Sunday, September 11, 2011

What happened?

Thinking about the anniversary today.  I can't believe it's been 10 years.  It was a traumatic day, we were glued to the TV all day.  I was on my way to work when I had a knock on the door from my neighbor.  We watched for awhile and then it was off to school for the kids and me to work.  The breakroom TV had someone at it all day.  Not much got done at work that day.  So many tears.  This anniversary has reminded me to get back to concentrating on the things that make me happy.  So, time to post more often.

Oh no, where did August disappear to?  I swear it was July just a few days ago.  I've been sewing scarves for the colder months to come.  It seems very strange, considering we've finally gotten some decent summer weather.  It's been a mild summer, with very few hot days.  Not much rain, so that was nice, but nothing to make you feel like summer ever got here.  This week we've had 90+ days.  Makes me happy!
 As I cut into sweaters for my projects, I always save the ribbing.  It's so pretty and neatly finished at the one edge, just couldn't bring myself to throw it out.  You may have noticed that I have a hard time throwing anything out.  Not that I'm a hoarder or anything... really I'm not, I just see potential usability in lots of things.  Anyway... I decided they looked like scarf makings.
 I ironed all the pieces as flat as possible and cut them into 6 inch pieces.  I was even crazy enough to sew the short pieces together to make other 6 inch pieces.  I put the 60 inch tape measure out on the floor, started with 2 matching ends and laid out a mish-mash of pieces til I liked the way it looked.  After zigzagging all of them together, they were still about 60 inches long.  Another ironing and it was done.
 This looks kind of boyish
and the other looks girlish.
With those last 2, I've made 11.  I don't have enough ribbing for any more.  One has sold and is off to a new home.  I love making fun stuff!

Friday, July 22, 2011


I've been lucky enough, some years. to get David Austin roses for Mothers Day.  When I've moved, I've made sure to dig them up and take them with me.  This year they are producing the biggest flowers!
The poor stems are all bowing down under the weight.

I can't believe how beautiful they are.  Every day I walk past them to get to and from my car.  I have shades from baby pink to dark peach plus a bright yellow.  Next year I hope to add a bright orange and bright pink.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baby Blankets

I've finished 2 more baby blankets for my Etsy shop.  All the blankets I've made til now, have been about 40 inches square.  So many shops only offer a smaller size, I thought I'd try it out.  Trouble is, I can't seem to go simpler, just smaller.  These have just as many pieces and took every bit as much time.  Poo.  I don't know why I can't do simple, all my projects always end up complicated.  These are 30 inches square.  I do love them, but will probably not make this size again.
Next blankets I make, I really have to time myself.  It seems like I spend a lot of hours on each one, but it might be my imagination.  I'd like to sell many more, but don't want to give my time away.  A timer, plus the fact that I get faster each time.  I may be pricing myself out of the fun.

I made two colorways of the same design.  A masculine version and a very girlie one.  The next two I make will be very much like these, but bigger.

Soon, I'll have enough inventory to get a booth at a craft show.  Maybe if people could touch them it'd make all the difference.  Pictures are good, but these are so cuddly, like a favorite old sweater.  'Cause they are!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to me

No pictures, just a few minutes left of my birthday and want to say what a wonderful year this has been.  I have such a great family.
This was the last day of my vacation and it was spent being relatively lazy.  Good.  We went out to dinner.  All in all a very good day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Graduation at U of O

Last week, we were in Eugene for my nieces graduation.  So proud of her!  It was a perfect Oregon day, no rain and just warm enough to be outside for hours watching the graduation and then moving on to the park for the party.
There was Thai food from a local restaurant that she and her friends love.  It was yummy.  There was also a picnic table full of deserts brought by all.
She looked so cute in her color coordinated sunglasses
My brother and his family.

This is my dad and his wife, he's a U of O graduate.  Growing up, he always told us we could go to any college we wanted, except Oregon State.  He said it in jest, but he really meant it.  Big rivalry here.  My niece gave him her sash after the ceremony.  It was the sash of gratitude, they were supposed to give it to the person they felt the most gratitude toward for their support through college.

It was a long day, Camille fell asleep on the way home.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rose Festival

Last week we went to Portland's Rose Festival.  We promised the little girls a few rides and elephant ears.  Along the way, we got some fresh squeezed lemonade and cotton candy, too.  The weather was mild all day, so that meant we needed to take some coats for later in the evening when it got chilly.
We missed the fireworks, at the opening 2 weeks earlier, because I had a lousy chest cold and was completely worn out from coughing all day at work.  The rain convinced me that I didn't want to go.  Rain didn't stop me last year.
The warm up ride was a turn on the carousel.  They both liked it a lot.  

Sienna's leery of anything she thinks might be scary.  This was her, "I'm not having fun, but I really am" face.

The next ride was secretly a test to see if she'll have any fun at all at Disneyland next week.  She doesn't know she's going with me and Camille.  I don't think we'll tell her until we get to the airport.  She's a lot like her mother, she'll make herself sick worrying about every tiny detail and drive us crazy with questions.  It'll be my entertainment on the plane, to answer 1000 questions.

She passed the test.  Her first word when it came to a stop was, again!

