Tuesday, August 31, 2010

UFO Tuesday

Really?  It's UFO Tuesday again?  It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating my inability to complete a project.

We're still working our way through the quilting projects (we will be working our way through the quilting projects for awhile, by the way).  I think of this one as "Dresdan by Way of Honolulu."  It's kind of an unintentional representation of a Don Ho concert.  The Hawaiian fabrics, the blue of the ocean in the background, the tourists of European decent standing out like a sore thumb in the foreground,  a "tiny bubble" in the center of the plate...  Wow, until I started writing about it, I had no idea how high concept it was.
The "Dresdan by Way of Honolulu" quilt would go a lot faster if it weren't for me wanting to do the applique by hand.  I'm not a fan of doing machine applique as I don't like doing it, and I don't love the way it looks.

Next up, this batik quilt.  Cindy J. gave me a bunch of batik scraps (I'm a scrap collector, by the way; love the scraps!).  This is what I made.  I've sewed the blocks into big chunks like this, but have just let it sit since then.  It would probably take me less than an hour to sew those chunks together and I would be ready to add a border.  Ah, but what to do with the border.  That is is dilemma.
I really do love scraps.  I have bags and boxes and baskets of scraps.  I love them.  I especially love what other quilters often call their "waste triangles."  Waste?  These triangles are like gold!  These are the triangles that are trimmed away when making Flying Geese or Snowballs, etc.  So many of these poor triangles end up in the garbage.  It's tragic.  If you sew them up, trim them to a uniform size and sew them into blocks, add in some sashing and a border, and you can often get a baby quilt out of them.  Denise S., my greatest source of cast off triangles, gave me these.
Last, but not least, is my version of a crazy quilt.  Oh no, I can't do a traditional crazy quilt.  I have to do it my own way.  I love the concept of this quilt, but I don't like a few of the decisions I've made.  For example, I don't like the decision to using batting behind the embroidery.  Many people suggested this to me, but I am really unhappy that I did it as I now am going to have to come up with a really clever solution to sew it together.  It makes my brain hurt to think about it.  Also, I used a transfer pen with the mermaid and it bled.  Oy, that was a bad decision.  I can't decide whether to just live with the flaw or chuck that block.  I hate to chuck it with all that embroidery.  I'll just punish it for awhile longer until I know what to do.
I've now confessed another 4 projects that are unfinished, but not forgotten.  See you next week.  And the week after.  And the week after.  And the week after....

Seacrest, out.
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Sewing Tip

Hello!  How's your weekend going?  Mine, you ask?  Well, it sucks.  I seem to have gotten the flu.   Who gets the flu in August?  I spent 90% of my day in bed, yesterday.  I did, however, get myself up for a couple of hours in the afternoon to work on my project for Sara vs. Sarah Challenge No. 2.  I don't want Sara to win twice in a row!

I thought I'd give you a quick sewing tip from my years of experience.  How many years?  I sewed my first garment at the age of 5 with the help of my mom, Ruthann.  It was a purple with white paisley halter top.  It was a stylin' look for a girl in 1971.  However, that halter top met a tragic end.  I was wearing it one day at my Grandpa Milt's farm where my cousins, brothers and I were playing with the hired man Ray's pet raccoon.  I was holding the raccoon when it took a poop all over my new halter top.  I refused to ever wear it again.  Can you blame me?

But, I digress.  The point is, I've been sewing for 39 years now and I've learned a couple of things.  The first is, if a raccoon poops on your garment, just throw it away.  Here's another thing I've learned.  Sewing baskets are a mess!  I have tried tons of different sewing baskets and have not been happy with any of them.  The lids don't stay closed, they are too big or too small, they are not very durable, and they are usually just a big box with no way of organizing your stuff.

How to solve the problem?  Go down to the sporting goods store and buy yourself a tackle box!

