26 July, 2011

Fall Quilt

 This is my fall quilt. One of the most involved quilts and I think it's the best loved. Mike has been sleeping exclusively with this quilt for three years now. No other works for him as well as this, he says. The weight, the length, the warmth, all of it is perfect. I don't know what I did to make it so perfect, but I'm glad he likes it so much!

Snowman Quilt

 My snowman quilt! I went through and found as many snowman prints in blue as I could and cut them into strips. This was both the most easy quilt I've ever made and the hardest. It was easy to put together, and it sewed similar to a pillowcase style, but instead of being actually quilted it's tied instead. Every three inches or so there is a nice tie of white yarn to keep the layers together. It's a lovely warm quilt and because of the way I made it it's really fluffy.

18 July, 2011

Grampa's Quilt

 More about the quilt's progress. Here it is with all the rows sewed together. Five up, four across, makes a decent sized lap quilt. This is where I had to stop, because we didn't have a backing, or batting, or binding. I waited until Mike got off work early and we headed down the hill to Joann's. For some reason all these plaid flannels were right up front when we walked in, took us two seconds to find the backing. I love it. I got some nice natural cotton batting, never used it before, but it seemed ritzy, and we were done right quick.
 Then it was just a matter of spreading it out, pinning it, and marking the lines for the quilting. Mike did that part. He wanted to contribute. I quilted one direction, then then Mike marked the other direction.
 And here it is all quilted. Each square ended up having an X through it, *almost* perfectly. I mean, none of the squares were sewn perfectly straight, so it's no big deal that the quilting didn't end up perfect either. I was looking for the "rustic" look anyway.
Finally, Wednesday night, just before midnight, while Mike was still playing his video games, I finished putting on the thin binding I got. I, of course, didn't count on the fibers of the flannel shirts being a bit too loose to hold the stitches of the binding. By the time I got it to Grampa on Saturday it had pulled away in several places. Thankfully he didn't notice when I gave it to him and my aunt promised to add a thicker binding to it when she could ferret it away from Grampa without him noticing. 

Okay, so I screwed it up, ala ME, but he liked it a lot. Grampa wears a lot of flannel shirts and the quilt was real warm, so I guess it worked out.

13 July, 2011

Half Done

Took me half an hour, and got the quilt top half done. Not bad at all! I think it looks pretty cool too, I mean, I've been planning a quilt like this for a while now, I might have gotten on it a bit faster if I knew it would come out this pretty. I'm sure Grampa will love it now!

12 July, 2011

Quilt for Grampa

  Well, if you don't know from reading my Facebook, my grampa has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and has been given a prognosis of about 2-3 months. Well, I've been telling my parents to keep me informed on what's going on and Dad IMed me last week, saying that I should come as soon as possible to see Grampa. He's worried that something sudden, like a heart attack, might happen, or that Grampa might get so sick he forgets everyone. This happened to someone Dad knew and he doesn't want Grampa to forget Mike and I before we're able to see him. So I said we could be there right away, but Dad doesn't have time off, so a weekend was a better idea. We'll be going up to NorCal Friday afternoon and spending a lot of time there on Saturday. 

Well, I'm pretty far away, and Grampa can't talk on the phone, so while I can visit for this small amount of time I can't actually *do* much. As a crafter, my idea of helping is making something. So I called my Aunt Yvonne, also a crafter, and asked her what I could do. A scrapbook page? Some sort of frame or something? What? She suggested a quilt, if I could manage it, to put over his legs while he sits in his chair and watches TV or plays his handheld games. She said she knows it will be a stretch, but he would appreciate it a lot to have something like that that I made myself.

I can do that. But, if you have any idea where Big Bear Lake is, you'll know that I'm a *little* secluded up here. There's no craft store, there's no WalMart, there's no NOTHING that might sell me fabric of a manly nature for a proper quilt. BUT, shoved over in the corner where I keep my fabric, were several of Mike's old flannels. He wears one nearly every day, since I met him over 10 years ago, and sometimes they rip or he outgrows them. I've been saving them so I could make a quilt because they're perfectly soft, and they're manly, so there you go! Aunt Yvonne said that was a perfect idea.
 The cutting in the beginning had to be done with scissors. It was a bit tough cos my wrists aren't that strong, but there's seams to work around and whatnot and you can't do that with a rotary cutter. I had five flannels and one pair of sleep pants to work with, that's it. Mike calculated how many squares of fabric I'd need and I set to cutting.
 Problem is, cutting is BORING. I HATE the cutting part. It's so tedious. I had a really hard time concentrating on it, which of course makes me feel terrible because this is for Grampa after all and if all he's (not even) asking me for is a tiny quilt then the least I can do is get it done.
I powered through the boringness late in the afternoon and got all the squares cut and ready. Then it was on to chain stitching! It's so simple, just put two random squares together and sew them, then do it with two more, and two more, never cutting or breaking the "chain" between them. Then all you have to do is sew six pairs together, take another pair and add a free square to it, and so the line of three to the others and you've got a nine patch!
Like this one. Twenty nine patches in a 4x5 strip configuration and you've got yourself a quilt top. Tomorrow when we go down the hill I'll be getting some backing, maybe a nice fabric for a border (cos that's a bitch to make out of old flannels) and some sort of binding. Sadly my Wednesday is packed and Thursday we're going down in the evening to see Harry Potter so while the beginning of my week I could do this no problem, the hard *quilting* part of this project will need to be crammed into Wednesday night and most of Thursday. It's going to be a stretch. 

