Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Defining boredom

Now that I'm this far into my blog, I guess I should take a moment of time to explain boredom.  (Well, THAT sounds pretentious!)  Okay, explain what boredom is for me.  That should be easier.

Boredom = getting all my chores done and having nothing planned that I must do, or having my brain not entirely occupied by whatever task I am on.  Now, since I live with ADD (not the worst case, by any stretch of the imagination, but enough to make things interesting usually.  I multi-task like a pro!), it doesn't take much for my brain to go wandering.  It can be a five second trip or far far longer.

Lately, while I've not had the time to be bored physically, my brain is still taking side trips.  From that springs more ideas and more plans.  Today, boredom means I have three new quilt ideas.  Gr.  Not a bad thing - not saying that - but it does make me wish my brain would settle down a little every so often!  Let me catch up a little.  I feel sometimes like I am about to be lapped by my brain.

My design notebook - because yes, I am keeping one - is up to 14 more quilts planned (as well as the finished one and the one I am working on).  I need to sew faster!  I need to stay off the computer in the evenings!  I have two quilts planned for gifts - one for this year, one for an event next year.  I've got time, but they lurk in the background, waiting to pounce.

Yesterday at work we were allowed to dress up for Halloween.  Not many did, but I was one of those few!  It's an excuse to haul out the good stuff and ponce around!  How can I not?  So, here I am: La Catrina - the elegant one!  (symbol that even though you're rich, you're still going to die!)  The costume was a borrowed one; made it too too easy!  Many compliments and not a few creep-outs!  (Bonus!)  You can't see all the hat's glory in this shot, but I'll try to root out a few others - I got my photo snapped a LOT.

At any rate, have a blessed Day of the Innocents or All Saint's Day, as you choose.  Remember thiose who've gone before, and ready your thoughts for those days ahead.  Take time for yourself - the season's about to get crazy!


Monday, October 31, 2011

bored bored?

No, not really.  Only for a few minutes here and there.  And yet, that is apparently sufficient.  For what?  Well, for designing more quilts.  Sheesh.  I am up to 12 now, putting me at 1 finished, 1 in process, and ten more to go.  Always assuming I don't come up with more, which is highly unlikely at this point.  As my roommate says: "Eh, give it a day.  You'll have another."  Too true, it seems.  Now, I am not going to say they are all winners - I have no idea on that score.  But so far they seem to be rolling.

So in between packing and working and prepping for other stuffus, I have quilt ideas.  Wheeee!  (Actually, this is a good thing, and I am not complaining).  It feels weird to be this... productive, at least on an idea scale, when there's so much else going on!

Halloween is over (well, in a few hours, anyway).  Day of the Dead is tomorrow.  After that, the stretch to Thanksgiving and beyond.  I have no small crafts going.  But I AM still being creative, and that somehow eases the lack of projects.  I may not be MAKING with fabric, but I am MAKING.  I am making designs and plans.  So long as I carry through with those plans and designs, it's not wasted time.

And tomorrow at work I'll take down the Halloween decorations and put up some autumn-themed ones until we're closer to Thanksgiving.  The turkey has to stay tucked away just a little while longer.  :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sarlaac Pit Rug

J. Random Thought for the moment - I found a lovely quilt pattern.  It's a Pine Burr Quilt pattern, and it's the state quilt of Alabama.  http://www.archives.state.al.us/emblems/st_quilt.html  I wonder if Texas has a state quilt?  I'll have to look.

However, the point of this post is this: the Pine Burr quilt is lovely.  Beautiful.  And I looked at it and thought to myself "Hmm... do that in browns, ivories and pink and you have the Sarlaac Pit from Return of the Jedi!"  So now I want to make one - not as a quilt, but as a rug.  Out of felt.  I think it's do-able.

The Sarlaac Pit rug would have one major advantage/disadvantage: it would catch all the dust and random pieces of stuff on the floor.  All those layers.  So I may make one, for a dust catcher and cat toy, if nothing else!

Random Thought of the Moment over.

P.S.  I didn't immediately find a State Quilt for Texas.  Wouldn't surprise me if there is one. 

The newest news

Pack pack pack pack.... shifting close dates... I feel like a ping pong ball!  Yeah, looks like we're moving.  The date is still up for grabs, which makes planning a little weird.  (Try impossible).  Also makes crafting a little difficult.  There's still so much to be done, and so little time to do it in with packing and stuff.  Not to mention the craft stuff is getting harder to get to!  (It will all improve, I know it will.  But right now I live in frustration land!).  My boredom craft got buried somewhere - no clue where, so I guess I will try to finish it in time for Thanksgiving! 

However.  The next quilt is long past the stage of planning and fabric gathering and is almost out of the cutting fabric stage.  Only about 80 more pieces to cut and then I can (in theory) start putting them back together!  That may be after the move, but we shall see. 

