Thursday, March 31, 2011

Moda Bake Shop Bag

From a Moda Bake Shop tutorial. Details coming soon!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nat's New Card

Natalie has a new card on her blog! Go check our her Spring Things cutie! CLICK HERE

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just One Star (or three)

There is a really cool program called Quilts of Valor that makes quilts for servicemen and women in the US military (I don't know if there is something similar for Canada or not). If you know how to cut a piece of fabric and use a sewing machine, you could do this. It's just 2 types of fabric and just a few cuts. You leave it really big & they will trim them all to size, so there is room for some error. You can find out more by going to THIS link or THIS one. There is a tutorial on THIS link. She also has some yummy looking recipes on the blog just before this! LOL!

I'm new to quilting, so wasn't sure about trying this, but I enjoyed making the first one so much, I've now made 3 & plan to make more! They aren't perfect, and I've had to do some seam ripping & re-sewing, but I hope they are good enough to put on the quilts. I didn't want to send something that looked bad so I worked to make them look as nearly "good enough" as I could. I now need to find a brown pigma pen to sign & date these.

Let me know if you make one or more!

Block-A-Palooza blocks FINISHED!!!!

Woot-woot! Wooooooooo-Hoooooooooo!

I finished 16---yes, SIXTEEN---quilt blocks! I just decided I wanted to try this. It started HERE (click) on Quilt Dad's blog. You can go there & open each block's original designer's webpage showing the original blocks. As an aside, I think of quilting as something women do. I think of sewing as something women do. Yet, even as far back as early Bible times, you read about MEN making things with fabric. It's BECOME more of a woman's hobby, but really started with men. Whatdaya know? LOL!

I gathered fabrics from my stash & got a few yards of REALLY cheap fabric to go along with those. I'm learning there is a HUGE difference in fabrics from chain stores, especially if they are $3.98 full price, and fabrics from quilt shops that start at $8 and up full price. I mean, a difference BESIDES the price. Of course, if you shop places like when things are on sale, you get the quilt shop fabrics at the chain store prices sometimes! I've also noticed that many chain store fabrics cost as much full price as quilt shop fabrics. The difference is most quilt shops don't take coupons. LOL! I did NOT want to use expensive fabric on something I didn't know how to do yet. I'll be making simple quilts with my better fabric (even if I did get it half-price).

I've learned a LOT about quilting by doing this quilt-along and it's been very helpful. I'll share lessons learned another time.

The last quilt block pattern was posted last Thursday (one week ago) and today the Finishing directions were posted. While I will likely not finish mine for some time (I have to do some modifying, keep reading for that info), I DID want to finish the squares. The girls have several projects for me to do, I have a Girl Scout quilt to assemble, and some clothes I'd like to wear. Oh, yes, there is that detail of homeschooling, too. And card making. And dish washing. tee-hee. I did keep up with dishes. Even when I'm sick my family doesn't do dishes. Seriously. They do other things to help, but they seem allergic to dishes.

I will say the biggest problem overall was getting the seams to be just right. I probably didn't cut just right to start with (I did use my rotary cutter, but with only 1/4" seam allowance, if you cut 1/16" off, that can get you off to a bad start). I am SURE I haven't figured out my 1/4" foot yet. I don't know if I need to put my fabric RIGHT next to the guide or slightly off of it. Whatever I do, I need to be consistent. I also think I'll try making all the same blocks next time I make something. That way, whatever mistakes I make, they'll all be the same! These blocks SHOULD all be 12.5" (once sewn they'd be 12"). Mine range from 12" to 13" on any given side. Some are square, some aren't (as in 12.5" x 12"). That's where I'll need to do some modifying. I'll have to add a border to some blocks before I continue. I'll have to trim some blocks (if I don't lose too much of the pattern). Otherwise I will have to just add a border to all but the biggest & trim them all to that size.

