Friday, March 27, 2009

Current inspirations

(image of Andrea's magical thinking jar, #35)
I love love love Andrea's list of 38 Things To Do Before I turn 39 (substitute your number)
considering my birthday (a major one) is right around the corner, this intrigues me

Embroidered hands on hand towel. Lovely.
In the Etsy shop of ChezSucreChez

Pink cuteness from Splityarn


Christina Stürmer - Scherbenmeer

Silbermond - Durch Die Nacht

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Toni Braxton Regresa A Mi

juli - dieses leben

Somehow this reminds me of Scandal

Sia - Little Black Sandals (KCRW 2007)

ignore the DJ intro--it's a great version of the song

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stop Sarah Palin!

Last weekend (March 21), Alaska's governor Sarah Palin authorized 84 wolves cruelly gunned down by helicopters.
They plan to poison the pups dens, too.
This year alone, over 130 wolves have been killed (it's only March!)
It's outrageous.

For more info, see the website Defenders of Wildlife


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Soft Fabric Baby Blocks

I was invited to a baby shower of one of my co-workers, and decided to make her fabric baby blocks.
I already knew that mom-to-be Amber likes Amy Butler fabrics (I made the ring bearer pillow for her wedding from Amy Butler's mod pillow pattern, and we've discussed AB fabric designs before), I knew she is going to be having a girl and naming her Ashlyn, and I knew the baby's room is lime green and pink paisley.

So first off I bought an Amy Butler Lotus fabric: Star Paisley in lime

And Amy Butler Daisy Chain Flowers, and Jasmine
plus I already had some pink and green fabrics left over from my entry for the Amy Butler purse challenge.

I found this tutorial online by Motherhood for Dummies with this cute idea to make puzzle blocks
and this tutorial on Whipstitch with more info

but the most informative how-to was the tutorial on Flickr by London Mummy
Though I didn't use the idea this time, one of the comments suggested to stuff the cubes with strips of plastic grocery bags (the crinkling sound is fun), and to use a cat toy instead of a jingle bell inside, if you want the cube to rattle (less choking hazard).

All the tutorials claimed this was a really easy project, but it took me FOREVER to make these.
I used a magnifying lamp to handstitch the last opening closed, using tiny stitches that are barely visible.
The hand stitching took me over four hours alone.

I decided not to make these rattle, so did not include a bell inside.
I also decided, rather than puzzle blocks, that I'd do alphabet blocks, and I'd spell out her name.
That meant I needed to make six cubes, so I cut out 36 five-inch squares in several fabrics (I used 13 different fabrics).
fabric blocks
Oops, didn't spell it correctly here!
(sorry the image is so small. Click on any image to enlarge)

I made sure the placement of the fabrics was unique, with especially nice prints on each end of the first and last block, as well as on the top side of all six.
Initially I wanted to make at least two quilt blocks, but I just didn't have the time.
Top of Blocks

I chose each background on the alphabet side as pale pink, with the letter fabric the green paisley print.
I couldn't find any cute letter designs in coloring books or quilt books, so I had to settle for a standard two-inch stencil that I found at Michael's.

I fused each (fussy cut) letter in place, then used a small zigzag (from my new machine!) to adhere it in place.
I chose a variegated thread that appeared pink and green, but when I used it I discovered it's actually orange, blue, green, and purple.
I actually still really liked it, so I used it throughout.
Go figure!
block detail

I added three trims to the alphabet side--a velvet ribbon, a polka dotted ribbon, and a pink and green rick rack.
That seemed too plain, so I embellished each letter with fabric floral motifs that I fused, then stitched.
Blocks close up

L and Y blocks
Y block
N block

I think they turned out really cute!
Unfortunately, I lost my invitation so therefore didn't have the address of the shower, so didn't attend :(.
I'll give these to her later.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Around the World in 80 Stamps Upcycled Vintage Bag

Inspirational project by ambrayasmin (her Etsy shop), taking postage stamps to "upcycle" an existing purse. me an idea for all the stamps I've collected.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Photobooth Friday

Photobooth Friday
This smiling, pigtailed girl is from 1940's Germany.
The image is a found photo (well, I purchased it, but same difference, in that I don't know her history).
Something about her appeals to me--perhaps because I used to wear my hair that way in high school gymnastics competitions.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My Garden Green

I have something of an obsession for green plants.
Meaning either chartreuse foliage, or green-colored flowers.
I lurve me some green flowers.

Some of these are in my garden already, and the rest eventually will be.
Even looking at these pictures is like candy...
(for more info, click on the links)

Zinnia, 'Benary's Giant Lime'
(there is also a smaller green Zinnia called 'Envy')
I love zinnias--they remind me of my childhood, since it was one of the first things I ever planted.
These 'Red Lime' Zinnia are on my "gotta have" list.
Several Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) are available in lime colorations.
I want them all!!!
'Coconut Lime' Echinacea

'Green Jewel' Echinacea

Euphorbia portlandica 'Dolce Vita'
Another Euphorbia, amygdaloides 'Purpea', turns from green to wine-colored depending on the season.

Salvia mexicana, 'Limelight' is a stunning show of chartreuse and purple.
It's in the sage family.
This one looks amazing--in fact I'm going to order more for different parts of the yard.

'Emerald Tassles' (Amaranthus caudatus) is a green version of 'Love lies Bleeding'.

Evergreen Azalea, 'Green Glow'

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Cuteness!!!

Reese and Dylan at Fiesta Island

Reese and Dylan at Fiesta Island.
Recent rains have greened the acreage--soon the daisies will be in bloom.

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Lookie what I just bought!

I've been wanting a Janome for so long, so when I found out that the Jem Golds were discontinued, I figured it was now or never.

I really just wanted a simple, mechanical, portable machine, versus a computerized model with two many bells and whistles (and expense).
The Jem Gold 2 weighs only 12 pounds, has a drop-in bobbin with a transparent plate (so you can see when you're low on bobbin thread), drop feed dogs, and an automatic needle threader.
Exactly what I was looking for.

I guess retail is listed at $399.99, but there are always deals around.
A local quilt shop had these on sale for $275.00, and that included an acrylic table attachment, and a carrying bag.
But they were sold out, aarrggghhh.
They (the quilt shop) are also, unfortunately, going out of business.
So sad. So many good stores have closed recently.

Another quilt shop has the machine with the table and bag for $299.99, but that shop isn't very friendly, so I'd rather not give them business.
Another shop has just the machine itself for $239.00, but they're a long drive away.
So, what to do?

I bought one on eBay.

Yeah, it's a bit sketchy to not buy from a dealer, but I've had pretty good luck with past purchases.
This machine is brand new, never used, and I got it for $147.00!!! (plus shipping the total was $172.00).
Another seller has the table and the bag for about $80.00, including shipping, so if I decide to buy those too, I'm still ahead over $50 from the quilt shop price.

Now I can sew when I dog-sit, and not have to borrow my mom's machine.

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