Crafting updates

My quest to have a mostly homemade Christmas continues. I can't believe I only have one week left though! Oh, the stress and angst of it all. :)

Just kidding, I am doing the best I can, and at this point am making things that I hadn't especially planned to, or the things in my head are either easy or stuff I just need to assemble. I just hope I can find all my supplies at home! And yay, I just heard from the short bus that they can take me to Joann's tomorrow after work so I can get a few last minute things for a couple projects I thought of in the last few days.

I'm very excited about most of my projects. I hope all the recipients like them as well!

One of my projects was for a friend of mine at work. Last year, I made a Christmas stocking for a friend of mine that -- I thought -- really needed one! I personalized it with an orange kitty to match her cat, Julius. Here's that one:


Kitty stocking

My other friend asked me to make her a couple of stockings for her pets, Jersey and Cleopatra. I was going to make her something different as a gift, but this idea was even better, since I knew she'd like it! I saw photos of her pets on Facebook and modeled the stockings after them.

I couldn't find any plain stockings when I went to Hobby Lobby this past time (well, except for like 3-inch ones and 30-inch ones). I did find some small fleece sheets there though in the felt section. They were softer and thicker than the felt, and were cheap too, only like 33 cents a sheet. What a bargain! I already had a bunch of felt, beads and embroidery thread at home, so I was all set.

Here is the one of Jersey, who is a tan and white hound-esque dog:

In the early stages


Done, bottom half


Full stocking


I made a little dangling bone to make the top more interesting


And Cleopatra. She was harder to make because she is calico and I was worried that her face wouldn't show up enough.


And for the top of the kitty one. I had the mouse body and tail put together, complete with eyes, but for some reason it didn't look right. Seriously, it took me forever to realize that the mouse ears were missing ... duh!


These weren't terribly hard to make. Probably the hardest part was getting the calico patterns close to being right, drawing the shape of the stocking (this was more complicated than I thought!) and hand sewing the fleece. It was harder to get the needle through that than the felt.

I gave them to my friend today, so yay, I was happy that she liked them. Off to another project now! :)


I heart appetizers

I've always been a fan of appetizers ... I love little bits and pieces of food, and would much rather have three bites of 10 foods than 30 bites of one. Variety is the spice of life!

Anyway, to get to my point, I spent part of this afternoon/evening at a work party at my VP's house. Her house was simply gorgeous and decorated really cool, with lots of unique pieces and modern art. But oh, the food! It was awesome. I had a little bit of everything there was and it was all delish. There was a bowl of fruit salad with a bunch of good stuff, cheese, crackers, raw veggies and ranch dip to start with. Then the finger foods came out. They included:

- A pastry with proscuito-wrapped asparagus and filled with spinach artichoke-type filling.
- Mini crab cakes.
- Beef wellington.
- Coconut shrimp
- Chicken satay with a spicy raspberry chipotle sauce.
- Little chocolate cups filled with either cream cheese or chocolate filling, topped with fresh fruit and mint.

Yum. It was really good and the party was fun too.

I'm still working hard on my list of homemade Christmas presents. I'll try to post photos soon.


Christmas flashback, part 2

As promised, here are a few other Christmas ornaments my mom made that I now have. I love this mouse family, and loved playing with them. You can definitely tell they were probably made in the '70s because of their oh-so-stylish clothes.

The parents:

Dad and mom

And the whole family portrait:

Mouse family Christmas ornaments

The power of procrastination

Heh. I just finished the Christmas ornament I was making for the exchange we're doing at our office party tomorrow evening. Nothing like getting things done at the last minute. I guess I should be glad I finished it before actually being on the way to the party.

I took some photos of it and will post them post-party. I'm really happy with how it turned out.


Christmas flashback, part 1

I've finally started pulling out my Christmas stuff and putting a few things out. After moving my 4 bedroom, 2 bath house into a smallish 2 bedroom apartment, it's been an impossible task to find homes for all my Christmas decorations and other holiday whatnot. I've got a very large tree in storage, so I've just put up an 18-inch tree I've had forever. Of course this doesn't give me much room for ornaments.