In the meantime, here's the test piece for Boston Molasses Flood.  I read a book about the Boston Molasses Flood earlier this year, and it made a fairly impressive impact on me.  It sounds silly, especially when people find out it happened in January.  However, when it's a flood up to 15 ft tall moving at 35mph, that's no laughing matter.  The shape of the tesselation is taken from a map of the disaster.  The darker area is the warehouse area of the company which owned the tank that gave way.  The lighter area is the area where the tank was.

On the real deal, the darks and lights will (if all goes as planned) not only be shaded by small and large, but shading from dark to light from top to bottom of the quilt, as a mark of how the molasses spread and the damage lightened as it went.  (If that sentence makes sense).

There is another colorway in my head, with different prints, that could accurately be called Isaac's Storm - after the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, which killed somewhere in the region of 10,000 people.  When I am done with Boston Molasses Flood, I may farm out Isaac's Storm to someone else to be done.  We shall see. 

I look forward to being moved and the crafting area - no, really it's going to be a crafting studio - we will have.  A two car detached garage that was used for car care - plenty of shelves, work space, and all nice and tidy.  He kept a clean work area!  AND it's heated/cooled.  Even better.  :)  But until then, it's pack and pack and make lists and organize and stuff.  And try to stay calm.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ack! Almost the end of the month?!

Really?  Where has October gone?  (Yes, I know it's 'only' the 21st, but um... I have stuff still to do!)  It's been a busy month, not really full of time in which to be bored, as I believe I've mentioned before.  There's any number of things going on in life, from work to house-hunting to those projects which I suppose I should consider scheduled.  And a little socialization, too.

Isn't Baby cute?  (Well, I think so!)

At any rate.  I have now finished my first self-designed quilt.  I've also made the pattern for it, with yardage and everything.  :)  I feel... productive!  So, I introduce to you: Baby's First Steps!

Here is Baby in all his glory: taking his first steps into the big world of humanity - and stomping it flat!  Bright nuclear green footprints mark Baby's path through the city, as do overturned cars and flames.  You never know what kids can get up to once they start walking, that's for certain!  The world will never be the same!

Baby's First Steps is a simple pattern, pieced and appliqued.  The entire quilt is 30"x40", so perfect for a small child or a wall-hanging. 

And just because I could, and because it added to the cute Baby factor, here's a close-up of Baby himself:

Isn't his eye just the brightest?

He's got a bead eye.  I had the right kind of bead just hanging out, so of course I used it!

I think if I ever redo Baby, his skin fabric will be a little less busy, let some more of his details show through.  Maybe a gentler batik... but this is the one I found and liked.  :)  So I ran with it.  And on the whole, I am pleased with how Baby's First Steps came out.

This weekend it's off to a couple of quilt stores with Baby's First Steps to see if any of them would be interested in selling the pattern (if they think there's a market for this style). 

And I start working on the next quilt, which is considerably more "serious" - no wandering giant monsters.  It's a little more tricky - fewer squares and more odd shapes, but tesselated, so there's really only two shapes.  It's got color variants already, but the first one, and the one I am truly looking forward to, is the Boston Molasses Flood quilt.

So, between the Boston Molasses Flood quilt, and house hunting, and all that other stuff, there's not much time to be bored.  I am almost done with the only "I'm bored" project - just one seam left to do and I can post my pics.  It's a stuffed pumpkin from a pattern from... well, it looks like the 1970's, really.  I got the pattern at an estate sale, so there's no telling. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October project and bored time

In keeping with the "No, really.  I'm going to work through my patterns and make one piece of clothing a month.  Really.  I am."  I am posting the pattern picture for October's project.  I don't have the fabric yet - well, I haven't gone through our fabric stash to see what I've got to use.  I don't feel like buying more fabric when we've got SO much already, so this will be a stash buster project to boot.  Makes me feel positively virtuous, it does!

Here it is.  I am already making modifications in my head.  I don't like the sheer on the shoulders, so I'll use a lightweight something - a really thin cotton, maybe.  We shall see what's available.  Maybe silk dupioni... lord knows we have enough of that roaming around!  Pair it with velvet, maybe.  Depends on how much of each I've got, really.  That's tonight's project - finding the fabric.

Of course, I am also getting to the quilting on my next quilt (yay!) and making a "I'm bored" project: a stuffed pumpkin.  It should be cute when I get it done, which shouldn't take too too long.  I'd like to have it for Halloween and beyond.  :)  If I get it cut out today, I should be able to stitch it tonight and finish it tomorrow.  And then find another "I'm bored" project!

I've got too many projects in my head - a steampunk navigator (who needs an outfit comprised of pieces from around the world - got fabric for some of that already), my next Ren Faire character, and so many more.  I want another sewing machine - so I can have one in my room to work when it gets really late and I don't want to disturb the roommate.  Maybe I'll take another look at a basic machine. 

