you want more thickness or stability), cut with pinking shears and machine stitched around the edge for a bit of detail.  The rest of the food in the picture is the Sliced Bread, the Chicken Pieces/Chicken Nuggets in the Felt Fajitas, and The Amazing Changing Felt Pizza Crust/Tortilla. 


These bananas and corn-cobs were super fun to create! I think I need a set just to keep here at the house for me to play with!  When I make them again, I want to find a way to put magnets inside the individual pieces. When K's daughter played with them, she had difficulty getting the pieces back together.  Securing the magnets so that they won't be a swallowing/choking hazard isn't actually the issue, I have that figured out.  It's finding cheap magnets that aren't cost-prohibitive!


The carrots were super cute when finished, and I kinda went overboard cutting out orange felt, and I think I made 20-ish carrots!  The strawberries, while cute, aggravated me.  I made most of them too small, which makes them choking hazards, so I had to send her only a few, with the promise to make more, larger ones, soon.  And these oranges....I'm in love. (Here's the link for the peel)  They were actually the first food pieces I made, and they clinched it....I am a FELT FOOD MANIAC!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Process Pledge

I, Liz, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in the in words or be sure I’m being totally clear.   I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.

As I'm sure you've noticed, my last post was more than a month ago. I've been working, although truthfully not as much this month, but I started this blog to help me complete UFOs. If I'm not keeping the blog updated, it may mean the UFO pile is only growing, the WIP pile is shrinking and the completed projects are not making any new friends. 

So I hereby pledge to post at least every other day.  Even if only to say hi, and that I'm shirking on projects.  For the actual completion of projects? Well, DH will be on night shift ALL month, which means any night he's not at home is a night I can freely spend at the sewing machine without feeling like I'm ignoring him. So here's to a new start.  See ya soon!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"I Finished It" Update

I know I haven't posted in more than a month.  But I have been working.  And so I did update the completed projects sidebar, even though I have not yet detailed those projects.  It just looked so sad sitting there with a short list of completed projects when I know I've done more!  So, over the next few days, I will catch you all up on my progress.  The baby shower for Stephanie is Oct 9, and I must not allow myself to give any more gift ideas away before they have been gifted!  So I wil use the next two weeks to catch you(and me!) up. 

Happy crafting!

The Height of Too Muchery

Baby shoes.  Have you ever thought about it?  They are just too-much!! They remind you of little tiny baby feet, and then you just wanna gobble them up!  So my bf Steph is having a baby girl. I have been cutting and sewing fabric like a madman (mad hatter?) for weeks, and now am finally getting a chance to put the pics on the blog.  Okay, maybe that's not all the truth.  The other piece is that dh is taking an online class and I'm lucky to be at the computer long enough to load pictures and type up my story here!  And with a job, a house to keep somewhat clean, and a dog, well, I'm just lucky to have time period!

But anyway, back to the point of tonight's post....BABY SHOES!

Now, Steph and her hubby are not your typical suburban parents-to-be.  They are not goth, or punk, or preppy.   They are one of those couples who have seriously been together for 15 years, married for 6, and they met and started dating at age 15.  Yup.  They march to the beat of their own drummer.  And they pull it off perfectly.  For example, someone gave them an adorable onesie.  Green short sleeves, with long brown sleeves underneath. It has a guitar in solid brown, no other colors, on the front.  She is dying to find some brown leggings and a brown tutu to dress Mia up in, size 6-9 months. Too cute. 


Well, her dh loves his Vans skateboard shoes.  And I found, finally, a small enough black and white checkerboard print to make some shoes for their imminent arrival (January).  I had a pattern from this website chosen to make semi-Van-like shoes from, and then I went into Hobby Lobby.  Where the awesome (evil!!!) saleslady pointed me to the Simplicity patterns that were on sale, for 99 cents!!!! I went a teensie bit overboard and bought 6, but the best find that day was a baby shoe pattern.  In which I found a perfect look-a-like for the skateboard shoes.....TA-DA!!!

I mean, really, does it get much cuter than this?  Sorry the side view is blurry, it's the best of the side views!  I have been squealing and giggling in such high-pitches that my own dh is getting a bit worried!!  I cannot wait to give these to the dad-to-be! Steph knows about them, and is just as excited (no, she hasn't seen them) but she says since they were made with him in mind, they should go to him. And I agree.  But this....
is the height of too-muchery.

Monday, August 16, 2010

homemade by jill: Refashioned Jeans to Maternity Skirt Tutorial

homemade by jill: Refashioned Jeans to Maternity Skirt Tutorial

Maternity Skirt

I know I said I would do this yesterday, but seriously, if you had seen the list of things I accomplished yesterday, and knew what time I finally came home, you would totally understand.  When you live in a small town 1 hour away from the nearest large city, you plan your trips and then go.  Hit every store and place possible, visit one or two friends while there, and listen to 3 cds of the cd book.  Good times.

So anyway.  S is finally pregnant after trying for nearly three years.  October would have been the official 3 year mark.  She's 18 weeks along and just found out last week that IT'S A GIRL!!! I'm so excited.  There are so many adorable things to make for girls.  Boys have cute things too, don't get me wrong, but the preponderance of ideas is shifted to the girls side.  (BTW, there is NO question this baby is a girl, when it came time for the tech to "look at the plumbing" she obligingly rolled over, flipped her legs in the "air" to proclaim, LOOK ma, no penis!!)  S's sister-in-law's sister just had a baby last December and went from a size 12 to an 8 after the birth (no fair).  So she passed some new jeans on to S that she had never worn.  But now she has baby belly, and needed maternity bands.

In swoops Homemade by Jill's Jeans to Maternity Skirt Refashion.  Very simple, easy to follow tutorial.
Take regular ol' normal jeans, preferably wide leg, as I discovered these were originally skinny oops.

Remove the waistband and take out the inner leg seams.  (No pic, sorry.  Was listening to a book-on-cd while working this portion of the project, so sorta got distracted)

Make sure your tension is correct on your sewing machine for jeans.  This WILL take a while.  Unless you've been hemming jeans recently and know the correct tension off the top of your head, which I don't. It's best to practice the tension stitches on a piece of the exact jean you will be sewing, so I cut off a portion of the leg (hey, it's gonna be a skirt, so I was gonna cut the legs off anyway, right?)  My sample stitches ended up looking like this masterpiece of hot mess.  Finally got it right though! (Save this scrap piece.  You can use it as stuffing for large stuffed pieces, like dog pillows/toys)

Sew inner legs together.  (No pic, same excuse as before)

Begin following directions for the maternity band. Know that S wears a size medium top, and since Jill says an old shirt that has shrunk in the wash, use one of my own shirts to measure the jersey material I got in lieu of t-shirts since it was actually cheaper.  Take skirt and band to S to have her try it on before finishing it.

