Friday, January 20, 2017

4 months!

Hi friends,

4 months?  Oh, my!  I had no idea it has been that long since I've posted here.  I guess I should try to do better.

I've been doing a lot of crocheting.  I started a shawl and what I think will be more of a lap blanket.  I'm using size 20 crochet cotton thread, so they are a lot different than using yarn.  I get a lot of partially used balls of thread at Good Will, and I'm generally not too picky about the colors, so I wanted to make something that would use those and wouldn't matter if I ran out of a color.  So I found a motif pattern that's pretty easy to work up.  I've never worked with motifs before, so this was a new experience for me.  This particular pattern gets connected on the last round of the motif, and then there are smaller motifs for fill in between the larger ones.

The colored one will be the lap blanket.  The fill in motifs are black, which is very hard to work on at night or even a cloudy day, so I tend to add a row of large motifs before going back on a sunny day and working in the black.  You can see where the black has not yet been added.

The white one will be a shawl, but because all white thread is not identical (you know, like 50 shades of gray?, but white...), I will most likely dye this one when it is finished.

I'm thinking maybe dark blue.  Here's a close up of the motifs.

Something else I've discovered is that there is a great amount of disparity between brands of crochet thread.  Although all of these are size 10, they really are not all the same size.  But, I don't think it's going to matter on these projects... size is pretty flexible.

Another thing I did recently is make a trivet from wine corks.

I cut them in half & hot glued them together.  I wish I would have made it thinner, so the next one will be.  I'm cutting the corks into quarters this time.  Here's a picture where it doesn't blend into the background so much.

And, after about a month of not touching my stamps, I have done some stamping.  I was about 11 weeks behind in the alphabet challenge on SCS, and I'm now completely caught up.

I also had my classes this month, so I needed to make cards for those.  And sometimes I like to do the technique that is posted each week in a special tutorial.  This week was a faceted box.  I made one.

And thought maybe I would not make another.  But when I showed it to my class ladies, they wanted to make one, so that is on the agenda for next month.  I changed up the instructions a little on the size of paper to start with, because it didn't make sense to make it longer than necessary & then cut off the excess.  This also made scoring the long sides the same measurements on both sides.

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my very neglected blog.  Have a great weekend. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

choo choo

Hi friends.  I've been having fun with waterfall cards lately.  Originally, I think these were meant to be vertical, so they actually represented a waterfall, but I've seen also some horizontal ones.  I've been using the horizontal layout.  Sometimes, I think either would work, but occasionally, the horizontal style is necessary.  They appear to be a complicated card, but really are rather simple.  I've also done some experimenting with the size of the actually moving parts. Here are some I've recently made. 

I made this floral one for a technique challenge on SCS.  Then I used it as one of the techniques in my class this month.  I realized that as long as the moving parts fit underneath the brace strip, I could pretty much do anything on this.  The butterfly extends beyond the pull strip, but is on on stationary part of the strip. 

This one was a card request by my DH for a friend he plays volleyball with.  These are the colors on their shirts. 

And this one was made for a little 4 year old boy who loves trains.  He just had some surgery and I hope this will cheer him up.  I really stretched the parameters on this one.  I made the pull strip 1/2" wider than normal, and all of the train cars extend above or below the strip, but I made sure they would still fit under the brace.  Because this card will most likely be played with a bit, I doubled the eyelets on the brace for more stability.  The engine.

The coal car. 

The box car. 

And the caboose. 

Thank you so much for stopping in for a visit today. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

another mug rug

Hi friends.  I apologize that this blog has been so neglected.  It's not that I haven't been creating, because I have. 