I'm sad that I won't be able to hang most of them this year, but I still love looking through everything and remembering when I got the ornaments or when they were made. Some of my favorite ornaments are ones my mom made years and years ago, probably in the '70s or early '80s. Here are a few I especially like.

Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow

Dorothy and the Tin Man


I must have been really, really tired

Just yesterday I was wondering why it was that I fall into such deep, deep sleeps sometimes during the weekends, but it hardly ever happens during the week. These thoughts came to fruition after I spent Tuesday night hardly sleeping at all between the hours of 12:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. (It probably didn't help that two episodes of Dirty Jobs were on then. I heart Mike Rowe.)

So karma of course came back to bite me on my ass when I woke up this morning dreaming that the short bus driver was calling to let me know she was waiting outside for me. I told her in my dream that I needed two seconds to make it out there, rather than one, since I hadn't yet gotten dressed. I woke up in a panic, then looked at the clock. 7:45. What the hell? Seriously, I had overslept by almost 2 hours!

I checked my phone but my last call was from my husband the night before. My alarm was turned off, but I wasn't sure if I had woken up and turned it off, or if it had never been turned on in the first place.

Oh boy. So I called the short bus dispatcher, hoping he'd be able to fit me into the schedule somewhere, but no luck on that. How embarrassing!

This afternoon I installed my new old alarm clock in my bedroom. My hubby sent it up to me in the last care package he mailed. It's a nice alarm clock, especially because it has two alarms. I set then 10 minutes apart and am hoping for the best in the morning! Makes it hard to be snarky about co-workers always being late when I fall prey as well.

I also hope I don't oversleep Saturday; I'm actually leaving the state and going to Chicago! I can't wait.

Now, off to bed. Wish me luck in the a.m.!


To compete, or not to compete

As I have mentioned previously, I'm involved in a stashbusting contest this year. Most of the rules are rather simple: don't buy fabric and use what you have. We lose points when we buy unneeded fabric and gain points when we finish stuff or give fabric to other people in the challenge.

Well here it is Dec. 3 and I am in LAST place. And believe it or not, it's not even because I've been drowning my sorrows in constant fabric shopping. Not that this is news to anyone who knows how I operate, but I am just a really slow quilter. I like to hand piece, I like to hand quilt. I suck at operating a rotary cutter because I can't seem to get the ruler to stay in place (I blame this on my cutting while sitting down but I could just suck at this important skill). I have spent the last year piecing stuff on the machine, but I still am not completely happy with my work. Again, it doesn't seem terribly accurate. And my machine quilting is pretty pitiful, but I know steering with one hand doesn't help the situation.

I have a lot of partially finished projects, but I am starting to wonder if I have a snowball's chance of making up the point differential. And if I do make it up, am I going to have to make a lot of "stuff" that I don't terribly like or want to make just for points? I have to more than double my current point total to even get close to first place. Seems like it may make more sense to cut my losses and chip in the $20 to whoever it is that does win.

Here is a list of some of my current projects that are partially finished:

- Black and bright strip quilt: currently hand quilting it
- Dog print quilt: layered, but haven't started quilting it
- Pink, black and white quilt: need to sew on borders, then layer, then quilt
- Bright nine-patch: currently hand quilting it after attempt at machine quilting looked like complete crap
- Postage stamp quilt: still piecing blocks, not even close to being done
- Snoopy quilt: blocks put together and still thinking about border
- Circus baby quilt: started eons ago, but gave up. Needs a border.
- Ugly kids blocks: I have four done, could be put together for a baby quilt, but I lost the focus fabric in Quilt Campgate '08.

So even with all of that, who knows. All I know right now is that I don't feel like doing anything and am laying in the dark surfing online and watching a bad CSI episode. I had a long, crabby day.