Genius!  The lid stays closed and there's lots of compartments to sort out your stuff.  I also like the way the trays fold out in a stair step fashion so that everything is right in front of you.  I'm telling you, the tackle box is an awesome organizational solution for your sewing supplies, especially if you travel with them.

I have found a much cooler vintage, metal tackle box that I want to spruce up and use instead of this girly frou-frou one, but I just haven't found the time yet.  Someday.  In the meantime, this has proved to be a very utilitarian solution to my "sewing baskets suck" problem.

Seacreast, out.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Names Challenge Tutorial : Padded Paper Mache Letters

I will not gloat, I will not gloat, BUT since I won the challenge, I figured that you liked my name project! And, I thought it'd be fun to put together a tutorial in case you want to make your own! Have fun with this project ... just think of all the cute fabric you can buy, and all the wonderful scraps you'll have left over ...


• 8" Paper Mache Letters
• Quilt Batting
• 1/4 Yard Of Fabric Per Letter (you will have some nice scraps leftover)
• Fabritac - amazing fabric glue! Works like a charm, but heed the bottle warning - it'll dry fast. And you'll get carded at Joann's for buying this. I just think it's comical that you'd be carded for anything at Joann's.
• Disappearing Ink Fabric Marker
• Flexible Tape Measurer
• Q-tips; yes Q-tips. I'll explain below.
• If you want to hang the letters, you’ll also need scrap yarn & scrap felt & more Fabritac.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Challenge No. 2 Announcement

What happens now?
Well, Sara and Sarah  have 1 week to craft up something that qualifies as a "digital accessory!"
What will Sara & Sarah make? There is just no telling ... and we'll all find out next Wednesday when the submissions are due here!
Whose will be the "best?" Well, YOU DECIDE when you cast your vote for your favorite!~

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And the Winner is......

With 63% of the vote, Sara beat Sarah in a landslide during the first challenge.  As her reward, she gets to where the crown of victory for the next two weeks.  Congratulations, Sara!  (and watch your back...)
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Welcome to UFO Tuesday

It occurs to me that I haven't shown you much in the way of crafts yet.  That's because I'm working on one big project right now and it's top secret.  My little cousin Christa (who is in her late 20's, but will always be my little cousin Christa) is getting married and I am doing a wedding quilt.  She and her intended, James, know they are getting a quilt, they just don't know what it will be.  I have been diligently cutting out pieces every single night as I sit in front of the TV.  I figure I need to cut out somewhere in the neighborhood of about 5,500 pieces for this quilt.  It's going to take me awhile.

In lieu of showing you what I'm working on, I thought I might show you what I've abandoned.  Yes, it's the UFOs.  I have so many UFOs that I'm going to try to devote my Tuesdays to resurrecting them, and posting them here.  I'm not quite ready to commit to finishing them!

This is the oldest UFO in my collection.  The much punished John Lennon quilt.  That's how I think of it when a quilt and I aren't seeing eye to eye on creative matters.  I put it away to be punished until it promises to be good and can come back out.  The Lennon quilt has been punished several times now over the last 7 years or so.  It's going to be spectacular when it's done.

This 1930s shoo-fly quilt is a filler project.  I really have no idea what I'm doing with these blocks.  I just started making them and thought they would evolve into something.  So far, they have evolved into strips of shoo-fly blocks.  I have a vague idea about an applique border, but let's not rush into these things.

This is a more recent quilt and one for which I harbor some disdain.  I think it's lovely, but it was while working on this quilt that I had to admit that my eyesight was starting to go.  I have never had to wear glasses and I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that I need to.  It makes me mad every time I look at this thing.  Another thing about this quilt is that it's a Piece 'o' Cake pattern.  I rarely follow patterns.  So far I've stuck to it pretty well, but at some point, I expect my rebellious nature to kick in and make "improvements."