Catastrophe.  The skirt fits.  Thank goodness.  But the maternity band will NOT go past her thighs.  Not because they are huge, they're not, but because either my shirt has really shrunk, or I messed up somewhere.  Except now I have no more jersey material, and have to go to Wally world to buy a t-shirt.  Like I should have done in the first place. 

This time the band fits.  It fits me, so it will fit her.  (my legs are a bit bigger than hers, so that's a good judge)

Now time to bite off more than I can reasonably chew at one time.  A few weeks ago, Crafterhours held a skirt contest, and the winning straight skirt was so adorable I knew I had to do the same thing to this skirt refashion.  Of course, I don't have an awesome sheet like that in my house, so off I traipse to the Goodwill.  Found a sheet that works just as well.  Cut all the flowers out, iron the fusible stuff to them, then iron them on to the skirt in a nice arrangement.  (Again, no pic.  What was I thinking!?!?)

Begin zig-zagging around all the pretty flowers.  Some more.  And some more.   And crap.....I ran out of thread.  Off to the store....my color has been discontinued.  Did you know they discontinued sewing thread colors!?!?! I certainly did not.  Try desperately to match the color, but no.  Nothing available is even close to the same shade.  Give up, buy two spools of a thread that will work.  Begin again.   I lost track of how many times I had to wind the bobbin.  Two nights later.....ta da!!


I did not use the sparkly thread.  Wanted to. Just not sure how.  As in, not sure if I should use the sparkly in the bobbin as well, larger/smaller stitches, etc.  Plus, the skirt is super cute as is. 

Now, yes.  I do have a pic of S trying on her new skirt.  She loves it, by the way.  It's just on my phone.  Which I left at work today.  An hour away from home.  And when did I discover I had left my phone?  You got it! When I pulled in front of my house!!! S says the band is a bit loose right now, but I'm okay with that.  First, this is the very first time I have ever sewn something like this without a pattern.  Secondly, she's only 18 weeks.  She still has at least 2-3 months worth of growing to wear this skirt in, if not four here in Tennessee.  That band should be nice and snug by October.  Baby due in January. By then (Oct) I should have the regular jeans refashioned, no cutesy flowers. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another Refashioned T-shirt

Okay.  Sorry it's been so long, once again.  Again I say, I have continued to work on projects, but the problem is that I continue to begin new ones, and so increase the list and the amount of work needed to complete them!  I have decided a new method is in order, still working out the kinks....it will involve more timely deadlines, supposedly.....

So, for tonight, I attended a lovely catered dinner at our new church, just for the ladies. It was beautiful. Each table was sponsored and decorated by one or two women. Our table was 80s themed.  Side ponytails, crimped hair, Pixy Stix and Smarties, and LOTS of awesome memorabilia.  Well, I don't really have any truly 80s themed clothes (okay, maybe, but this allowed me to finish something, so go with it!).  I was getting ready to finish working on my friend's maternity skirt, which I will hopefully publish tomorrow, when I remembered I had a t-shirt incompletely-refashioned from back in April that might work out for 80s. 

I can't find the original pic of the shirt before I played with it, but it was a pill-y stretched out THIN shirt that I had grown tired of wearing because I always needed to wear a cami under it.  An in the 100+ degree weather we've had the last few MONTHS, an extra layer of anything, even thin cami material is one too many!  I dug through my fabric stash and found some prints I would probably never use any other way and cut hearts out of them. I suppose you could do different sizes, but I made mine all the same size.  Ironed some double-sided interfacing on them, then ironed them onto the shirt.  And there the shirt sat for months.  I zig-zag stitched around each heart in a different color to coordinate with the patterns twice to make sure the colors stood out and to reinforce the stitching...et voila!!
Um...had some technical difficulties with the tripod camera and self-timer; seems the dog thought I looked nice too. Unfortunately, you can't see the one where Pepe is far enough back...my eyes are half closed laughing at the dog trying to get in the picture. So I went ahead and took one of him too.

This is what we call "Pep-ifying the floor", because he literally will wait until we put the vacuum cleaner away and then he just rolls and rolls all over the clean carpet, I guess making sure it smells like dog again.  He must not like my Febreeze vacuum bags. (Those are awesome by the way, you should get them if you don't already.  I'm not fully sure how they work, but they make the whole room smell Febreeze fresh as I vacuum, two birds, one hose!)

And here's a sneak peak at the maternity skirt for my friend...new dining room table in the background.(new to me at least, and yes, it will be on the list of things to work on, it needs new chair covers BADLY!! They are a hideous 70s yellow velour.)   When I post the skirt, I will also be showing you my cool new way to keep thread and bobbins coordinated!
(Can you see Pepe still trying to get in the picture?!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

ummmm....

Oops.  Didn't realize it had been so long since I posted!! I have been steadily working on many projects, and have hundreds of pics in my camera, but the camera is at the baby's house ( I guess technically he's a toddler now that he turned 1), and obviously, it's late.  I did make a goodly stash of felt food and delivered it to the 2-year old; she loved it! I am making more, since I got a tummy-flu the night before and didn't get to do the last minute crash sewing I had planned. I made 3 sets of baby gifts (blankets and burpcloths) for new moms.  I hemmed a maxi dress I won't be wearing this summer but am loaning to my pregnant best friend, who is unfortuately the same height I am.  And I finished my quilting design wall!

Hand quilting has sadly been pushed aside.  Not sure why, think it's just that I have too much on my plate.  Began working on the crochet afghan, but it's NOT fun.  I have to switch colors every two (2) rows, so I'm actually trying to come up with a better way to finish it.  It will get finished this year, I AM going to give it away as a Christmas gift, I just need more motivation, and I think it stems from the boring aspect of the basic design!  Finally got in all the I-spy charm squares from the 4 (yes, I am in deep) swaps I participated in this summer.  Sorted them for the third time today, enough to make 2 alphabet books, and just saw a better way to sort out some of the others! argh!!  And I did get my 6 funky houses completed and sent off. Waiting to get my swapped blocks in. 