It's turkey lurkey time

Tomorrow (or actually today) I'm heading back to my old stomping grounds for a mini Thanksgiving break. It should make for an interesting weekend. My whole family stuffed together into a house, with lots of tryptophan coursing through our blood. My parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary next month, so my mom asked one of my brothers-in-law to bring his nice camera and get photos of the family, including group shots of each of our "individual" families and of the whole bunch. Oy. Not much else helps draw more attention to my current living arrangement than the thought of it being captured for all eternity on Kodak paper.

Other than that awkward situation, I hope it ends up being a nice visit. Even though I am trying to do as much of a homemade Christmas as possible, the thought of battling the crowds this Friday is a strange sort of urge to me. I don't know why I want to submit myself for the surefire pain in the ass, but I just do. I like the crowds, the freak shows, the bad fashion. So much fun.

I most likely won't update until I get back next week. My parents have, get this, DIAL UP INTERNET! Hard to believe it still exists! :) I hope I can continue my fast-moving craft trajectory while I am away, and even better, get a chance to stock up on some more knitting supplies! I hope I can find a yarn shop in Fort Wayne.


Peanuts quilt progress

I got a lot done this weekend! (As long as we're not talking about the pile of dirty dishes or unfolded laundry anyway.)

I worked some more on my holiday gifts that I have in the works, finishing another scarf and starting another. I'll try to get photos of them soon.

I also finished putting all the blocks of my Snoopy quilt together! Yay! I like it much better now, which is good, because how sad would it be to have an ugly Snoopy quilt? That would suck.

So now I'm trying to think of what to do with the borders. I'm going to do the Charlie Brown shirt zigzag on the back in yellow and black, but I'm still kind of meh about the borders. I hope I come up with something soon! And then the quilting pattern. Eek. I could spend months quilting that sucker by hand with all kinds of cool Snoopy/Peanuts designs, but do I want to devote that kind of time into it?

Here it is (needing an ironing, of course):

Snoopy quilt top

Snoopy quilt

I went and saw "Twilight" on Sunday afternoon. I went in thinking it wasn't going to be that good, but it was better than I expected. The actors playing Bella and Edward were awesome, but I didn't really like the Jacob actor. He didn't have much of a part in it as well. Plus his friends all had really long hair, and that bothered me because in the book they didn't. Not a huge deal or anything, but still. I also got asked to fill out a survey while waiting in the lobby and then got a free soft drink, saving me about $12. Just kidding, but I still can't get over how jacked up prices are at movies for stuff like that. It did make me feel less guilty for getting a regular popcorn with extra butter!

I saw a tutorial for making a chipmunk out of a glove on etsy last week and of course decided I needed to make one. Or 10. So I went to Wal-Mart last week and bought a bunch of cheap gloves and cheap socks (for a variety of sock creatures that I have wanted to make as well).

Who knew how long these dang these were going to take? Well, longer than I expected. But I finished a chipmunk (I wish I had used a lighter brown glove), but he didn't photograph well. His name is Woody. I also knitted him a small scarf because he looked kinda naked.

Woody close-up

Woody the chipmunk

And then I thought I'd try a skunk out of the same pattern. And since I had a hunk of white fur just sitting around I thought I would add that as well. That stuff SUCKS to sew with! It looks cute, but my bed was COVERED in fake white fur last night. The skunk still needs its arms and face put on, but that will be easier compared to sewing the fur on. (Also not a good picture, but oh well.)

Partially finished skunk

The skunk looks a bit punk rock from that angle, with the white mohawk and all. I'll try to get better photos after I finish it tonight. :)


No surprises here ...

... Especially in that I've been errant yet again about blogging. I think because my life is boring — or so I would think it looks from the outside — that there's not much point in giving an update about my current goings on.

I work.
I sleep.
I eat.
I sew.
I knit.

Rinse and repeat.