We're finally getting more rain.  Yay for rain!  I don't have pics, because things are in upheaval right now and the camera is... somewhere.... But there is rain, and the plants are happy.  Temperatures are cooler for the time being, and it's almost like having fall!

Monday, October 10, 2011

More finished (and almost finshed) items

It was a relatively quiet weekend - rain, which was nice, and quilting and sewing and such.  Oh, and a visit to Screams Haunted Theme Park.  Very cool! 

On the crafting front - finished my September sewing project (yeah, yeah, a little late.  I have good reasons, really I do).  Now I need to pick October's sewing project.  Should be able to do that tonight, and will post picture of finished project and the envelope for the next one.  As a refresher, here's the Burda envelope:

And here is my finished product, still on the dressmaker's mannequin (Beatriz is her name, and she's been most helpful since I've had her). 
As you can see, I added lace and did not cuff the sleeves.  Yes, it's a little wrinkled; it's linen, so it's going to do that!  I'll steam it well before I wear it and get those pesky wrinkles out.  On the main, I am pleased with September's monthly sewing project. 

And in my defense, this one is late because I lost the fabric for two weeks.  And then when I found the fabric, I lost the directions.  *sigh*  This is why we need a dedicated sewing area!  And will hopefully have one soon.

        Since the Massive Quilt-o'-Doom is done and on the bed, I have been working on my next quilt.  I won't post the picture until it's done - complete and total - but I do have a pic of the test applique I did this weekend.  The colors are wrong (I'm just using scrap fabric for the test appliques, so I don't waste my good stuff) but you can kind of see what it will be like.   Yup.  It's a baby Godzilla!  He'll be rampaging through a city with radioactive trail and overturned cars and everything.  If it comes out right, maybe I'll do some of the other monsters - Gamera, Ghidorah, Rodan... maybe even Mothra. 

At any rate, there's the completed stuff and almost completed stuff and plans for the future.  There's so much going on right now that boredom isn't really an issue.  And I admit that some of my "bored" time has been spent reading.  I enjoy it, and last night read an entire book because I couldn't put it down.  And because it was creepy and I wanted to get to the end and a happy ending (that I suspected would be there) so I could go to sleep on a good note!  The book was Ghost Trackers - written by the guys from Ghost Hunters with assistance from a professional novelist.  Good book!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

...she finishes things! (finally!)

The Massive Quilt-o'-Doom is done!  Completed!  Finished, even!  Not the best picture ever, but here it is!  A nice, flame-y looking bargello quilt.

I quilted in the ditch, because it was just easier, really.  It's been a while since I quilted, so I thought for once I would do something easy.  It didn't turn out too bad! 

The cat HAD to make a guest appearance.  She's been sitting on the quilt since I got to the point of binding it.  She particularly seems to like the yellow area - brings out her eyes, I suppose.  :)

Anyway, I hope to have a better pic of it on my bed this evening, but I had to take it to work to show my co-workers.  (And then I ran off and forgot it and had to go back for it... good thing we don't live far from work!).

I've started cutting the pieces out for the next quilt - Baby's Day Out, aka the Baby Godzilla quilt.  More pictures as they happen.  It's smaller, so hopefully it won't take as long to do.

And I finally got my Halloween pennants up at work.  The ribbon is hard to see here, but it's a fancy ruched-looking textured ribbon that does add to the look.  I'll get a better picture up here after I get one. 

And I failed to get my Burda pattern made.  Got everything cut out and ready - and then lost the instructions, so I couldn't put it all together!  I am going to get another copy tonight (grrrr) so I can make it.  *sigh*  Already behind.  But I will catch up and get back on track!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Designing madness

I am now up to five quilt designs - none of which I've found online or in books.  As far as I know, they are original.  Which brings me to my dilemma: at what point do I attempt to sell these designs?  I know I should have the quilts done - not just to test the patterns, but to make sure that they look exactly like I want, and to have a picture of the finished quilt on the cover of the pattern.

Tonight is a night for working late at the day job - computers not terribly helpful today - so there will not be much happening this evening at home. 

At the rate I am going, I will have more patterns in a very short time.  I need to find a way to sew and quilt more.  Anyone want to do my household chores?  ;)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quilt.. quilt... quilt.. repeat

This weekend I accomplished nothing in the way of actually SEWING, but I did buy more fabric.  Technically it's fabric for the next two quilts, so it's okay.  There's a use planned for every piece I bought.  I just have to finish the Massive Quilt-o'-Doom first.

Oh, and there was inspiration for yet another quilt.  I just have to think on it some.... 

Anyway, here's the fabric for the next quilt, which will probably be called Baby's Day Out.  Grays and blue-grays.  Deliberately so.  Baby will be various shades of green, and there will be spots of color in a few locations... in my mind's eye, I see the finished product already.