Here's another recent one.  This is a handkerchief quilt.  I really don't know how to make a handkerchief quilt so I'm completely flying by the seat of my pants on this one.  My plan has been to fuse the handkerchiefs to a backing fabric, machine applique the edges, if needed, then sew them up.  I think most quilts like this, you just sew the hankies together, but I wanted the edges to show because I think they are pretty.  And it's my nature to make more work for myself, if possible.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Sara's Favorite Kind of Shopping

Ahhh... the possibilities.

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2 Days Left to Vote!

Voting closes at midnight tomorrow.  Vote now if you haven't already.  On Wednesday, we'll bow down in honor of the Names Challenge crafting queen and announce our next challenge. Pin It

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Warhol Dresses No. 1

I'm gonna go ahead and call this Warhol Dresses No. 1 because I made these two, but I also have made... THREE more! Guess I like this pattern, huh?

It's another MADE pattern & it's free! This is the "Warhol Dress" and it's SO FUN & quite easy to make! I love making dresses like this because I feel like they'll go along way ... once they don't fit as a dress, I can throw some leggings underneath and have the girlies wear it as a tunic. Right?

The best part? I had to buy NOTHING to make these! The dresses are made from my old Alternative Apparel tees (the burnout kind) that I don't want to wear anymore (read, they are too tight). SO, it goes in the refashion pile! The grey neckline is leftover jersey from making my Moby wrap years ago. So ... two adorable dresses totally free for me! Love it...

THIS is The best part: When putting the dress on my oldest, she asked "who made it? you make this mama? for me?" Yep - and that's one of the reasons I'll keep on doing it!

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Not Sure About Smiling ...

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With a cute bow off the shoulder ... 

Yep she's cute.

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Crap-a-teria No More!

I reacquainted myself with  my floor today.  It's been months since I've seen it.  Frankly, it's filthy with neglect.  Tomorrow the steam vac will be put to good use.  I'm really pleased with the fact that I just didn't move the crap out to take a picture then move it right back in.  I really put everything away properly.
I used vintage hat boxes to store my
rubber stamps and paper punches.
The way cool carousel tin holds jewelry
I got this great cabinet at Goodwill.  It's loaded
with all my paper supplies now.
I unearthed this old doll clothes kit.  I love that it says
that "any child can do it."  Yes even the moronic child
you are buying it for can do it.  It doesn't say that, but
it implies it, doesn't it?
I came across my vintage woodburning
kit.  Can you imagine an 8 year old getting one
of these nowadays?

I love this tray.  I use it all the time.  It's only about
a foot wide and is great for holding a project on your
lap.  The graphics are a hoot!  I especially love the
guy showing the squirrel his dinner. I usually seek
squirrel approval when I cook, too.
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Once More into the Breach

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bean Bags, No Sew Flowers & More

After getting my office / craft room (or "mama's room") organized, I've been able to get crafty more! It's so much easier for me to go DO something when my space is clean and organized. Know what I mean?

Beanbags for Kids - these are just adorable. Each bag has a freezer paper stencil for the numbers 1 through 10. The girls love to play with them, collect them and work on their aim by tossing (or hurling) them into baskets. For the filling, I used a mix of lima, pinto and lentils to fill the bags and took nearly 3 lbs!

I followed a tutorial found on this cool craft blog (a pretty cool life):

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Also, notecards embellished with fabric SCRAPS! I am convinced now that I'll never be able to throw any fabric away ... I love how they turned out and think all cards I give out will be like this! (Need boyish options though). I think my fav is the ruffle ...

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And, then there were the flowers! No Sew Fabric Flowers from my FAVORITE craft blog: made. The directions are under her Tutorials tab. I am really very obsessed with nearly everything that she makes ... all adorable. I need to get around to making the Can Can Skirt for the girls. Anyway ... I originally started making this as a project to do with my nieces during our sleepover. HOWEVER, that thing called the hot glue gun got in the way. It was HOT and consequently this turned into an "aunt only" project ...