All of these things I promise to begin updating, maybe tomorrow if I can remember to bring the camera (or at least the memory card!) home.  I need to be able to tell the hubs that I DID finish some things this summer so he won't panic when I begin work on the bf's baby things.  aack!!1! Summer seems to have caught up to me!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

July UFO Challenge

The number for this months UFO has been posted, and it is.....drumroll.....#5. The Green Ripples Crocheted Afghan. Hmmm.  I know I need to finish this thing, since it's been taking up space for so long, and I know it will make a great Christmas gift for someone this year...but I really don't want to work on it.  That's probably why more than 10 years later, it's still unfinished.  I really can't remember why I started it, or why I quit working on it, but I know I was working on it when I was volunteering at the hospital as a candy striper delivering the flowers and other gifts people send.  I would work on it between runs.  I think I was 15 or 16.  I guess, though, that finishing it will be a good thing, I'm just going to have to dig deep to find the motivation.....um....1)early Christmas gift .......2)regain use of the bag it is stored in......3)can I make it count to DH as one of the finished projects required to begin on BFs baby quilt and other sundries?.......4)won't cost anything but time to complete, which is good since we just set a to-the-penny budget in order to be debt free by March!!  Feeling a bit more motivated now...

Go forth and CREATE!! (or finish, as the case may be ;)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Felt Food

I have been having so much fun this week! I am making a pantry full of felt food!  That's the gift i'm giving my friend's daughter for her birthday. I know, I said I wouldn't write about it to keep the surprise, but I needed to know some of K's favorite foods.  And I figured, if she doesn't see what's being made, it's not such a big loss of surprise, is it?  So, no pictures to post, no details to write about, just the knowledge that I am enjoying my food without having to see it end up on my hips!

P.S. When making felt food, it is ALWAYS easier to use the tutorials and printable patterns that are out there, rather than try to wing it on your own!  I started with doughnuts, thought I knew what I was doing, and it took me three hours to complete 1 doughnut! Without icing!! Now, I've seen the pattern and tutorial and feel like smacking myself on the forehead! Such a dingbat!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Charleston Weekend

Oh my gosh! Has it seriously been two whole weeks since I posted last? Wow, the time flies. This is why I need to blog. It keeps me current, and accountable for the projects I've been working on. When I'm not writing about what I'nm working on, I tend to begin multiple projects that don't quite get finished. Boo.
See? This was all started two weekends ago. But I'm only halfway finished with these baby blankets, bibs, and maternity jeans for a friend.  The fabric in the middle, the green with vines and browns, that was for a skirt, which I did finish, but not in time to get a pic posted to the flickr account to enter it into the contest I was going to try to enter.  And, now, I'm not sure where the pic of the skirt went.  I may have to retake the pic so I can show you how cute it turned out. Lightweight, breezy, perfect for a wedding on the beaches of Charleston, South Carolina.


The ceremony was at 7pm, and the temperature was perfect by then. Heat index was registering over 100 degrees all week, but that time of day, it felt like less than 90.  Beautiful.  A very simple ceremony, the random beach-goers applauded as the bride processed down the aisle with her dad and 4 year old son, and of course, I left the beach with raccoon eyes.  It was so sweet, and all I could think about was standing in a similar ceremony less than 10 months ago, making the same vows.  PS, someone needs to make wedding proof mascara.  I have yet to find any.
Look how sweet we are.

So, now I return to making toys for the kids to play with.  But, since I don't get the 3 year old as much now that it's summer, I'm only going to make a few,but I'm going to make a set for a friend's little girl who turns 2 next week.  I will post pics once I have wrapped and delievered the gift, though, so as to preserve the surprise. 

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Weekend's Work

I will never again go to Hobby Lobby on a Friday night! I was in the store by about 6:30, and selected several flannels to use to make some baby gifts for upcoming baby showers. I will admit to causing some of the craziness, as I had 6 bolts of fabric to be cut, but the women in front of me....they were the majority of the problem.

With all cottons and fleece on sale, the woman who was having her fabric cut when I got in line had more than 10 bolts, and was having anywhere from 1-4 yards cut of each. Her grandchild was annoying entertaining us with four-year old antics and begging for fuzzy materials for himself. Before she had all of her fabrics cut and recorded for check-out, another shopper came behind me. There is only one associate working the fabric counter.

The next customer has at least 10 bolts on the table, but she keeps leaving the table to pick out more fabric, which is understandable in light of the sale, but in any other situation, this would usually result in loss of place in line. Why is it that in some fabric stores this is acceptable, and in others it is unheard of? She begins to rattle off the measurements she needs, and it soon becomes apparent that we will be standing for quite a while. She is getting 2 or more yards of each fabric. Asking for the entire bolt. Changing her mind. A new customer steps in line.

Finally, the harried sales associate calls for assistance. Of course, after having cut more than 20 bolts of fabric in the last 30 minutes non-stop, there is a pile of fabric on the second cutting table. Several of us in line help the new girl move fabric around, place it in shopping carts, and in general clean-off an area for her to begin cutting. At this point, the customer in front of me is down to her last bolt, so I tell the customers behind me to go ahead to the second associate, since I won't have to wait too much longer, and I also have a stack of fabric. I only needed 1 yard of each, but all the same, I was trying to be nice.

At this point, the speakers turn on with the announcement that Hobby Lobby will be closing in 15 minutes. Yes, it's 7:45! (HL closes at 8 in case you are unfamiliar) The sales clerk and I are discussing the plans for my fabrics, and suddenly I remember another fabric I need. Now I am the annoying person running from the table to grab another bolt. I needed black felt, and more than just the small 8x11 squares you can get 4 for $1. My plan is to make a durable car playmat for 'Tude, since I was able to get a yard of green felt at my Wal-Mart when they decided to clearance fabric and give in to the crappy kits two weeks ago. I left Hobby Lobby at 7:55. More than an hour for 6 1/4 yards of fabric, that only took me 15 minutes to select.

Apparently, everyone comes to the Lobby on Friday night to partake in the sales for their weekend projects! So rather than just buying a few yards, they go absolutely crazy! The poor sales associate was talking about how she hadn't even begun to recover her section, and if she was responsible for straightening the entire fabric department by herself, whoo! She's going to be there for hours! By the time we all left, she must have had 40-ish fabric bolts on the table to return, a cartful of remnants to package and price, not to mention the basic clean-up.