Without further adieu, I give you the blocks. You can click on individual pics if you dare, I mean if you want to see them bigger. Just remember I am NEW to this! I've made a wedding dress, prom dresses & bridesmaid dresses (back when they were FLUFFY and FULL) and I've made baby clothes and doll clothes that are teeny-tiny, but these geese were something else to try to do!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Craft Room update & Questions

I was looking at pictures then at the actual room. I realized those boxes are full of mostly sewing stuff and kids' crafts. I'm guessing half or more of that is OLD stuff. Some from my single days! And patterns the girls have long since outgrown. For that matter, patterns I have long since outgrown! LOL! I've really whittled down my stamps over time. There is a lot of mixed up scrappy stuff at the bottom of the pile, but I think I've kept that in check better than the other stuff. I've been so blessed to receive gifts of stamps and paper from friends, which store easily. I've gone to dies over most punches, mainly spellbinder, which also store well. I do need to whittle through ink. I need to organize papers, too. I may even whittle down the dies since I bought a little Cricut last year finally. A sweet friend gave me some cartridges for my birthday---and a GYPSY!!! I like that things can be compactly stored.

I really need to get rid of most the patterns & some fabric. I have a few sewing pattern books or more expensive patterns that I'll keep to use for the great nieces or maybe one day grandkids. :-O

We have FLUFF and PAINTS and YARN and POPSICLE sticks and who knows what else my elder child has collected over time!

Do you keep all your scraps of paper? What do you do with them? If you are more of a die cut person, what punches do you keep? Do you still use a rollagraph? I have several wheels but don't use them, so should probably sell all that. Ideas?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


What's On Your Workspace Wednesday

This is my workspace. If you click on the picture you can see my sewing machine, a few pieces of fabric and some tools and notions. It's quite orderly and organized. In the picture below are the shelves above Bethany's workspace. She has organized supplies and stored them neatly.
There is a reason I've never posted a WOYWW before. Take a look at Bethany's table. I just traded this 6' table and took the 4' table.

Believe it or not, when I had this table it was even more covered. See the carpet below the table? Here's another look:
It's officially ugly carpet. The home owners are good friends and told us to feel free to rip this out! LOL! To me, though, being able to see this ugliness is beautiful. Just a few weeks ago we couldn't see it. Take a look at what's in the REST of this little room.

Yep, ALL those boxes are full of crafting stuff. Some is mine, some Bethany's. My fabrics and patterns aren't even in this room. We through away a LOT of junk. I still need to go through all those boxes to see what to keep, what to sell and what to toss. Most of my stamping stuff is in those drawers, but some is around the house. There is another shelf in the room and more in the closet. Definitely need to clean things out!

Finally, we have what every craft room needs: a homemade chandelier!

Thanks for visiting our little creative spot! Now what's on YOUR workspace this Wednesday?

Happy Birthday Card from Natalie!

I LOVE this card Natalie made me. She told me not to post it b/c it wasn't "perfect," but I think it IS perfect! It's one of my favorite stamps from Clear Dollar Stamps. The colors are gorgeous! I love how she put the flowers on there, too. She used an alphabet set, I think also from Clear Dollar Stamps (have I mentioned I love CDS? LOL!).

She painted a picture frame for me, too, but I need to print the picture she wanted in it before posting.

Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, March 21, 2011

We have some Lousy friends

Yes, it's true. We have lousy friends. Well, that should actually be LOUSE-y friends. Yep. Again. The thing with lice is that you don't know you have them until you've already shared them with a friend. Sharing lice isn't nice, but it is a gift that keeps on giving. LOL! Our dear friends who had them got them from someone they thought was through with lice, but turned out the person had another go -round. We've been there, done that, and know full well there is no way our friends could have known they had these critters when my girls were over there. It's just one of those things that happens in life & you move on. Of course, my girls have been around others, too. Thankfully, so far we've found NOTHING on Nat's head but hair. No nits for Nat.

I'm itchy, but I have a super sensitive scalp & always have an itchy head. For that matter, just hearing the word lice makes our heads itch, it seems.

So, we canceled Girl Scouts & co-op this week. Doggonit, I have to stay home & sleep in tomorrow. Such a pity. Tee-hee.

Hope you are having a nice lice-free day!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fabric Give Away!

Vickie at Spun Sugar Quilts blog is having a fabric giveaway. You can win a $50 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop. The picture above is of some fabric I just got from this shop. Hop over to Spun Sugar Quilts and enter to win!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What is your Favorite Background Paper?

When I started stamping several years ago, I mean REALLY stamping (as opposed to my 3 rubber stamps I had before that), I had no idea I was entering a world unknown to me. I'd been a crafter all my life. I'm sure I was making macaroni necklaces at an early age! At first I stamped on a white card with colored ink. Then I found 2 step stamps and stamped on a white card with 2 colors of ink! LOL! I moved on to layering things. However, I was still in stamping infancy.