Lots of monotony I would think from the outside looking in. I know a lot of people may envy all the free time I have, but I can't help but envy everyone else's activity-laden schedules at times, too. Not that I don't enjoy my free time ... I never feel like I can get enough hours in the day to create all the things that spark my interest. I'm constantly seeing quilts and crafts online I'd like to try. I'd like to take art/sewing/craft classes. I want to learn to crochet. I want to learn to knit more than simple squares and rectangles. I have ideas for quilts all the time, but just not enough time to do it in.

I wish sometimes I was a Martha Stewart sleeper — you know, able to sleep 3 or 4 hours a night and still be able to accomplish the impossible. I get 3 or 4 hours a sleep and I'm a mess for much of the day. So I give in to sleep at night, even though I wish I were doing something else more productive. Blogging kinda feels like that too. Hard to multi-task when you are typing.

Thanks to the overabundance of free time that I do have, I've been getting a lot done.

This is one of my current works in progress. I've now finished 30 of these blocks and started sewing them together last night. (This isn't the final layout, I was just taking an in-progress picture.)


Damn you, Stephenie Meyer!

Despite the stash-busting challenge, my free time has not been devoted to quilt making this week. While I didn't think it was likely, I got sucked in by Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, which is a sweet - and dangerous - love affair between a teenager and a vampire. Who knew I'd enjoy it so much?

I've been reading it nearly non-stop, but also not hurrying too fast. I'm sure there will be a letdown and withdrawal stage when I am finished with the series.

I keep thinking tonight is Thursday, probably because I have to wake up early tomorrow and work in the morning. Oy. Not especially looking forward to the alarm going off before sunrise on Saturday, but oh well, what can I do?

I'm heading out tonight with Natalie to see Chicago at Purdue. I am excited! I love going to shows like this.


Organized. Seriously!

Anyone who knows me -- and also knows my living arrangements -- is well aware that organized is not an adjective often used to describe me or my apartment. I mean well, but you know how it goes when a full-time job intersects with a full-time hobby. And a love/need of sleep, that is. It doesn't help when you try to cram a 2,100-square-foot house into a two-bedroom apartment.

But I have a secret weapon -- my mom! She just rocks. And she just spent two weeks visiting me, which is so nice because I love to have her around. She's super easy-going and always nice (too bad that seemed to skip me!). She's also the best organizer I've ever met. When I moved to New York one fall in the senior year of college, she helped pack my car. She had every crevice filled, and I swear she would have rolled up socks and stuck them in the exhaust pipe if she could.

Anyway, she spent much of the last two weeks reorganizing my apartment. She seems to do this every visit, but I'm always impressed with her ability to not get overwhelmed by all my "stuff" and finds homes for everything.

This was very evident tonight when I came home from work and was NOT looking forward to digging through my stuff to find my passport, which I was going to need to vote. I haven't used my passport in nine years (sigh), and wasn't expecting it to be handy.

Well I found it. In like a minute! That was awesome. Now I can spend my night doing other things, like quilting or reading the second Twilight book.

Hopefully not messing up my apartment!


I wish I were sleeping

I got woken up around 15 minutes ago by a stabbing feeling in the bottom of my left foot. Fun! It's been such a bad week: every day I've been having serious pain issues, and my pain medicine does not seem to be helping. I have had a ton to do at work, so I have had to go in, even when I've been feeling like crap. Being in pain pretty much all the time - in varying degrees - just really sucks, to say the least. I hate how it saps all the good stuff going on, and just makes me feel desperate. I just want it to stop!

Meanwhile, I've been trying to cut blocks for a Snoopy fabric quilt I am working on. I am so excited about it! It will be pretty simple, but I think it will showcase the fabric nicely. I hope to start sewing the blocks together this week.

I am still in last place in the stash-busting contest! I hate being last, but I have a lot of quilts partially done. I need to actually finish them so I can get the points. Here are some pictures of my recent work and works in progress.

Here's a pillow I made out of scraps from my dog quilt back and my bright squares quilt. (yes, very creative names, I know.)

Close up of the pillow's quilting. I quilted wavy lines on the back too.

The pieced back of my dog quilt. I love the way it turned out!