But, I did get several projects started, which I was going to complete last night, as well as make gingersnap cookies with fresh-made candied ginger. However, it seems that Murphy has moved into my spare room. If it can happen, it will. Our downstairs renter volunteered his dad to help us set up the wireless network, since that's his speciality. But what should have been a quick set up took 2 1/2 hours! We are now wireless, but I got nothing done, because I had to sit with them, sewing machine in the other room, keeping Pepe out of their hair and computers! Hopefully the rest of the week won't be the same.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June UFO Challenge

The June number has been released! And once again, it is just what I wanted to be working on (so much so that I was going to go renegade and swap my numbers around if it wasn't!) The chosen project number is #9!!! My Teapot Quilt, the very first quilt I ever made. Now for those of you who remember that wasn't originally the project, very good! Yes, it's true. But remember, I promised dh I would finish two (2) quilts before I bought the supplies to begin another quilt. And now my bf is pregnant, and I want to make her a quilt. The Teapot quilt is actually almost finished, so I can definitely finish it this month, then go back to working on the 4th of July quilt. And when I finish it, I can go shopping!!!


The other reason I was going to swap my numbers around is because I took my car into the shop a few weeks ago, and had to spend over $1,000 to get her fixed. Ouch! So I needed a project I could finish without having to buy any supplies for. Okay, I bought marking pencils, but that doesn't really count, because those are necessary for the quilting process! (which, by the way, the best quilt marking pencils out there are Roxanne's Quilter's Choice) I think the original plan with this quilt was to use the remaining yardage to make bias binding, so I have all I need. Except for a border hoop. Which I really would like, but think I have come up with a way to make it work with my regular hoop.


On another note, with the mini-storm we had last night, we now have fried outlets. Over half of the outlets in the house do not work, even after searching out all three (yes, 3) breaker boxes in the house. We have flipped every circuit, tried to match them all up to lights and outlets in the house, and failed miserably. Less than 1/3 of them were labeled to begin with, and as I flipped them, we discovered that 1 in 4 were mislabeled. Imagine that. And we never did figure out which ones were to the outlets that are dead, probably because it's not a circuit breaker issue, but a wiring issue (did I mention this house was built in 1940 and has "crazy" wiring all over?) There are places where you can see new, grounded outlets have been installed, but that doesn't necessarily mean the wiring was updated. So, who knows what's really going on behind the walls! Ergh! At least it's not all outlets, and at least the computer was plugged into a different set of outlets. And now I'm beginning to wonder about our surge protectors.........This probably means they're shot too.


ARGHHHHHHH!!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

I hope everyone is enjoying their three-day weekend! Remember to take a moment to take a veteran this week. I have really enjoyed watching the History Channel show the WWII movies in HD, even though I thought I wouldn't. Put my quilt in my lap, and just watched the service. Then it struck me how appropriate it was that I am working on my patriotic 4th of July quilt. I hope to have it finished for the Fourth.

But, playing around on my favorite quilting forum, I found a page of quilting jokes and funny videos. I definitely recommend checking it out, especially the fisherman video...I don't know when was the last time I laughed that hard (maybe years ago when America's Funniest Home Videos first starting airing?) And I found one quote that seems to sum up the point of this and many other blogs I have read recently:

Rules for Quilting
1. Always buy fabric, no matter how much you already have.
2. Sew all day and all night, absolutely no cooking allowed
3. Use lots of spit for tiny droplets of blood, this always makes the quilt more personal.
4. Always start a new quilt before the last one is finished, this requires you to go back to step #1.

Now, for those who do not quilt, apparently the only substance known to completely dissolve your own blood is your spit! So for those of us with permanently pricked fingers dripping blood all over quilts, SPIT! Okay, not really, but you can lick your un-pricked fingers to wipe away the drips, and it will disappear better than anything else. Interesting fun fact to carry with you for the rest of your life!

Oh, and for me, the cooking does get done, it's usually the clean-up that gets ignored, until suddenly the laundry pile comes to life in the night to smother us!

So, whether you are grilling, chilling, or sadly have to work like me and the dh, Enjoy your holiday, and work on some UFOs!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Exciting News!

Last week, one of my best friends told me that she is expecting! Yay! They have been trying for a long time, so this is truly exciting news. The best part is, I had just last month found a quilt pattern to use to make her a baby quilt whenever I got the word. So now, I just have to restrain myself until July when she finds out pink or blue! Okay, green or pink. She's definitely more a green than a blue.

She went to the store this weekend, and the excited grandma-to-be got a few things to start the loot off right, so I even have basic colors and ideas to grow off of. She fell in love with the monkeys that are out this year. And we all know that monkey fabric is adorable and easily found right now. So, today, I just spent the last hour playing around searching my favorite blogs and their favorite blogs for ideas on other gifts to stuff a bag with. Unfortunately, now I have a list of things to make, and I can't even get started until July!!! ArgH!!!! I mean, there's a few things I could make very gender-neutral, but most of them need to be specific to ruffles or camo Vans (shoe) checks in black and white. She would KILL me for camo. In any colors or patterns.

What are some great ideas for baby gifts you have seen that you would have loved to have recieved, or think you would like, or things you would give to expectant moms.... I need ideas!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Feelie Box

After a wonderful hubby-free weekend, I feel like I have accomplished something! I made a list Friday evening before the boys left. Fifteen tasks and crafts I have been needing to work on. By bedtime last night, I had completed all but 4! Due to a strong sense of duty to the house, however, I did not get to work on many craft projects. I DID clean the house, and finish unpacking and organize the craft room to my particulars. Pictures to come later. Now, I can work on crafts and ideas in peace. My surroundings are calm and inspiring. I love it!

I was able to make a feelie box for Tigger to play with. Supplies needed:
--an empty Kleenex box (preferably the small square size)
--fabric scraps (the more textured the better)
--hot glue gun and glue sticks

Open the box along one of the sides. I just popped open the glued seams. Measure and make a template for the inside of the sides of the box. Use the template to cut your fabric squares.