Then. It. Happened. IT. I was at my friend Stephanie's house and another friend was there talking about card making. Maybe we had just finished a Stampin' Up party. I really don't know. I just remember them talking about "Scrapbook paper." I asked if they made a lot of scrapbook pages. They did, but they also mentioned card making. I must have had the deer in the headlights look because they looked at each other and one said, "She doesn't know about using scrapbook paper on cards!" I didn't. And honestly, it seemed like all too much to think about at the time.

Over time I started checking out the scrapbook paper. I discovered my best bang for my buck was something called, "The Slab." If you've been around paper arts for a while you know what I mean. By the time I got in on this I think they were on "The Slab V." Um, that's Roman Numeral talk for 5. In case you wondered. Oh, a WHOLE stack of pretty paper! Well, it seemed pretty. At the time anyway.

The next step was reading this name over and over on Splitcoast Stampers, "Basic Grey." First, I could not see ANY grey paper in these cards. NONE. I also could not figure out why so many people were suddenly into grey. Basic Grey no less. Seriously, how much CAN you do with a basic shade of grey? I don't know how I figured it out, maybe I had to ask, but I did learn that Basic Grey was a company. Oh, my. A whole new world was opened to me. Except for one thing: I only bought paper at Hobby Lobby or Michael's when it was on sale. In those days neither store carried Basic Grey. I did find some paper by a company called "Daisy D's" that was a good fix for a while. I also discovered that if I took some of my Slab paper and distressed it (okay, so it was called "rubbing ink on the edges to make it look dirty" in my mind at that time), it would kind of sort of look like BG paper.

Eventually I ordered some Basic Grey, and then Hobby Lobby began carrying it. I LOVE Basic Grey paper. I drool over Basic Grey.

I have to confess, though, I have another secret (or not so secret) love. It seems that my affection grows fonder with each new pad of paper. It's a good thing my checking account dictates where I spend my money, and we DO like to eat now and then, so I do not go hog wild on purchasing things like background paper. Usually. My other love is K & Company. I actually had some K & Co. small pads from Michael's before I had a clue what kinds of papers they made. Or maybe they didn't make these amazing papers back then. I recall there being a Scrapbook section, then this separate section with K & Co. products in a different part of Michael's.

Apparently this attraction to pretty paper is genetic. My 12 year old (she has her own blog HERE if you want to check out her latest cards) is also in love with K & Co. and Basic Grey and DCWV and other pretty papers. She's inherited my thought process as well that goes something like this, "I wish they had THIS fabric in paper!" or vice versa. Moda Fabrics has come out with a few Basic Grey lines of fabric (pssssst, they are going to making last year's Jovial paper into fabric! Isn't that the bomb?). It's probably a VERY good thing that my 14 year old isn't into those papers or into much fabric. She's an artist on her own & does much with recycled items (that's the nice way to say she can turn any leftover container---we might even say piece of junk--- into something else). I figure pretty papers & stamps are for those of us who DON'T draw or make art without a little help. Maybe she'll be designing papers and fabrics one day.

At the top of my page is probably my current favorite paper. It's called Jubilee by K & Co. Tomorrow my friend Kathy & I will travel to Houston for her to get an infusion in her continuing battle against cancer (though at this point we believe it is all PREVENTATIVE as the cancer shouldn't still be there). There is an Archiver's store in Katy, right on our way home. Natalie (12 year old dd) told me to NOT stop there without her. LOL! If K. & Lo. stop, I might spot some new K. & Co.! Or some other new company that Kathy has to introduce me to. Webster's Pages and Something 45 or somebody whos-y-what's-it. I can't even remember all the things I saw there the first time we went and Kathy was introducing me to sights unknown. Jubilee might have to move over.

On the other hand, we might just stop at Buc-ee's. Fudge is always a favorite.

So, what's YOUR favorite background paper? Or line of papers?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Found a new Quilt Shop!