Oh, and there is actually another next next quilt.  I am just not sure if the pattern will work yet.  And I am trying to limit myself to only three future quilts at a time.  I think I am about to violate that, but hey, why not?  It's a goal, right?  Plus, if I am thinking about designing quilt patterns, I should have a stock of patterns with completed quilts to show, right?  That's my excuse right now, anyway.

So, that's where my weekend went - wandering around, seeing cool and interesting things - oh, yeah.

We road-tripped this weekend to the Texas Hill Country.  We stayed at a FABULOUS Bed and Breakfast - Jolly's Haus - oh, so comfy there!  We wandered around Fredericksburg and shopped some, and went to see a bat emergence, which was TOTALLY cool despite the noisy and unruly children.  We went to an estate sale, where I found two folding rocking chairs.  (Cute and functional!  Pics later!)  Spent my roommate's birthday wandering the countryside at quilt stores and fudge shoppes (I think Fredericksburg survives on wine and chocolate!), and on the way back today stopped at Longhorn Caverns and took a hike through a cavern carved by an underground river.   Again, seriously neat and interesting and cool despite a child who decided halfway through that he was afraid.

Along the way, saw a live skunk - a little one - crossing the road.  He/she was cute!  And since we cruised the Hill Country during the evening, we saw LOTS of deer.  Didn't hit any, which is good, because those things will run right out in front of you!  Lots of cows, lots of goats, and lots of horses.  All in all, a good weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

...she finally posts a tutorial!

Right.  So.  Massive Quilt-o'-Doom is rocking along just fine, but my finger is tired of being stabbed and my eyes are telling me it's time to quit for the night.  Besides, I have other stuff to do!  Like posting this exceedingly long overdue tutorial for my version of the pennant banner.  I am still working on the Halloween one - might have it done by Monday.  Maybe.  No promises.

Anyway, on to the tutorial!

My version, obviously… for cube decorating and backs of chairs and for wherever you need or want them to go!  It’s a simple thing, really.  There isn’t a “hard” part, just the time consuming part (picking fabrics and patchworking them together)
1.       Print the pattern (and enlarge, if desired) downloadable from Google docs.    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0ByYnX0orZpZPYjg0MTRiNGUtZWFhMS00ODM0LWEwYTAtMzFjMGFlM2RhMzgw&hl=en_US

2.       Pick your fabrics (of all the steps, the most fun, other than hanging the finished product up)!

3.       Stitch fabrics together in patchwork – try to be random and go for small patchwork so you can see several fabrics on each of the pennants.  Press  the seams open. (just like you do with all your quilting-type projects, right?  RIGHT?). 

4.       Trace the pattern and cut out pennants from patchwork and from back fabrics.  It's easy - just like cutting out anything else.  I wasn't particularly particular (if that makes sense) about it.  As long as the front and back pretty much matched up, I could jerryrig it.  I'm okay with that.  If you're the type that has to be perfect about everything... well... go for it.  You have my blessings.  (I'll just mention that several societies - as distinct and disparate as the Arabs and the Irish - tend to believe that perfection cannot be attained by mankind, but only by god(s), so everything they do is slightly flawed.  Just sayin'.)

5.      Lay out lace/trim along front fabric, cut to fit.  Pin lace/trim between front and back fabrics, which should be right sides together.  (That would be a given, one would think, but best to include it here!  You never know!)

6. Stitch the triangles with lace, leaving the top open for easy turning.  Following that, turn the triangles right side out.  How easy was that?!  It's all good - we're getting close to being done, believe it or not.  From here, repeat for each pennant you want to make.                                                                             

   7.  Grab your bias tape/binding/ribbon that you'll be using to suspend the pennants from.  Mark desired distance between pennants on bias tape/binding.  Place pennants onto bias tape and fold bias tape over.   Stitch with desired stitching close to edge, capturing tops of each pennant in bias tape.

Here's mine.  Almost done!  Although you can't really see it here, the stitch I used was a decorative one - a vine and leaves pattern.  Because I could, and I think it adds something when you look at it in real life. 

On mine, I used a commercial pattern for acorns to make small acorns to hang between the pennants.  The same thing could be done with pumpkins, jingle bells, or anything else that your mind desires.   The Halloween one will have little pumpkins.  Probably.  Maybe ghosts.  We shall see.

Hopefully this tutorial is clear and easy to follow.  If not, let me know and I'll make what changes seem needed.  And maybe I'll get more stuff done, now!  (Right, off to work on my September sewing project).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More designs?! Really?

I really need to sew faster.  And win the lottery so I can get a quilting machine and stand, so I can quilt as fast as the ideas are flowing.

Yes... there are now two more ideas in the queue.  One can easily be postponed.  The other... well, let's just say that I was enthusiastic enough to make a test piece to make sure it did exactly what I thought it would.  And it did.  I have quilt pattern!  (yayayayay! arms flailing like Kermit the Frog). 