Rhymes with orange

I went to Joann's this afternoon to buy fabric for the back of the last top I finished. I bought a really cool orange fabric with white polka dots. I was kind of undecided about getting the orange, but while I was pondering the decision, a woman who I remembered from quilt camp came along and made the decision for me! It was nice and helpful to have a second opinion, since I like input on big choices like that. I bought some pretty purple for the binding. I figured as long as I was doing such a bright front and back, I might as well go all the way.

Other than that, no other fabric! I was so proud. I also bought a big spool of white thread for my machine and two spools of orange, which I think I will use for the machine quilting of this quilt. I hope that if the quilting isn't perfect it won't show too much on the back. I'll probably quilt it simply, so hopefully the front looks OK too.

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and I've still been dealing with a sore, scratchy throat, headaches, what have you. My doctor told me that I've got a sinus infection ... fun! I filled a prescription this afternoon, so I hope I'm feeling better soon.

When I got home tonight I saw a guy out walking two adorable beagles ... one a smallish puppy! It made me so sad.

I miss my husband. I miss my dogs. I miss my house.

I miss so much of my "before" life.


Finally, visual progress!

Being a shut-in all weekend has finally shown to be a boost to my productivity! I spent all weekend "relaxing," or in other words, hanging around the apartment doing productive, but semi-fun things. Along with the laundry and dishes I finally made a dent in, I put together a quilt top that I've been cutting pieces for the last week or two. Hard to believe the cutting took more time than the sewing, but that's what happens when I'm a wimp about the rotary cutter and revert to old style tracing and cutting with scissors.

Anyway, since I finally did take a few in progress shots, I'll add those in.

A stack of the nine patch blocks I did for the inside and outside borders.

The ROYGBIV spread of my 6.5" blocks laid out.

The fabric on the left was my "inspiration" fabric. It's from a new Joann's line that I had a special coupon for. I only bought half a yard, so I didn't have a whole lot of options design-wise. I really like all the colors in it though. The other piece is a fat quarter from Joann's that I LOVE.

A look at the top ... all done except I need to trim the points off of all the squares along the border. It will be 78 inches by 78 inches when it is trimmed. I have no idea yet what I'm going to do with the back.

And, just a random photo from my trip to the Fort Wayne/Auburn area in July -- This cool bush/tree at the Fort Wayne Zoo. I wanted to take more photos, but my camera batteries died early on!


Losing my motivation for photos

I've been really bad lately about taking photos of my current projects. I blame that on the fact that I lost my camera connection cord and have mostly been loading photos onto my work computer since it's much easier than doing it to my home PC. (I won't mention the fact that my digital camera had slid underneath my bed and had temporarily been MIA. It's been recovered now through.)

This kinda makes me sad though because I've been engrossed in cutting a bunch of squares for my next project, which is kind of hard to describe ... which is why I should have taken photos of my plan! Well, anyway, I had a plastic container full of the some of the pieces I had cut ... hundreds of bright 2.5" squares. Plus, I had them arranged in rainbow order - ROYGBIV anyone? :) - so they looked soo cool. But I was impatient and wanted to start sewing them together before I found my camera. Sadness.

Although now that I've made this confession I feel more motivated to go home tonight and snap some pics of my other stack - in ROYGBIV order as well, but not quite as stunning - for the other portions of the quilt. Plus, I finished the 40 nine patches that will serve as the outside-ish border and inside central area. I've used so many bright, pretty fabrics for this quilt, I'm excited about it. I'm not sure what I think of the actual design, since it's really, really simple and not typically "me," but if nothing else, it should serve as a good "extra" quilt ... for my guest room or quilt camp or something. I also hope to machine quilt it, since I am not so scared of "ruining" it with lackluster, inexperienced machine quilting. I've never machine quilted anything larger than a wall hanging, so I am kind of nervous about that prospect.


Phelps fever

I'll give you one guess what I've been engrossed in these past few weeks ...