I discovered a new quilt shop today. I've searched online several times for quilt shops in San Antonio & this one has never come up before. It's called Sew Special Quilts located just west of 6 flags. If you know me, you might see the wheels turning already. Every year our family uses tax return money to get 6 flags passes. Truth be told, and it has been, I can think of a lot of places I'd rather be than sitting on a bench waiting for my husband & kids to finish yet another ride that makes me nauseated to even look at. It's sad getting older and having inner ear issues. I do love the water park and sometimes the shows. So here's my plan: drop off hubby & kids at the park, go to the quilt shop for an hour or 2, come back & take the girls to ride the ones they want to go on while hubby rides monster coasters. I'll be happy to sit after my fill of fabric! LOL! Speaking of fabric, here is a peek at what I saw when I walked in:

I asked, upon walking in, "Can I move in?" Seriously the amazing colors and styles were just what I would want in my home. If I didn't share it with a man who rides fast motorcycles and prefers brown to pink, cannot for the life of him understand the purpose of wall decor or knick knacks, but says a nice paint job on a vehicle is different. Sigh. He actually likes red, so I'm seeing some possibilities here.

Natalie was as taken as I was. Her approach was different, though. She immediately saw purse patterns and decided which one I needed to make for her. It's this one:
She wants the Rose bag on the top left corner. The pattern is called "Six in the City." My kids have no clue that it's a play on words & I wasn't about to offer that info to them. The bags made up really sell the patterns. I've seen many of the patterns they had online, but never saw bags made up with them. Wow. I was "uber impressed." Okay, I've never used the term "uber" other than in my German classes in high school college. That's how impressed I was. Ha, ha!

I also picked up some "charm packs" which was my goal. Natalie picked the colors. She does tend to be my "eye for fashion" child. These are "Lovely" and "Botany." I have plans for them. Serious plans. : )

And, after that we went shopping to find a pair of size 0 skinny jeans. Yes, I find that redundant. If you're in a 0 you are skinny. It's the bottom of the pants, though, that are classified. Gosh, remember when it was either bell bottoms or straight leg? And we only wore bell bottoms? Life was WAY easier then. Now it's flare, skinny, super skinny, or bootcut, with an average, low, semi-low, or extra low waistband, and you can pick your length. Where was that pick your length stuff when Miss Mile a Minute Legs (me) was a teenager? Natalie, the normal sized child, tried on dresses. They cost $70. I said no. Maybe half price. MAYBE. one day. Not today. So we went to Payless, but saw Dress Barn next door. She found a dress that fits well & is super cute for $16! Yea, I don't have to sew an Easter dress! LOL! And shoes for $10! Of course, the dress, like so many you find today, will HAVE to have a shrug over it (modesty IS still a virtue) and I was not going to pay $30 for that, so we'll be looking for a royal blue shrug.

We also picked up a computer for Phil to work on from a former neighbor. I was too pooped to cook after all that, so we're having Bill Miller BBQ. I'd rather have Rudy's but it's too far away & costs more. Off to eat me some yummy meat!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Dolls aren't Freezing anymore!

I finally got finished with the little Dolly dresses for our American Girl class around the time I had my kidney stones removed. I even took a picture. Now to figure out where they are on my computer! LOL! Phew, I found it. Isn't this fabric darling? I have discovered this new found love of cherry prints. I found this AMAZINGLY darling line of fabric called "Oh, Cherry, Oh." Sadly, it is an "older" print and hard to find. I am seriously thinking of snatching up some then filling in with other prints I can find at JoAnn, Hobby Lobby, etc. Here's a snippet of that line:

So much fun!

Bethany & I are working furiously to get our crafts organized. My dad said if the girls cleaned up enough for him to get in to put up shelves, he would buy them some shelves & put them up. They've wanted that extra space for some time. Bethany has been on a "getting rid of stuff" rampage for some time, which is good, but her process involves going through EVERY item we own & then asking Natalie if SHE wants the item then deciding if it's a give-away or sell item, etc. We'll have quite the garage sale soon with tons of 25 cent items, I think. Hopefully lots of kids will come. I think we need to box up similar items & charge $5 for a bag or something.

One thing I am doing is sorting my fabrics. I'm putting cottons in drawers by color & then other fabrics in separate drawers. This involved purchasing some more clear drawers, but that's what I've wanted to have them in for some time. Up til now I've used clear plastic boxes but it never fails I need something out of the very bottom box & I have to move the entire pile of boxes.

I'm also looking at cutting tables, but they are quite pricey. The best thing I've found that really fits my height is an adjustable height 4' long table. I can set it at counter height (36") and for Miss Legs here it works great. I humor myself thinking ZZ Top---back in my young days---had me in mind when they sing the part of their song that says, "She's got legs. She's knows how to use them." I honestly have no idea what the other lyrics are & probably am better off that way! LOL!

Hope you are having a wonderful time crafting this week!