The square for the bottom of the box will probably need to be cut smaller in length. I found it was easier to start with the side directly across from the open side of my box. Of course, I feel that way because I would rather get the hardest part out of the way first. Now, take a lesson from me, because it had been so long since I used hot glue, I forgot how quickly it cools and dries. With my first fabric scrap, I applied the glue to the entire square before trying to get it to adhere to the box. Abysmal failure. As I'm sure those if you who are very familiar with hot glue know what happened next. Bumpy lines of glue added to the texture of my square, just before it let go of the box, and fell out. Silently taunting me.


At which point I remembered to glue slowly. So I began again, starting with the corner of each square, applying the corner to the box, and moving forward, inches at a time. Now, while this sounds tedious, remember I suggested using the small kleenex box. This is why. The larger your box, the larger your pieces of fabric, therefore the longer it will take you to apply the hot glue.





Once all four of the complete sides have been glued, what remains is the side you opened the box with. Using the same slow-going technique, begin gluing your fabric to one flap, making sure it is facing the correct way to fold into the box. When it comes time to glue the other half of the fabric, apply the glue to the far edge of the material, stick your hand in the dispenser opening and press the second flap down onto the material, which you have supported from underneath.





From here, it's simple to complete. Glue the remaining two flaps down as they originally came up from the box. You can leave the box decorated as a kleenex box, or cover the box with colored contact paper. I made sure to reinforce the seams of the box because Tigger is a curious child who tries to stick his fingers into any opening and pull. So, I try to discourage the destruction of a project I have made.
The good news? I took the box to work today, put it on the floor, and he immediately went for it. And stuck his whole hand in the opening as designed. Then rewarded me with the most beautiful smile as he felt what was inside. I turned the box around on his hand, and let him feel each texture. We talked about the smooth, silky, rough, bumpy textures in the box. And then he dropped the box and crawled away, content for the moment and having discovered a "new" toy on the other side of the room he hasn't seen since Friday! Later, I saw him playing with the box by himself, hands inside.....corner of box in his mouth. Oh, well. Such is the play of infants!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Craft Kits?!?!!!

As of 3 hours ago, the boys are gone, and I have the house to myself. Well, I also have the dog. I made a long list of things I hoped to accomplish this weekend, wrote them on the chalkboard, and have so far crossed three off! I'm so proud of me! So now, as I wait for the lotion to soak into my hands after washing them, again, I have a rant.

I went into my local "super" retailer today, looking for more denim thread to complete the braided rug. This is the same retailer that has recently been known nationwide for eliminating it's fabric selection, stating that they would replace it with pre-coordinated and cut selections. I have now seen these selections, and I must say, I am not impressed. In fact, I'm annoyed.

If anyone thought the fabric you could purchase there was poor quality before they eliminated the bolts, DON'T feel this fabric. It's so rough. I don't know what I could possibly use it in, that I wouldn't worry about the material falling apart in the wash the first time. The coordination is okay, if I chose those fabrics, I might put them together that way....eventually. But that's assuming I would select those patterns or colors. This is exactly what I worried about when I heard their plans for the fabric department. Who is choosing these prints and matching them? Who decides which print goes for which project? And why is the material such poor quality?

Yes, I said projects. Not only have they chosen prints and matched them without your input, they have created kits for sewing. You can choose a pattern for a scrub top or bottom, an apron, pajama pants, or little girls summery tops. But heaven help you if the fabric with the pattern isn't what you would like. The kits only come in so many color selctions per pattern, and what you see is what you get. No swapping.

They do continue to offer a selection of fabric cakes and fat quarters and fat quarter bundles, but my issue with those is, who said I would like those material together. I've always felt that way, though. For the most part, I steer away from the bundles personally, because I hate getting fabrics or papers (scrapbooking) that I won't ever use.

Anyway, my point is this: how many people do you know who consider themselves prolific crafters that frequently use "kits"? You see the kits at any craft store these days. Scrapbook kits that come with the album, the paper, the stickers, some die cuts and other embellishments, and even a "sample" page, so that you don't even have to think about what you're doing. Now these sewing kits, material, pattern and vomit all rolled into one. (Sorry, I know that may be a bit harsh, but its my soap box!) The last time I bought a kit to do crafts with, I was under the age of 16.

Keep in mind, I am not putting cross-stitch kits in this category. When you choose a pattern for cs out of a book, it tells you what thread colors to use. That is never up for debate. Cross-stitch patterns are simply about repeating what someone else has already created, exactly the same way. So when you buy the kit, it comes with everything you need to re-create it exactly.

In my never-to-be-humble opinion, as one of my favorite radio hosts says, craft kits are for children. They are for young people who still don't know what they like and don't like about crafts, and shouldn't be spending bou-kous of $$$ investing in a project they may end up hating. But by the time you grow up and learn what your actual interests are, you as the consumer should be allowed to pick and choose the finer details. Color, pattern, project, layout and coordination, embellishments. Those are all personal, and I've never asked people to buy me craft supplies for Christmas or birthdays. My tastes are not your tastes, and that's okay! What crafter A likes, crafter B may completely hate, but it's those differences that keep the world turning (or gravity, if you believe in such things, lol:P )

So "Super" Retailer: Bring back the individual selections! I am not one of the masses! I have my own opinions! And btw, I'm willing to pay a bit more to get better quality, too! Bring back the quality in your products, as well.

I now yield the soap box to someone else. Thank you.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Under Construction

Please bear with me over the next few days as I fiddle with my layout. I am trying to add a column, then return to a similiar style, so things may look odd as I play. Hopefully, by the weekend, I should have everything straightened out!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Apology

Today, I apologize for not posting anything of great import. I have been debating about showing and describing my progress on the braided jean rug, or on the quilt, or on any one of the many projects in the works, but...

I plan on writing the rug into a tutorial, so it needs it's own post entirely to itself. The quilt, well, there's not much more I can say about it right now, but ow! Still building the callous, and some of it broke off today, so tonight's quilting is really going to hurt again. I'm working a bit at a time on the chalkboard, it's looking great, but I'm still fermenting ideas, and need time to think. And with all these projects going at once, I haven't even stepped into the craft room to begin playing with it's organization.

But DH and friends are going to a bachelor party out of state this weekend, so the only thing I plan on doing this weekend is "me stuff." Maybe by tomorrow or Friday I will have the rug complete, and can write up the tutorial.

Oh! And by the end of the weekend, I may have been able to fiddle with my page design, adding another column so I can have more detailed lists and links. Wish me luck on that!