The Olympics have been amazing this year! My top two Olympic sports, gymnastics and swimming, have really been a joy to watch. Michael Phelps, who I joke about being my secret boyfriend, kept me on the edge of my seat so many times! I admit I have a tendency to get a bit too engrossed into sports, but my poor neighbors must be hating me. So many times I'd be yelling at the TV, trying to spur him on to another gold medal. The relays were so nerve racking, but so much fun to watch. It just amazes me how tough, strong and quick all these swimmers are. I'm so totally jealous of their skills.

The gymnastics events turned out to be a lot of fun to watch as well. Nastia Luikin won all-around and I couldn't have been happier for her. I've been a fan of hers for years, and it's nice to see that all her hard work over the years paid off. I saw her compete at the National Championships in 2005 (I think) in Indianapolis. It was my first real gymnastics competition in person, and it was so cool to see her win there.

All through the Olympics watching, I've been working on my bright strip quilt. I'm hand quilting it in circles -- tons of circles of different sizes just scattered across the quilt. I'm tracing all kinds of circular objects I find in my apartment - plates, bowls, cups, prescription bottles, spools of thread, etc. I love how it looks so far, but like pretty much every project I start hand quilting I can't get over how long it takes to do! I guess it is similar to childbirth in that way ... it's traumatic while it's going on but you kinda forget that after because you have something great because of it.

Of course all this hand quilting is NOT doing me any favors when it comes to our stashbusting contest. I am in last place!!! That's just pitiful and hard for me to take, since I can't help but be competitive in everything I do. I'm sorting through all kinds of quilting magazines and photos looking for my next project. I have to try to avoid my usual downfall though ... too many little pieces! I love complicated patterns with little bits and pieces, but like the hand quilting, it takes forever and a day. And while I have a lot of free time, the clock is ticking on the stash busting deadline! Wish me luck!


Random bits and pieces

I got stuck on the short bus for longer tonight than usual, which left me plenty of time to browse my People and People Stylewatch magazines, look out the windows and wince over too many potholes to count.

While looking at People magazine, I was thrilled to see a little feature about Tim Gunn from Project Runway, one of my all-time favorite shows. It was a look into his closet, and it was so surprising. Lots of wire hangers, a really ugly Hawaiian shirt and not much room at all. Since he was without a dresser, he even had to keep his socks in a cardboard box! Even though I am often wistful about moving to the NYC area, I guess I should be realistic about the chances I'd be able to afford a place that would hold all my clothes, not to mention the rest of my crap!

I got my hair colored last week - to red. And it turned out really red. Since then, I've been called Wilma and Pebbles Flintstone and Red at work. haha ... It is bright - I hope it fades a bit so I don't look so cartoon-y.

I'm hoping to get a lot of quilting and other miscellaneous crafting done this weekend. I don't have any concrete plans. I hope to watch lots of movies (I just got "Nadia" from NetFlix ... I can't wait to watch that. It's probably been at least 20 years since I've seen it) and I have some others around to watch. I also got some cool scrapbooking supplies, so ideally I'll actually use them for a project for myself. I recently finished a Craftster swap that involved scrapbooking, and I enjoyed working on it so much! But seriously, another craft? So much for "saving" all that money by embarking on a stashbusting year!

Here are some pictures of some of my projects in progress:

This is a dog quilt I am working on. So loud! I have added a couple of borders and am trying to piece the back (which is turning out harder than I thought!

Here's a closer shot to see some of the cute fabrics.

Love, love, love this! I know exactly how I want this to look when I am done and already have a quilting pattern in mind. Also trying to piece this back, but was deterred from the project a bit after running into issues with the dog quilt.


Gone, but not forgotten

I am a horrible blogger. I write (well, supposedly) all day long, and seriously, by the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is write more, although I have to admit that blogging is much more relaxing than assembling news releases.

My lack of blogging does not indicate my level of productivity craft-wise though. I've been working on a few different quilts, been involved in two craft swaps on Craftster (ah Craftster, how I love thee) and done other little projects here and there.