I think I made about 40 of them ... wanted to keep them all because they are so fun and I love the color combo, but parted with most of them for Mother's Day. :-)

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So cute with a matching card

(Below --- used an old food jar, washed it and let it air out, and then just used double sided tape to adhere the yellow fabric & blue ribbon.) So simple, maybe now I'll be unable to throw out jars? I am going to turn into a hoarder if this keeps up!


Finally - Fun fun this one was! This is a train caddy that I made for Miss A's friend who moved away. Sniff sniff. BUT is in driving distance to his grandma now. SO, I thought this would be a cute way for him to travel with his 5 favorite trains!

I roughly used tutorials from Here and Here ... the first link to (Homemade by Jill) is another AWESOME craft blog. If only there were more time in the day ...

Just changed them up to hold 5 trains instead of 6 cars. Don't the faces on these Thomas characters crack you up? I think it's funny how "Diesel" and the others who aren't in Thomas' camp have sour faces. They are probably cross.

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Baby Shower Favors - DIY

Earlier this year, we had a little sprinkle for a good friend having her second daugher! Our timing was excellent - she went into labor the very next day! We celebrated at Liberty Market in downtown Gilbert, AZ - totally cute place and super yummy food! Seriously.

A friend and I made the little favors - using baby food jars - how appropriate! We mod podged (is that a real word?) scrapbook paper on the tops, added ribbon or trim and filled them with pink & white M&Ms. Courtnee made the adorable name cards ... using wine corks that she painted and added little names to!
We think it all turned out really cute.

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This is my gift ... applique fabric on a soft tee for the big girl

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It's Been a Banner Day

Wow!  Am I ever excited to announce our blog!  The last thing we were waiting on was the photos for the banner.  It's up and we are up and running.  Woo-hoo!

I can't wait to get going on the next challenge.  We'll announce it when voting closes on the Names Challenge.  Keep voting for me! Pin It

Props To Ingrid

A quick thanks to our friend Ingrid who helped us out by taking such fab-U-lous pictures of us.  What a great photographer!  We really appreciate it. Pin It

Sarah's First Submission

As it turns out, the hardest thing about this challenge was taking a decent photo of it!  I still don't think I'm quite there, but I'll keep working on it.

Ol' no "h" went large, but I went small.  The "s" in my name is 1.5 x 1.5 inches tall.  The collage pieces are made from my collection of Japanese papers.  I used paper punches for the shapes, and hand cut the letters.  So, after a little cutting, a little gluing, and a lot of shooing the cat off my work surface, and I ended up with this.  You can get the frames at many scrapbook and paper arts stores, and I know for sure that you can order them from the good folks at the Paper Studio:  http://www.paperstudio.com/.

Make sure you vote for your favorite and check back often!  Sara and I will be updating Sara vs. Sarah and our own blogs frequently.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

About Sara's Challenge No. 1 Submission

This week's theme was a fun one! For my project, I decided to use cute fabrics in my very favorite colors to spruce up plain brown paper maiche letters from Joann's. There is batting in there too for some extra fluff! Simple to make ... these can stand on a shelf (as shown) or hang on a wall.

Now ... go vote for YOUR favorite!

PS: I've made lots of these letters recently, and I have to say that the "r" fabric is just about some of the cutest I've seen. Love it! If you're local to the Phoenix area, check out Scrapbooks Etc in Mesa. I got all of these fabrics there - be afraid, be very afraid of exhausting your bank account when you walk in. Way cute stuff and lots of it. :-)
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More Bean Bags, Birthday Cards & the Gathered Clutch

More bean bags with Number 1-10! Love these as a gift for kiddos!
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It's possible that these little bunting cards are one of the cutest things ever. I am obsessed with making them and may never (ok, let's be real, it won't happen) buy cards again!
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And, finally the "gathered clutch" using Noodlehead's Tutorial. Fun times making this with Sarah ...overall pleased, but this is "the prototype" ... to do it over again, there are some things we'd change! But first experience sewing w/ a zipper and I have to say: not so bad!
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