But... but... I'm not done with the Massive Quilt-o'-Doom yet!  *sigh*  Right, right... put other ideas down.  Step away from the ideas.  But... it's so lovely!  And it's not something I think I've ever seen before!  (I'm almost afraid to post a pic, so I won't.  Not yet, anyway).  Right now, the newest one (the one that I made a test piece for) is called Boston Molasses Flood.  With a few minor color changes it will be called Isaac's Storm, after the Galveston Hurricane of the early 1900's.  Both events happened in the early 1900's, so there's one connection.  All the flooding and damage is another. 

I have the tutorial for the pennants almost done - except that I left the pattern piece at work, so I can't scan it in currently, which means I couldn't supply it, which I want to do... so that will have to wait for tomorrow.  And I really need to get my stamp made.  Yeah, I'm going to dabble my toes in the selling of patterns and finished stuffus.  Soon I will jump onto the Etsy wagon (and hope I don't ever wind up on the Regretsy page.  If you've never been there, GO.  Really).

But boy... I really need to get a move on!  Halloween pennant being worked on, September sewing project being worked on, Steampunk-ish jacket being worked on (well, I cut out the pattern today, does that count?), and MQ-o'-D being worked on.  Oh, and the beginnings of a doll. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

... she designs stuff

More patterns!  Yeah, I know... I have so much I should be doing - and I did!  I worked on quilting for a LONG time this weekend.  The massive quilt-o'-doom is coming along.

Which is a good thing.  I now have three quilt designs I want to try.  Two are fully fleshed out, down to fabric choices and everything.  The other one is slightly more nebulous, because it involves several different appliques which I am also having to design. 

I am thrilled in one way - I begin to think that I COULD design quilts.  Maybe not for a LIVING, but I could maybe sell a few.  I just need to be a faster quilter!  Or find other people who like to quilt who could help me out.  :)  At any rate, I need to finish the designs completely - figure out yardage, and applique patterns, and all that stuff.  Write up instructions.  See what the actual pieced part looks like put together and all.

And get a stamp made.  I need to scan my design as a higher quality pic first, so I CAN get it made. 

No pics today.  Maybe this evening.  We'll see.  I pulled fabric for the Halloween tiny banner last night, so I will try to get that started, too. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

.. she goes fabric shopping

Oh, dear... more fabric.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  I have too much fabric already.  BUT.  It's really cool and pretty and I have a use in mind for about half of it already, and... and...  yeah.  I bought more fabric.

On the plus side, we drove to Denton to a quilt store - my roomie wanted to show them her quilt, because last time we were there she told them about it and they asked to see it.  I took pics of the current massive quilt-o'-doom (halfway quilted now, yay!) and my IPad, with the rough sketch for the Baby Godzilla quilt.  (Or as I am coming to think of it, Baby's Day Out.).  They were amazed that I was designing my own quilts and told me I should start selling quilt patterns.  Yoiks!  Really??  Both women independently said so, and the other ladies shopping were impressed with the design too.  I didn't think it was all that awe inspiring, but *shrug* we shall see.  So.  Now I have to finish the quilt-o'-doom and then the Baby's Day Out quilt and make a coherent pattern/instructions for it.  And then move on to the next one, which is one I merely thought about earlier, and now am considering doing for real.  Although I'd have to get better at applique work first.  :)

So, apparently I have the glimmerings of a plan. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

... Crafting Condor?

 Crafty Condor?  Something?  I want this as my stamp for patterns and stuff.  Because I think he's cute!  (I also made a Christmas version for cards and so on... because I could).  I like his little spats and the fact that he seems to be smiling.

There's that done, then!  Stamp stamp stamp stamp! 

And managed to finish two other "hey, I am bored" type projects, including the one mentioned in the last post.  I went home that night and started, and now I have the finished version.  No letters on this pennant, because I'm too lazy to get out the embroidery machine and figure it out right now.

The banner of pennants for fall.  I wanted something to decorate my cube, and here it is!  Short and simple, it's all of four pennants long and five acorns.  It's all made of scrap fabric, with tea-dyed lace around the edges of the pennants.  It's cute, and for once, it's actually what I saw in my mind's eye.  Since that happens so rarely, I will take it!
I'm pretty sure I'll wind up making more for various holidays/seasons/etc.  Oh, and ignore the state of my cube... it's a little messy.  Work and all, y'know.  Here's a closer view of one of the pennants:  I think they came out rather well, actually.
And.... more pics!  More finished projects!  (Well, one more, anyawy...).   I made a pair of spats.  Not steam-punk spats, but "I want something to keep my ankles warm during winter and be bright and cheerful at the same time" spats.  :)  Pink isn't usually my thing, but I like the fabric.  It's striped on the other side.  They are completely reversable, with buttons on both sides.  The pattern was one I made up... it's not perfect yet.  I have a revamp of the pattern, so when I make pair #2, they should fit better and go higher up my leg.  But these work for a first attempt!
The other thing I finished was a new needlecase based on the purselet pattern.  Pics of that one later, because there are already lots of pics here!  And one again, I have tutorials in mind... just have to get around to doing them!