I recently went away to quilt camp and got so much done! It was my most productive time away yet; I think having that extra day really made a difference. It's funny because I have tons of "free" time, but I think being home alone really feeds into my imaginary ADD (notice there is no mention of the hyperactivity portion). I am a multi-tasker to the supreme. Sewing, crafting, on the computer, watching TV, all in various combinations.

A while back my friend Amy tagged me to do a list of six random things about me. I hadn't forgotten, just been a lazy poster. So, without further ado, here they are:

1. I am a notorious collector. There are so many things that I gather and save, like a squirrel with nuts. There's the Snoopy collection, Muffy Vanderbears, Pez dispensers, stickers, etc. Oh, and that little hoard of fabric too.

2. I was originally inspired to go into journalism thanks to Sassy magazine. Other than an awesome internship, I haven't gone the magazine route, but I still have a special place in my heart for Sassy. Needless to say, I still have all my old Sassy magazines.

3. I love the Olympics! I am SO looking forward to the summer games. I like sports in general - yay for the Packers - and I'll watch some sports whenever they're on TV, like gymnastics, swimming, diving, etc., but there's something about the Olympics that just fascinates me. I'll spend hours watching sports I may never have watched before. I guess all that NBC marketing is doing its job!

4. I used to be scared of Mexican food. When I was younger and Chi Chi's restaurants were the norm, I would go with my sisters and I'd order a hamburger and fries. I'm embarrassed to admit that now - I love Mexican food! That is one thing I really miss about living in Texas.

5. I love movies that involve some sort of music and/or dancing. Love Fame, Camp, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Center Stage, Sound of Music and even High School Musical. I could watch those movies a dozen times and not tire of them. Of course this is kind of unusual, since I have no talent singing or dancing, especially these days!

6. I love to swim, but I am a horrible breather! If only I could get my coordination to kick in. Watching people that really can swim really kicks my jealous tendencies into gear.

Here are a few photos of some of my recent projects.

This is a quilt my mom and I are making for my nephew, who just graduated (OK, who am I kidding, he graduated last May). Anyway, my mom and I did the blocks and then I hand quilted the whole thing. All it needs now is the binding, and lucky for me, she's handling that part. :)

This is a cute Keroppi cross stitch I finished a while back. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, but I've got patterns for other Hello Kitty characters too.


A weekend state of mind

Ahh, glorious weekend! It's funny how much my state o' mind changes when the weekend rolls around. I love to sleep (surprise), but sometimes I don't want to waste my weekend time sleeping when there are so many other things I'd rather be doing!

Tomorrow I'm heading downtown with my mum ... we're doing the farmers market thing and checking out the sights with my Little Visitor. I hope the weather stays nice so I can get lots of pictures.

Sunday is the quilting day, so I am psyched about that. I still am undecided about what to work on, but I'm leaning toward my dog quilt. I've gotten a few blocks done, but still have lots to do. Either that or my postage stamp quilt, but I'm not sure my patience is up for that!

I've been working on the handquilting on Josh's quilt some more and only have like 1.5 sides of the border more to do. So close! I need to get some photos of it ... in all the time my mom and I have been working on it, I don't think we've taken any photos.

I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my tax stimulus check. That is the only way I may be able to swing quilt camp this month. Gotta keep my fingers crossed.


Some finished stuff

I haven't been terribly productive in the last week or so. I've been super tired with work stuff and, in more exciting things, a visit from the boy! My apartment is now jam-packed with stuff from the old house in Texas now that it has finally sold. So in good news I now have grown up furniture ... in not so good news, my apartment is so full of boxes and plastic tubs that it's almost ridiculous!

So craft-wise I haven't been doing much. I have finally gotten through my entire stash of 1.5" squares, sorting them out by color, trying to eliminate doubles and seeing how many I have. I think I have more than 2,000 -- my count was 2,100 but I'm allowing wiggle room for some of the doubles I pulled out. Then I stuck them all in two gallon-size Ziploc bags and mixed them all up. That was rather satisfying. I've drafted a pattern that I plan to use in my quilt, but haven't started sewing yet. I think I'll have to break down and buy some background fabric, just because I used to buy so many small pieces.