Now, off to watch a scary movie and quilt before going to bed.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

'Tude and Tigger

I've mentioned before that I take care of a 10 month old daily, and one or two days a week, I also get a three-year old and his 10 month old brother. 'Tude is the 3 year old (guess why!) and Tigger is my every-day, bouncy baby. For security reasons, I will withhold their actual names.

Early last week, while I was working on my quilting design wall (a 6 yard piece of fleece, cut into 2 two-yard pieces, sewn together to create a 110" x 120" neutral colored backing to hold quilt blocks for placement, allowing me to visualize the finished product without Pepe running through the mess), 'Tude's monther sent a text to ask if I could watch him for a few hours while she ran some errands. Of course I could. When she dropped him off, I had the fleece spread out on the floor measuring the grid I'm sewing into it. I started to roll/fold it up, and 'Tude began walking on it. I "suggested" he take his shoes off, and feel it. So we ended up laying on it, stroking the fabric and talking about how it felt.

I can't remember why, but I ended up putting in a cd of classical music for us to dance to. We listened to the music, talked about what it sounded like (bouncy, light, heavy, loud, soft, etc) and what kind of animal might move that way. Then, we pretended to be that animal while the song played. As we danced, 'Tude made the comment "Stay on the dancing blanket!" So, we danced on the "blanket". Now, I need to make a "dancing blanket" for us, since this particular one already has a purpose. (Tigger is the teeny one you see in the background of the pic - he didn't pretend, but while we were being tigers, he was our dinner, and we "gobbled" his neck and belly, to his eternal delight)

'Tude also does not enjoy eating. No, it's not that he won't eat healthy foods, he just won't eat food. Period. His diet consists mainly of liquid nutritional supplements. I have made it my own personal challenge to get him to eat food, healthy or not, but healthy preferably. And since with my b'day money I finally got my food processor, this has become much easier. Last week, I made Sneaky Chef chocalte cupcakes (I called them muffins) with spinach and blueberry puree. Delicious, and he loved them. Today, I made the orange puree and the white puree.

The orange puree is made with carrots and sweet potatoes. You can add this to Grilled Cheese Muffins, canned Spagetti-os, Taco Soup, or added to ketchup or barbeque sauce to make them a bit healthier. Yum. The white puree is peeled zucchini and steamed cauliflower. In the future, I will make white puree when I make green puree (spinach, broccoli, and peas) because I hated throwing out the zucchini peels! The white puree can be added to Complete Corn Muffins, canned Spagetti-os, mashed potatoes, or added to mustard or mayonnaise. Basically, I made full recipes of each, because I'm planning to make foods to get the 3 year old to eat, and add them to my own foods so that DH and I can eat a bit healthier too. Yummy.

Now, before anyone says what I used to think: adding these purees really is worth it. My original opinion when Sneaky Chef came out was that adding a 1/4 cup here or there wasn't going to really give the kids the nutrients they need. But think about this. For children up to the age of 3-5, the serving size of vegetables is 2-3 ounces. A quarter cup = 2 ounces. Most of the recipes call for 3/4 cup. If most of the foods you serve your kids have sneaky ingredients in them, by the end of the day, 3-5 year-olds have eaten their daily requirement of veggies. And they never even knew it! The best part is, the food is really good. So good she even wrote a book for sneaking food into your own "adult" meals. And I have all of her books. Guess what DH and I will be eating for months to come...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Quilter's Callous

So the truth is, when I wrote my post Thursday, I still hadn't basted the quilt together. The plan was to have that completed before going to bed that night, when I would also publish the post saying I had done so. However, Murphy came to town, and it took me all day yesterday to get the quilt basted. I began quilting last night, and only worked for about 30 minutes.

But I had to take my car to the shop this am, and so I also took the quilt. I figured, several hours waiting on my car to be fixed would also give me several hours to quilt. Which was a great idea, if only I had taken into consideration: my Husband. Who went out for a run this morning, and didn't take his key with him! And our door is one of those old fashioned models that requires the key to turn the latch. It can be completely unlocked, but you're not getting in without the key. The car service place was super nice and gave me a ride home so I could let him in. I am almost finished with one block.
Of 54. Plus 4 corners, and a border. I have a long way to go.

As I haven't hand quilted in years (probably 4), I am now rebuilding my callous. I actually sewed my finger to the quilt last night. DH laughed and wondered how in the world that was possible. I then proceded to demonstrate, making very sure to not repeat the actual process. I'm taking a break from the quilting for a few minutes, while I allow my poor finger to recouperate. Poor finger.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fourth of July Quilt


I know I haven't posted lately, but that is due more to the fact that I am still entirely wiped after spending 3 days cleaning out and moving the rest of the junk from the old apartment. And when I say I cleaned, I mean I was down on my knees Cinderella-style scrubbing at carpet stains and removing mildewy grout. I. Am. Tired.

So most of my evenings have consisted of me flopping dramatically onto the couch when I get home, moving only for bathroom breaks and to finally slink off to bead. Thankfully, I have my day job, which includes a sleeping angel for at least 3 hours a day. The work from this week shall give me posts enough to last me several days if I split the stories! Which I will. Therefore, today, I will tell you about the UFO Challenge quilt I am ready to begin hand-quilting as of tonight!

This quilt is pictured and described in my UFO History page. As I pulled it out to begin working with it, I was trying to remember how and when exactly it got started. I was part of a quilting class at my church in Chattanooga, and for Christmas, we had a fat quarter "naughty santa". The fabrics I received were patriotic, and I can't remember how many exactly I got. I think it was 5. That spring, our fearless leader brought in directions for a Yellow Brick Road quilt. Since I already had the 5 patriotic fabrics, I chose the full size option and headed to the LQS for 10 more fat quarters. Now, the time period here I'm still fuzzy on, but it was less than two years after September 11, so patriotic fabrics were all the rage then, and soon, I had enough to work. Blocks made, sewn into strips, three strips sewn together, and I put it away to begin on another project. (see the UFO pattern?)