Tonight I SHOULD have time to work on the massive quilt... hopefully. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

... she makes patterns

Working away today, before lunch break... and idea for decorating my cube for autumn and thanksgiving and so forth... and Halloween.  Definitely Halloween.  Anyway... decoration idea happens.  And since I have myself half-convinced I can make anything I see, I decide I shall.

The plan is this: make little pennants on a string to decorate with.  They sound cheesy, I admit it.  In my mind's eye, however, they are a work of beauty.  I will most likely be ultimately disappointed, as rarely do the physical manifestations of my ideas match the actual brain candy, BUT I am going to do it!  Patchworked in either silk or cotton, depending on how the silk works, backed with appropriate fabric, embroidered with letters for FALL or WINTER or HALLOWEEN or whatever.  Add little buttons at the bottoms or bells or acorns... and string them together.  I will like them.  I may even add the tea-dyed lace I got at an estate sale, depending on the front patchwork. 

I think maybe the right orange and black combo, old-fashioned looking, with tea-dyed lace might be kinda neat.  Old-fashioned lettering...  Or maybe do a black and white one with black lace... hmm...

Having decided I will do this, I needed pattern.  Not terribly complex, obviously, since it's just a bunch of triangles.  But I want the RIGHT size and the right proportions... and so on.  A few shapes later, I have my finished size pennant.  A few minor adjustments for seam allowance and I am done.  Wheee!  All during lunch break!

I have this urge to get a stamp for my patterns, labeling them mine.  :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

... she makes lists

Today's list - things I need to do tonight.  And this weekend... and projects I want to make.  And things I want to learn how to do...

It is going to come down to prioritizing.  Which of the things on my list do I consider more important?  Which things am I willing to let slide so I can do others?  Am I willing to let 'take blinds down' go so I have time for 'work on quilt'?  There's only so much time in a day, and only so much motivation to get me through.  :) 

I'm not going to whine about not having enough time.  The truth is, I HAVE enough time.  It's just USING that time to do the things I say I want to do and will do.  That means less time on the computer just piddling and more time doing those things I want to do.  Or re-doing my lists of things I want to do. 

Last night was chore night.  Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms... that sort of thing.  It needed doing, and doing it makes me feel better.  Yup, that whole clean house helps depression thing.  *shrug*  Open blinds, consider taking them down.   And yes, it made me feel better.  But there's only so much cleaning that can be done in an evening.  There's still so much left to do.  Again, the prioritizing.  Which do I value more in my time - mopping the kitchen (which isn't even my chore to do) or quilting?  The answer is... well, yet to be determined, honestly.  It will depend on how I feel when I get home.  Right now, my list for the night only includes 5 things, including dinner, so I could do both quilting and mopping.  We'll see....

The bigger thing about prioritizing is this: I want to learn all sorts of fabulous things!  I have to find a way to free up time for that.  And still have time to read, clean, sew, and make.  Boredom doesn't seem like it would be an issue, does it?  :)

But the truth of it all is that no matter how many lists, no matter how much prioritizing I do, there is always more.  More things to do.  More to learn.  More life that feels like it's escaping while my back is turned....  I am not dissatified with life.  I am just... always wanting to learn and do more.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

...she wanders

This weekend was First Monday, in Canton, Texas.  It's gone on for years and years, and it's relatively close to home.  So we went.  (Yay! Giant flea market and stuff!)

We spent 5 hours solid walking the First Monday grounds and didn't see anywhere NEAR everything.  However... I did manage to purchase a couple of interesting things, and got LOTS of exercise.

I got: a McCoy goat planter - small, but elegant.  I like goats, what can I say?  :)  Also, a lightweight bow that I will be using (hopefully) in a different form out at faire.  Hopefully.  And an automatic rug hook needle that's really scary looking!   And... we had to go to a fabric store.  Of course.  I didn't buy any material, but I did get buttons.  For projects.  Honest.

It was a little weird.  We stayed at my Grandmother's house.  She died earlier this year, and there's not much left in the house.  We slept on air mattresses, and I lay awake the first night thinking "What will I do if I hear her?"  Not that I did.  And I thought "Well, she wouldn't be a ghost.  She has no reason to stick around."  I slept all right, but it was still a little weird.  I was okay until the morning we came home.  Then I got stressed out a little.  Getting pulled over for speeding didn't help.  (oops!  Just a warning from the nice state trooper, but still!)

I have hopes of quilting and stuff today.  And working on a hat.  And making little purselets.  And taking pictures of some of my stuff.  We'll see if it happens.  I might wind up sitting on my butt at the computer, playing games!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Craft Area

Eeek!  Also known as... that area that is NEVER clean, no matter HOW hard we try! 