But its' worth it for Grampa.

25 April, 2011

Studio Monday: Things Change

I just did a scrap room tour, you don't need to hear me talk about it all, but I just wanted to note how much my scrap closet has changed in just a little while. It's crazy how much my Copic collection has grown, my stamps are all organised, my desk is still clean, of course, I added a few projects on display, I got my Texture Boutique and embossing folders, I purged out some papers... I got a lot done actually. Way to go me! Anyway, here's pictures, cos I like looking at pictures and occasionally some other people do too.

21 March, 2011

Studio Monday: Scrap Room Tour

Like, three years ago at least we bought a little spice rack for my flowers, and I asked Mike to hang it up on the wall. Well.... yeah, that didn't happen, until tonight! With the addition of the Copic shelves it was obvious that my space was becoming limited and I needed to do something to clear off desk space so I could work. I finally got Mike to hang up the shelf, getting the flowers (which I don't really use anymore) off the desk so I could clear the space for actual scrapbooking. It took a bit of arranging, and I had to move my pictures yet again so no one was covered up (how rude would that be?), but this is how everything sorted out. As you can see, I'm working on a rather large project right now. Those three stacks of photos have to be whittled down into one the Washington/Oregon Vacation album. There's a pile of physical memorabilia, and a pile for the patterned paper and the Facebook posts that go into the book as well.
Two my left are two cubes that I bought from Michael's for 40% off. On the top is my 7 Gypsies acrylic stamp holder. I really don't like that the envelopes sag like that, just cos they're not all 7 Gypsies stamps. It bugs me. But I deal, and the spinny-ness of it means that I can see all the stamps that I have and everything gets used, which is the whole point of buying them in the first place, right? Below that is the first cube. There's paper in there, Crate Paper mostly, and some Imaginice, as well as my Cricut mats. I also have some BasicGrey chipboard sets, clear epoxy stickers, and 6x6 paper stacks. In the draws, the first one has mini albums of all different shapes and sizes. I'm not a fan of mini albums, but they have come in handy at times and I'm glad I stocked up since I was able to make Mike's mini album for our 10th anniversary without having to go down the hill. The middle drawer holds my iTop, the punches for the iTop, my Crop-a-Dile (which I don't use), and my Tim Holtz tiny attacher. The bottom drawer has various stickers, Jolee's, rub ons, and buttons. All of these coordinate with specific paper lines so they're easy to reach here.
On my right is my paper cart. It's pretty well labeled, and organised. I can find what I need by just barely sifting through it because I know everything that I have and know exactly where it is on the cart. There are a few things I could get rid of, and might purge, but I can deal okay for now. On the floor in the purple thing is my Cricut carts, my new photos (which came last week) and my Tonic paper trimmer.
This is the desk from the seated position. Copic shelves right in front so I can see then easily. The paint can that Monica made for me holds my scissors, my writing pens, and my 6inch acrylic ruler. On the left of the shelves is my adhesive. And, of course, my sexy boys all re-organised over and around the Copic shelves instead of being blocked by them. The only thing I think looking at this picture (other than smiling at Sherlock looking crazy scary in that one picture) is "wouldn't those Copic shelves look much better if they were full?!" LMAO!
And this is the corner. It's all new! I used an old Prima shelf to house my Smooch paints (the bottles of Prima's went with my oversized flowers in one of the square cubbies seen in the photo below). They don't *quite* fit, but it's better than nothing. Mike made the ribbon shelf with his own two little hands, and I recently just put my Stickles up on there because he hasn't had a chance to make me a Stickles holder and I needed them up off my desk. And the spice rack has more Prima's on it. I do use them, just used some on the mini album project, but I'm really a minimalist scrapbooker so they don't get used quite fast enough for me sometimes.
And then another overview. You can see the cubbies, the bottom of which is where my lights are mounted. I have writing pens up there, books, oversized flowers and ribbon sets (instead of just mixed ribbon in the jars), extra adhesive, mists, and glitter. Also, that little stuffed kitty was my first stuffed animal, her name is Kitty Friend and she's 28 years old. Precious. Also in this picture you can just get a glimpse of the shelf on the left wall that hold my wood mounted rubber stamps. I hate wood mounted rubber stamps because they take up so much space, but I love House Mouse stamps, so I compromise and just have a few.