Fast forward five-plus years later. I have never forgotten about the quilt, knowing I needed a backing fabric whenever I chose to complete it, and always looked at fabrics during the summer. Nothing ever really jumped out at me, plus I never really had the $$ to splurge on it anyway. BTW, I also never really went into a good quilt shop here in town to look for fabrics, so I never had a chance. Once the challenge announced the # for the month was 3, I was estatic. I had so hoped to get to work on that quilt! So off I went to Mammaws Thimble. Massive selection of fabric. Choir of angels sing when you walk in, I swear! One hour and 30 minutes later, I emerge with a border fabric, and a backing fabric. (It took longer than planned, but mostly because the #1 pick for backing DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH material for me!!) Luckily, #2 did, and it is just as good a choice.

What I have always planned for this quilt was to hand-quilt "fireworks" as my design, and so wanted to find a good template and hopefully iridescent thread to use. Ix-nay on both. Never could find a fireworks template. And the lovely woman at the quilt shop suggested that I not use the iridescent thread, as it creates more tension in the stitch, more puckers, and more thread breakage. Thankfully, there are templates for sale online, and I found several that with the right thread, will look like fireworks exploding, anyway. And Mammaws had a beautiful spool of variegated thread in oranges, purples and yellows to complement the quilting templates. See?

And, so, after what must be at least 7 years, the quilt is ready for the hoop!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ready to Begin Again

The move is finally complete, and I have promised myself at least 3 days of crafts only. No unpacking, no cleaning. Especially since packing and cleaning are all I've done for the last three days at the old apartment. Which is clean and empty now. Turned in the keys and everything! Happy Dance!!

The only good thing about the 45 minute drive, each direction, to and from the apartment, is that I had plenty of time to think about the crafts I wanted to work on, how I wanted to do them, and plot out my week. (If you ever find yourself driving down a highway with a car in front of you that is swerving a little occasionally, wave. It's probably me, writing/sketching out my ideas as I drive. I know, slap me on the wrist, I'm a bad driver!) So I have a list for the week!

1. Went to the quilt shop here to get border and backing fabric for my 4th of July quilt. Need to finish sewing the blocks, cut and sew the borders, cut and sew the backing, purchase some batting, get it basted, then begin the quilting!
2. Cut old jeans into 2 inch strips, sew into strips about 4-6 feet long, begin braiding, and make a rug for the laundry room, so that if the clean clothes fall, they don't hit the yucky floor.
3. Make a "feelie box" for the baby to play with (this will be a tutorial, cuz it sounds hard, but should actually be easy)
4. Cut and sew fabric for my design wall. Sew measuring "guide" lines on it, either 6 or 12 inches.
5. Begin organizing the craft room
6. Begin and finish the chalkboard wall.

I think I'm forgetting something. But my brain is fried! If I never move again, it will be too soon! Next time, I'm hiring people to pack me up and move me, I'm not doing it myself again!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ah...Internet...

is a wonderful thing. How in the world I lived for three years without internet conncetivity I have no idea! I just spent the last 3 days (4 really) chafing that i couldn't check facebook, ihasahotdog, or any of my blogs. Or update my own blog with info about what I have done. And you would think that I could satisfy myself with working on crafts, but no...I can't live with all these boxes lying around whispering "unpack me...unpack me..." Maybe I should have my head examined to check out the "voices", they may be a bad thing!

The sad thing is, I really haven't been able to work on any projects. Unless you call ordering a new mattress and setting up the guest bed a project. Or rearranging the bedroom layout because my head said the bed was in the wrong place, therefore I was sleeping on the wrong side. I have unpacked so many boxes, and arranged so many cabinets and shelves it's sad to realize I'm less than halfway done. But everything has a place this time around! Those spaces are filling up quickly, but they are looking more and more beautiful by the day. When the boxes are gone, and the vacuum has run through, I will post pics of MY HOUSE!!!!

I did finish the last two coats of paint on the baker's rack (yes, it actually needed 3 coats to cover up all the yucky white), but now I'm not sure if I don't need to seal it so the paint doesn't scratch off over time. Its beautiful. I also go the final coat on the chalkboard wall, and have begun sketching out how I want to decorate it for daily use. On graph paper. I'm hopeless. I have drawn it out on the board in chalk as well, just to get an idea of what it would look like.

In regards to the UFO Challenge I joined last month: 1) I did not complete April's project. But that was because the last two weeks of April were spent frantically throwing things into baoxes before carting them to the new house. That will continue to be a project to work on slowly. 2) The project number for May is...3! Which is awesome, because I was hoping to begin work on the 4th of July quilt! Which I can now! So, I have to sew the rows together to complete the top, choose a border fabric to add, and select a backing fabric. I have 5 blocks left from the pattern to set as corners for the border (maybe make a pillow out of the extra? That will become a new UFO if I choose that project). I spent a few hours online looking at quilting stencils, and ordered a few that could look like fireworks if stitched with a pretty variegated or shimmery thread. So, a trip to the LQS is on the schedule for the weekend. Stay tuned to see the selected fabrics!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chalkboard Wall

As promised, the pics from this week are here!

Today, I went up to the house to put up the first of two layers of chalkboard paint on the kitchen wall. Measured the wall, sketched it out on graph paper, then began the tedious process of marking out my measurements on the wall. Then the even more slow process of drawing LEVEL lines on the wall where indicated. After marking those lines with painter's masking tape, I stepped back to see if I liked the placement of the board. Which I thought I took a picture of, but apparently didn't. By the way, stirring chalkboard paint is tough, it gets all clumpy at the bottom of the can. But once applied, I got really excited about the way it looked. I wanted to make the paint dry super fast, so that i could apply the second coat, make it dry super fast, so I could began adding the special details that will make it Mine! But alas, 6 hours dry time required between coats, so I will just have to wait until tomorrow.

On the subject of the new house, I have pics of the craft room! Now, keep in mind, this booger is not completely decorated, and is also not completely set up. But it has such potential, and look at all the great storage space!

I love the built in shelves around the window, I'm just not sure yet how I plan to utilize them. I hate the board under the window, and am looking at removing it, since then I can place my work table at the window, which gives me a wall back. And that closet is HUGE! Storage for gift wrapping supplies, WIPs and UFOs, and yes, it's a cedar lined closet, so NO Moths!