Anyway, here are a few projects that I've finished semi-recently, but pre-blog.

I made this wallhanging for my mom. She's been quilting for decades, but still doesn't have a single quilt that she made for herself! I am definitely not that selfless! I really liked this pattern ... I kind of saw something similar in a magazine then drafted my own pattern. I think the swirly pattern is called Indiana Puzzle. Kind of appropriate, no?

Speaking of seeing patterns in the backs of magazines then drafting my own version, this dog wallhanging was another one I had inspirational help on.

I also drafted these fire hydrant blocks, which were just insane ... like 18 separate pieces within a three-inch or so square. Sometimes I wonder about my ideas. 

I also quilted bones in the border, which I liked the effect of. 

This is a wallhanging I made for one of my friends for Christmas. I love this pattern, but it's really complicated. I have about five other of these blocks made (and of course plenty more black, white, purple and green material) but I haven't made any more progress on another project with them. Someday, I hope!


Typical me

Ha! I should have known that the goal to do something new everyday would be a stretch. I may have to scale that back to once a week or something.

I have been productive though, believe it or not. I finally(!!!) got through book 6 and 7 of Harry Potter. They've been on my to-read list forever and a day, but I never got to them. So bummed that I didn't read them sooner; they were rather awesome.

I've also joined a swap on craftster.com, which seriously is rather addictive. I've been saving 1.5" fabric squares for years and years, planning to make a postage stamp quilt. My goal is to have every block be different, but that is really hard! I have the pieces separated into baggies of each color, and that works fine, but after you collect so many it's hard to keep the baggies without having doubles.

Anyway, the swap I joined was to exchange 1.5" squares. I swapped with nine other people -- we each sent each other 60 pieces. It is so nice to check the mail and get something besides bills! I've gotten a ton of cool fabrics, but of course now I have the daunting task of sorting through all the pieces and compare them with what I have. I have no idea how many I need to make the quilt. I've never even counted what I have ... I may already have too many, who knows? I should make an effort to count though. I doubt I want to make multiple postage stamp quilts.

I have a ton of scraps, so I've been cutting my pieces for everyone else from those. Not only do I have scraps from my own projects, but other quilters I know know that I will save just about any little piece. I often get scrap hand-me-downs, which thrills me beyond measure. I just love to sort through all the pieces and see all the different fabrics.

I've been busy with projects as well. I've made a few things out of felt.

I made this cupcake to use as a pincushion:

And this felt doughnut just for fun:

I also have this quilt top completed and I've started working on the quilting. I've been lazy about taking new photos, but since I took this I added a black polka dot border around the outside and the quilting so far is really cool. I'm doing it in various circles of different sizes, with no specific pattern. I'm doing a ton of thread colors. So far I'm really happy with it.

Here's a few pictures of the top:


A fresh year

So yesterday was my birthday. I turned, well, old. Then I started thinking and wondering about the idea of New Year's resolutions ... why on Jan. 1 and not your birthday, when each person really is starting a fresh year? No good reason, other than the whole merchandising angle, I guess.

Well anyway, my resolution for my, ahem, next year is to try something new every day. Not saying that I'm going to be going all nuts and crazy, but I hope this will be a good opportunity and reason to branch out a little.

To be perfectly honest, I'm starting terribly slow.

Yesterday: I tried an Arby's fish sandwich. Which lead me to believe there was a reason why I hadn't been moved to try them before. Not the best.

Today: I'm starting this new blog, which I hope will give me a place to show off some of the miscellaneous oddities and creations I make. I am a sewing and crafting fool and love to spend my time doing just about anything that involves craft or art supplies. My main outlet is quilting, but I certainly like to keep my options open!

I'm taking a few days off work this week so I hope to get a lot accomplished. Lots of movies, napping and making stuff. I hope to have photos to post soon!