We've got LOTS of crafts in the works, obviously.  This mess is past of our shelving/cubes... holds books, sewing machines, and stuff.  Lots and lots of stuff.  Beads, ribbons, magazines, the aftermentioned books, fabric, glue guns (about 7 now, I think), bobbin lace equipment, dolls either finished or part finished, mannikin headsm and at times, like now, a quilt square or two.

There's the requisite cat on the floor (say Hello, Belanna!  Yeah, yeah, whatever....), and fabric scraps for the cat to lay on/play with/completely ignore.  And cat treats on the table to make sure she stays out of the current project.

And on this side of the room, more sewing machines, and dressers full of quilting fabric.  Yup.  Over two hundred yards, currently, thanks to a good buy at an estate sale.

It's not tidy by any stretch, and it's small.  (Though you can't see the cutting table or the pattern boxes underneath said cutting table, or the other fabric storage...). 


It suffices.  We do rather well here.  We get things done, dream up new things to do, and discuss things to do.  We find homes for everything we have.  Kinda.

And yes, a lot of the time it is actually neater than this, but I thought I would show it in the "normal" state when one or both of us are working.

So here it is.  Craft area/sewing area/"what am I supposed to do with this" area.

Wrist straps and such

I made several wrist purses recently.  When I showed one to a co-worker, she said "Oh, you should make the little strap to put your id badge on."

So I did.  :)  Because it only took a few minutes and really didn't cost anything but those few minutes.

Here's the prototype - a strap that fits over my hand but isn't too too loose, and the back of my badge.  :)  Oh, and a skull button detail because I was using pirate treasure map fabric and it just felt right.   Several of my co-workers have commented on them, so we shall see.  I might also make a few lanyard-types to fling around the neck, because the beaded ones are pretty but tend to pull. 

I picked up the fabric for the Burda jacket - a nice brown striped linen.  So nice.  I am looking forward to it.  But tonight is quilting.  MUST work on quilt.

If another strap gets made, well.... that won't take TOO long.  Just have to decide what fabric to use that will go with the copper clip.  Or gold. Hmmm...

And maybe even pics of the craft/sewing area in what was once the living room.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

...there is sewing

Last night I went through my pattern box (well, one of them, anyway).  I have way too many patterns that I bought intending to make them and then forgot about them.  So.  I am going to start sewing.  My goal is to make one piece of clothing every month until I am caught up - or as caught up as I can be... since there are still more patterns out there.  Some of them I may make more than once if they look good on me.  We shall see.  Oh, and this does not include faire garb or costuming - those are completely separate.  If I only made one of those a month I would be in serious trouble come spring!

So, the first pattern I will make is a Burda pattern - 8627.  I am going to start with the jacket/top.  It's a nice unfitted piece that I might actually already have fabric for!

It's a single button jacket, kinda pretty.  I am tempted to do it in multiple colors of fabric on the one jacket.  We'll see.  It shouldn't be too difficult - the hard part will be determining if I will line it or not, since I get cold very easily.

I am still working on the quilt.  And other things, of course.  :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Non-Boring Times

So... there are times when I am not bored, when life happens.  When there's too much to do to sit and be bored (and thus make more unusual things).  So far... two family members (one more distant than the other, but still family) died on one day, my uncle has health issues, and my father has health issues after surgery.  Wheee....  Nope.  No time for bored.  Not much time for anything else, it seems, either. 

I've quilted a little and wandered aimlessly a lot. 

It seems when I get stressed, I want to go something different.  Something new.  NOT the same old same old.  Not the same food, same stores, same places, same conversations.  They get boring.  And I don't do boring well.  But when I stress, things get magnified, like they do.  Not unique to me, by any means.  When I stress, I want out.  OUT.  I don't care about the things I am currently working on.  I want OUT.

So I wander aimlessly, looking for a goal, a new thing, a new event.  Something new.  Or even something so old I've never done it before.  I want to learn new things.  Lots of them.  Remake myself into someone new.  Not that there's tragically much wrong with the current me - I know that, and am generally satisfied with who I am and where I am and so on.  But...

So that's where I am right now.  Still sewing - some - and still out there.  Mostly positive - don't get me wrong.  I just want something different.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

... she plans

I want to go to First Monday in Canton again this month.  (Well, beginning of next month-ish).  That should be Labor Day Weekend.  Sure, it will be hot, but I want to go.  Anyone interested in going with?  Last time I got two metal goats and a handful of other things I wouldn't have found other places. 

I want to go to the coast in November.  So I am going to plan for it. Stay on the coast, watch the water, wade in it, beachcomb for nothing much in particular... be a tourist.

There are other things I want to do, so I am planning.  Road trips, learning Japanese....