So that's my closet. I hope you like it. It's small, but it works out for me, mostly. I need more desk space. I'd like to have room to put my Cricut on something solid where it won't have to move to be used. I'm also getting a Sizzix embossing machine (the blue one that looks like a purse) and I have NO idea where I'm going to put it, let alone the folders. Again, it'd be nice if it could be somewhere that I don't have to take it out to use. The whole point of my space is that I don't have to get up to use anything I have. I don't want to be running all over trying to make one page or card. I want everything at my fingertips so that I can work quickly and efficiently, and that includes not having to set up a cutter or embossing machine to be able to use it. I want everything streamlined. And, of course, I'd REALLY like to not be in our bedroom. When I'm awake late at night, or woken early coughing and sick, it'd be nice to sit down and craft. I had a room in our old house in the Bay Area and having to craft on Mike's sleep schedule is not fun.

Ah well, a girl can dream, and dreaming of a bigger house with a room to myself and a fully stocked Copic collection insures my dreams are quite sweet!

01 March, 2011

2011 Anaheim Scrapbook Expo

For her birthday Katie came down and she and I spent a few days in a hotel room right next to Disneyland and went to the OC Scrapbook Expo, which was just down the street. She signed us up for a few classes, I requested a Copic class as well, and on Friday we set off to enjoy the show.

The classes were fun. My Copic class was first, and it completely got her hooked on colouring. She had the same reaction that I did, completely unable to colour, and yet with a Copic in her hands it was magic. She enjoyed herself and ended up buying a very nice starter set of her very own (custom made, of course, as the "official" sets are crap). Katie's choice was a metal class, and making a mini album. I'm not into mini albums, but learning about the embossing folders, what they can do for metal and just plain old paper. Very neat.

Above is a picture of the Expo floor. I took it before it was open so you could actually SEE things. That's a huge BasicGrey booth, but there were a TON of manus and stores there alike. We shopped for bargains (never paying more than $3.99 for our Copic Sketches), and went through every single booth on the floor. We had a lot of fun shopping, spending too much money, talking with random strangers, seeing new techniques, and by the end of it my ankles were just completely DONE.

As we left, the skies opened up and rained on us, so we took a cab back, which was a short but dry trip which helped a lot because I'm not sure I could have made it back to the hotel trying to carry all the stuff we'd acquired. There was a huge debacle with the hotel room, which I'd rather not discuss, but suffice to say: Never stay at the Del Sol Inn in Anaheim (right across from Disneyland).
Once we settled into our new hotel and new hotel room (loyal customers of the Anaheim Plaza Hotel are we!) I took out all of my purchases and laid them out on the table in our room.
These are the papers. Two lines by Bo Bunny, the purple is for random snow photos (of which I have tons) and the pink one is for a mini album about Mike and I. I just couldn't pass up all the cute woodland creatures. The Fancy Pants is actually a new thing for me, as I'm not familiar with their lines, but it's light and pastelish which will be great for spring (I've actually just used it on two cards so far today).
There was a booth with the cutest stamps. I can colour all of them, the examples in the booth were wonderful, and I just kinda went wild. They're a joy to colour, they're well made, and they stamp really well. The wood mounted bridge stamp was actually free when bought with the other two wood mounted and the leaves and cardinal stamps as they were buy 4 get the 5th free. Very good deal, this stamp is so adorable. Also, since the Joann's and Michael's in SoCal are so deficient, I finally got full sized Copic-compatible ink pads. Yay!
Full view of the cardinal stamp I got. I dunno what it is, but I love cardinals, which is weird cos I hate red. They had the new American Crafts woodland collection, which I found adorable, and so I bought all of those papers. It is nice to be able to make your own paper pack, and the stickers are totally cute. The We R Memory Keepers card kit is a cute winterish set. They had a deal 3 for 15, and Katie bought two of this one, and another set, so we could share the deal. I really liked the papers in the card kit, but not enough to buy the full set. I think I just wanted to play with a small amount of the papers so this kit is perfect, and at $5, why not?

So that's it, that's my haul. I spent a crapload of money, but I had a LOT of fun, and Mike said that's what he really wanted me to get out of the weekend. I've been incredibly stressed lately, Cystic Fibrosis issues, so getting away to spend time with my friend was really what I needed. I was a little worried to be away from Mike for so long, but my phone allowing me to text him all the time certainly helped a lot!