Hard to get a picture where someone wasn't moving.  I had to settle for this one of the elephant ear eaters.  By now, it was after 9 and the band in the background was quite loud.  The ships were in and the band was all Navy personnel.  They sounded great.
Camille and I went on the Zipper.  Each time I go on it, I think this'll be the year it's no fun any more, but it was still great!
Next year, Fireworks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Recycled wool blanket

I've been thinking about my Etsy shop and why I have so few sales.  I really like the items I've made and think they're reasonably priced.  I think I don't have enough to choose from.  It must be time to make many more items.  I've hesitated to make too many things, but everything I read says you need lots of inventory.
The more often I make each thing, the faster I get at it.  My favorite thing I make is the glitter stars.  I thought these would be a big seller, but they lose something when you don't see them in person.
The baby/lap blankets are my next favorite.  If I could sell 1-2 of them a week, I would be so happy.  This week I made another, a new design inspired by Lisa's Flower Garden BOM.  I wasn't sure if I was going to put flower or bird appliques on it, until I was through and liked it best without either.
I first cut out squares of many colors and sorted them into light and dark pairs for each 9 patch square and cream/beige for the 4 patch squares.
After cutting the wool into 3 inch squares and adding a pink square to the middle of the 9 patch blocks, I arranged and rearranged them until I liked the balance of color.  I ended up moving some blocks again, as I was sewing.

All the 9 patch blocks were sewn together in orange, the 4 patch in baby pink and all the blocks were joined in hot pink.  Thread color becomes another aspect of the finished blanket.
I added a binding around the edge, made of the same wools.  I put little patches of color randomly sized and spaced around the edge.
Camille helped me take pictures.
 She can make some of the most gruesome faces!
Zinnia had to come help too.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I've made quite a few potholders out of a pile of quilt squares my Mom bought at a garage sale many years ago. Originally I made them in groups of 4, but it's getting harder to match up more than pairs.  So many of these were made for family and then I listed the rest in my shop.  Some have sold, but definitely not as many as I'd hoped.  I love them so much for their kitchy quality.  Very funky chic, if you ask me.
All these blocks look like they were cut from scraps or old clothes.  Some blocks have pieced squares!  Originally, they must have intended 4" squares to make 7" finished blocks.  They're all cut a little wonky and sewn a little crooked, so I had to trim them square again and lost about 1/4 inch.  The first potholders I made, I was so careful to only trim as much as I had to, to make them square.  Bah!  What a waste of time.  This time I just cut them 7" square.  So much easier.

Here they are, square, with backing and heat resistant filler all ready for sewing.  I only made the 10 that have the gold backing.  Need to look for more material to match the red squares.

Sewn, turned, slip stitched closed and top stitched.  Front and back.  Picking fun colors for the top stitching is part of the fun.  These will be listed in my shop today.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Glitter star

A few years ago, I saw a cardboard star for sale and, being a person with a weakness for all things starry, I had to have it.  I'm also a person who likes to make things and didn't want to spend 40 dollars on it.  Okay, I'm also a person who's cheap.  The first star I made is white and sits on top of the bookcase in my living room.  I made tons of mistakes on it, but I still love it.  Since then, I've made some for sale in my Etsy shop and for family members.  This star is for my sister-in-law, her color request was bronze.  I'm not a huge fan of brown, so I was worried that it wouldn't be pretty.  The paints at the craft store labeled bronze, all looked copper to me, too orange, so I picked metalic espresso.  I couldn't be happier with the results.
 This is an 18 point Moravian Star.  I trace around my template onto tagboard.  These cardboards come in boxes of individual cream cheese packets at my job in the bakery.  They would be going into the recycling, but I recycle them into stars, instead.  They're the perfect thickness and are already white.
I traced 8 with the triangle notch and 10 without.
 Here's all my pieces traced, this size fits 2 on a cardboard.  On some of them, I traced smaller ones for another star.  I try to put as little as possible into the recycling.
 This paper trimmer took so much stress off my hand.  Tagboard is easily cut with scissors, but your hand can hurt after cutting this much at a sitting.
 All the pieces cut, ready to turn over and use the scoring blade for every fold line.  The paper trimmer made this job a lot faster and easier, too.
 Here's the first 2 scored and folded.  So much more accurate than I was folding them.
 I rebend a Christmas ornament hanger and hot glue it into the top point.  You don't have to hang them, but they're very light-weight and I like to have that option.  It'll sit on a shelf with the hanger out of the way, just as easily.
 I run a bead of hot glue down the edge, fold in half to join and then hold it in a square position for the 10 seconds it takes to cool.
 I forgot to take a picture of them all in points.  They look like a giant campground, 18 tents all lined up.  I glue 4 points with triangles around 1 without and repeat for the other side.  Then glue the other 8 lined up around 1 half.  This picture's of the 2 halves and starting to glue the ring of points onto the left half.  You can see, I was testing the paint on it.  Then join the 2 halves, being careful to line them up correctly.  It takes some finessing, accuracy at every step, helps.
As I was holding and gluing, I thought,"What if I'm squeezing too much into this seam and it drops through onto my other hand?"  A split second later, I was trying to get hot glue off my fingers.  Yowza!  6 hours of holding an icepack later, I decided, next time, to have a bowl of ice water on the table.  Just in case.
 The metalic paint I bought, didn't cover the white very well, so I base coated it in a warm brown.  Actually, Camille painted it for me.  She wanted to paint and I was still holding that icepack.  Great job, Camille!
 The next day, when that coat was dry, I painted each plane with the metalic brown and sprinkled the glitter on the wet paint
 I think she's going to love it.  Wish I was a better photographer.  This picture really doesn't do it justice.  Much prettier in person.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weigh in Wednesday

I haven't been good at all about my diet and exercise.  I only have to crawl, scratch and claw my way back onto the wagon one more time than I blithely leap off.  Is that so hard to do?  I haven't gained any of the 8 pounds back, just haven't lost any of the other 72.  I'm not putting up a picture this week, but I'm going back to the gym today after work and logging back into Weight Watchers.

Camille got her learners permit this last week.  We went driving in a parking lot that day and then around a neighborhood, for a total of 45 minutes.  It made her tired.  :)  She's such a big girl.  I'm beginning to be able to picture her as an adult.

On another front, I've made good progress on my quilting.