I have a bunch of craft projects planned as well.  The drawback is that so much of my stuff stays in the planning stage.  I need to move past that and actually DO some of this stuff.  Quilts, canning, baking, painting, weaving.  Learning to spin my own thread/yarn.  Make costumes.  Re-write a few books. 

I just have to plan the time.  And my lists, nice as they are, are not helping!  I can always re-write lists!  I need a better way to plan out my time.

On the plus side, the bargello quilt is moving right along now, and I am working on a wish bird (pattern from Valori Wells).  It's cute, and if I do it in reds, oranges and yellows, it can be a phoenix.  Then again, I might make one in black and make a raven.  We shall see.  Maybe I will shrink the pattern and make a flock of birds to hang from the ceiling.   The test version is in purple.  First thing I pulled out of the cotton fabric drawers.  :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Surrounded by little things

So in the last few days I've made almost a dozen lace and ribbon rosettes of various types and two small change purses.  I should be working on my quilt.  I should be.

I shouldn't be thinking about dolls - three more of them.  I don't CARE how cute/creepy/cool/all of the above they might be.  I don't need to make more dolls!  I don't have room for the ones I have!

*sigh*  My inner crafter isn't listening.  Stupid inner crafter.  I have too many other things to do already!

Besides that - yesterday we went to an estate sale - I picked up a small table loom for $7.50 with a project on it already - don't need the project, but I will tie it off and do something with it - and a whole host of books and other stuff.  Got a tub of misc. craft stuff cheap - sight unseen - because I like prowling through stuff like that.  Wound up with a LOT of stuff - extremely varied stuff, too.  From instant papier mache (without asbestos, according to its label) to pointy knitting needles to ribbons to wire wreath frames to... to... an entire cross stitch kit.  It was cool.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More ribbon rosette things

Two new flowers of felt and ribbon.  The top is a smaller Tudor rose - I think I like this size better, really  The bottom is made of ribbon and lace.  I have so much lace it's not EVEN funny anymore.  I am not allowed to buy any more until I use up some of what I've got.

So... any other uses, folks?  I am working on more ribbon/lace flowers, but there's got to be more.

I am working on a pale purple version of the blue one right now... with wider ribbon and wider lace.

My evening project is still the bargello quilt.  It's moving along - I finished the first 8" wide strip of quilting and advanced the quilt in the frame last night.  Hopefully it will start to go faster, now that I've figured out what I am doing!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Tudor Rose and a Quilt Top

A finished Tudor rose.  In felt.  it's not perfect, and there are several tweaks I intend to make.  But I promised pictures, so here you go!

It was a simple project - the part the took the longest was actually finding a yellow button for the middle.  I dug through the stash of buttons last night, though, and here it is. 

I could certainly post patterns and a tutorial if there is interest.  I may do it anyway, just for my own amusement.

I am still working on the Halloween wreath, and started an autumn wreath last night while sitting in bed with the cat in my lap.  She liked the yarn.

I have finished the top of my bargello quilt (the PLANNED project), and have it in the rack so I can start quilting.  It's surprisingly nice - I look forward to the end product.  Which means I need to get quilting!

It's approximately queen sized, and here it is laid out on the floor for pin-basting.  It's now safely racked and out of the way of little feline feet.  Tonight, I start quilting.  I have debated this with myself for a while, and I think I will quilt in the ditch along the "diagonals" between colors/shades.  That should hold everything together while emphasizing the diagonals instead of the vertical stripes.

The other thing on the list for tonight - the Halloween wreath, probably.  I need to spin more cobwebs for that one....  yay for having wool roving to spin into cobwebs (yeah, it was going to be yarn.  It's now cobwebs).

So much to do, so little time to sit and do it.  (Not really.  I just don't seem to be able to make as much time).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

... she makes things

Good morning!  I am Shay.  I am unmarried, living with a roommate in oh-so-hot Texas.  I make things.  Not professionally, but for kicks.  I have a cat - just one, about 12 years old - and she's plenty.  I work in an office as a drone, carry an elephant-shaped lunch kit to work, and in my off time do all sorts of things.  Most of them are reasonably planned out, if not in great detail.  However, when I get bored I tend to go off the rails and do other things.  Just... other things.  Not necessarily weird or bizarre, but not the things I normally do.

Oh, and I get bored easily.  My friends tend to duck when I get bored. 

I was bored yesterday.  So I made a rough pattern for a Tudor rose.  Yeah, making felt flower things.  I'm not even a flowery sort of girl, and here I am making Tudor roses.  *shrug*  So be it.  Boredom makes me do things I wouldn't otherwise think about.

I'm about halfway done with it, and when I am done, I will post pics.  And maybe a pattern or two.  We'll see. 

Oh, and I started working on a yarn wreath for Halloween.  May make one in autumnal colors soon, as well.  After I go by the craft store for another foam wreath.