Now, the plan is, if I can get rid of that window ledge, the work table (on the right) will move to the window, the ironing board will take it's place, and my cedar chest with UFO supplies will live on the newly empty wall. Above the chest, I will be making a quilting layout board out of felt. For other display in the room, I'm thinking about hanging some of my baby quilts and blankets up where I hope to put the ironing board. **Happy dance!!** I have a craft room!! ** Happy dance!**

And for the baker's rack, it should be pretty self-explanatory. Plain Jane boring baker's rack on the left. Several hours later, on one of the windiest days yet this year, a beautiful focus piece for the kitchen! I may still need to do some touch-ups in one or two places, but it's gorgeous and you so can't tell it came from the flea market!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Moving Update


Only 3 more days til I drive up to the U-Haul to pick up the truck (apparently the only way I get to drive the truck, which I actually like doing, is to pick up the truck. Which, considering I'm the one who thought to reserve the truck, makes sense...) I have now made 7 trips with full car loads (2 on Saturday, and 2 cars one trip yesterday) to the house. Very little actually remains in my house except for the furniture, appliances, and my clothes. Yes, J was really good and packed all his clothes. I, on the other hand, packed my shoes (3 boxes!) and nearly had a cow. I'm scared to pack the clothes and see just how much I have. I may actually have a heart-attack!

Mom came up this week to celebrate our birthdays (4/23 and 5/9), so basically i put her to work! She was more than happy to help though, referencing her own parents assistance when she moved back in the ice age (j/k mom! ;) And why do I love my mommy? Because I knew she would be perfectly suited for a job, and she Loved working on it. --Changing out the shelf liners. The liners on the shelves and drawers WAS an old 70-80s style apple kitschy plaid-like pattern. Green, and dirty. The pantry shelves were BadLy sponge-painted (I will have to post a pic, it's that bad), and they NEED to be replaced. We didn't get the liners complete, and I may end up having to buy another roll of Contact paper, but the finished look is SOOOO much better.

What else have I been doing, you ask? Well, aside from stuffing and taping boxes to load and unload in the car, not to mention the unpacking of said boxes at the new house in an effort to stay as much ahead of the task as possible...very little. I have begun work on the Funky House blocks to swap, and I have already been planning how to put the final quilt together once I receive said blocks. I think I want to make a town, you know, with a Wal-Mart, a church, the school, J's plant, etc. Fuzzy black dog playing in the front yard, trees, street lamps/lights, maybe a car or two...ambitious, I know. Maybe make the sashing be a dark gray for asphalt streets....

I did spray paint the cool baker's rack I picked up at a flea market for $20. It was dirty and rusty, and boring with it's cream paint. I picked up the Hammered finish Rust-Oleum, and it's gorgeous now. No way you would think it came from a flea market. Note to others: spray painting on a windy day= BAD IDEA!! My feet are still slightly bronze. And the porch is too. (oops)

And I have come up with a plan for a boring wall in the kitchen (I mentioned this the other day). It's only about 7 feet long, and is between the dining room entry, and the garage stairs door, so there is not enough room to place any furniture. So what to do with boring, white wall.......This I considered while giving Tigger a bottle last week. It came to me...chalkboard paint. No, don't ask me where the thought came from. No idea. I can't remember the process that got me from his bottle to the paint. But I picked up a quart of the stuff, and will be painting the top half of the wall tomorrow. Once the paint is dry, my acrylics come out, and I am going to turn that board into a Menu and Schedule board. It will be Bee-u-tiful. I think.

Proving my point that a crafter's work is never done, I have a project planned for a vaca in June - felt food. I've been saving empty food boxes to stuff and tape to use in the "kitchen area" at the babies' house. Then I found tutorials on making play food. Which I can't find at yard sales, and I'm not allowed to buy new stuff for children I haven't given birth to. Since I have felt left over from making felt board stories, this will use the rest of that felt, and be a great project to work on for the 6 hour drive both ways. It will fit in a small bag, and since it is hand-work, easy to do in the car! I will also probably make some as a Christmas gift for a special someone, but telling who might ruin the surprise.


Now, you may be wondering, where are the pics of what I have worked on this week. Um.. they are on the camera, which is at the babies' house, because I had two 9 month-olds today, and they were adorable playing together, so I got the camera out, took some great pics...and left the camera on the couch, where I placed it out of the reach of grubby fingers that could have pulled it to the floor to suffer an ignoble death. So I will rescue the camera and load pics tomorrow.


Now, as I am both physically and mentally tired from all the work this week, I am going to go take my shower, and go to bed early. Pepe thinks this is a great idea, and has thought so for the last 3 hours, since he's been stretched out across the couch that long. I am sitting on just enough cushion to hold me, as he thinks nose to tail-tip is how much he requires! Smart-aleck.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Uh oh...

I've done a BAD thing..... I promised DH I wouldn't start any quilting projects until I had completely finished 2. Um, what was I thinking??? I have now broken that promise (HUBBY--IF YOU'RE READING THIS NOW, STOP!!! I CAN EXPLAIN!!!) I found a block swap for funky houses, and I thought in honor of moving to an actual house and getting out of apartments, that would be an awesome project. And I've already been to the quilt shop to get the fabric! I can have my new town in my new house as a cute wall hanging. I'm gonna pattern my "funky house" after the new house, so as I sketch out what I'm planning and start sewing, I will post those pics.

Anybody else doing good on finishing some projects? As soon as I can stop packing and moving boxes, I can get back to work hard-core to finish projects. See ya soon!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Moving Part 1

It's official, we are moving early. U-haul reserved for next Saturday morning, keys in hand, almost half of the boxes packed. And just last night, we took the first car load of boxes up to the new house! I made sure that they were all for the craft room, and since I'm going back up tonight with another car load, I will probably go ahead and unpack and organize the craft room! That way, once we have "moved" and are living in the new house, I can unpack slowly, but still be able to work on projects! (Can you tell that I am excited about having an actual room to put my supplies in a work in?) I explained to Jon that he should not expect perfection in cleaning out of that room. Even when it's clean, it may "look" disorganized! But as any crafter knows, disorganization is probably exactly the way it needs to be so we can find the things we need!

And, just 10 minutes ago, I had a great idea for how to decorate one of the walls in the kitchen: a chalkboard wall. Chalkboard paint down to about chair rail height, decorated 1/2 for the weekly menu, and the other 1/2 with out projected schedule! Then as small children arrive, the chalkboard paint can be extended down to the bottom half as a drawing wall! OOooh, the ideas are flowing. And I saw an idea in an HGTV commercial about painting tone-on-tone stencils on the wall to be "cheap" wllpaper. Which would be perfect for the dining room! Yay! My own house, to decorate the way I choose!