The last weekend of July and the first week of August was the Dare to Get Dirty Challenge scramble (haha, for want of a better description) on SCS.  The challenges are for SCS fan club members only as a special thank you for supporting the site.  This is an annual event, and this year there were a total of 42 challenges during that week.  There are random prizes drawn for participants, and some special prizes for those who create a separate card for each challenge, also called the challenge queens.  I qualified as a queen this year, so by the time the week was over, I was pretty exhausted.  I happened to win one of the prizes this year, which I think is pretty cool. It's a $25 gift certificate for Serendipity Stamps.  I'm going to have a hard time choosing. 

Here are a few of the cards I made that week.  For Dina's challenge:

For Alba's challenge: 

For Angie's challenge: 

For Sabrina's challenge - the flowers on this one were colored with milk & heated - a rather fun technique: 

For Robin's challenge: 

For Bev's challenge: 

For Nancy's challenge: 

I could add more, but maybe in another post. 

I also wanted to show you the special mug rug I made for Lydia's birthday, which is Wednesday.  She has a couple of rescue cats, and designed a cat image for some merchandise.  I wanted her mug rug to be meaningful to her, so I used her cat image as a starting point.  The cat is hand appliqued and the features are machine appliqued.  I did a lot of funky hand quilting in the background. 

I hope she loves it.   She should have received it, so I feel free to post this. 

Thank you so much for stopping by today. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

just saying hello

Hi friends.  Today I made a card for last week's alphabet challenge post #2183 on splitcoast.  It was week 26, which meant the letter Z.  A 2nd part of the challenge was to add up the numbers in your zip code & also use the letter that number represented.  Mine added up to 25 (Y). 

I thought I had finished my card, took photos, & started to write this post, when I realized that I had forgotten to do part 2 of the challenge.  Oops!  So back to add some yellow for Y, retake all the photos, crop, etc.... and here I am. 

I made a waterfall card.  It's a fun interactive card that looks really complicated, but actually is not hard at all, if you have some good directions to follow.  Splitcoast has a great tutorial, and there are also others online, including videos.  I used a bit of both, but then made some slight alterations in the measurements to fit the stamp image.  I also made my waterfall mechanism horizontal instead of vertical.  I also added the round tab punch to act as a pull tab. 

Here is the card before you pull the tab to activate the waterfall.  I made some stripes with black and white cardstock.

And as you pull the tab, each image becomes visible. 

The next one is zebra striped paper.

And with the tab fully extended.  

Here is a closeup of the zebra image. 

If you've never made a waterfall card, I recommend that you try it.  It's really a fun card. 

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  Have a great day. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

don't hide the elephant

Hi friends.  Yikes!  I can't believe how long it's been since I posted! 

I've been steadily working on the butterfly quilt blocks.  I have a lot of them appliqued (haven't been counting), but still need to add the antennae.  I think I'll embroider those on with black embroidery floss.  I still need to pick out a few more fabrics for the backgrounds.  I'm planning a total of 90 blocks, so it is a big project.  I watch basically no TV, except for the Brewers baseball games.  This is time that I can do handwork -- thus a quilt such as this. 

Something else I've been working on is some mug rugs. 

In May, Mark & I, and some friends since back in his GE days went up to Westby, Wisconsin for a weekend.  Westby is a little town not too far from La Crosse.  It is also the home of Branches Winery, owned and operated by another former GE friend, Gene Burgholz & his wife, Therese.  The winery has only been in operation 3 years, but we were quite impressed.  And there wasn't a single wine that we didn't like.  If you get the opportunity to visit, I would definitely recommend doing so. 

Besides the winery, Gene took us out to his house to see his 'collection'.  Apparently over the years, he has gone hunting in Africa a number of times.  He has a large room filled with his prizes from the hunt.  And center stage is the head of an elephant!  He explained to us the process of mounting it -- quite an undertaking.  I wish I had thought to take some photos. 

So, back to the mug rugs.  I wanted to send a thank you gift to Gene & Therese, so I made them each a mug rug.  I thought an elephant would be perfect for Gene, so I searched for a silhouette online, and then adapted & simplified it to work for an applique.  This one is machine appliqued and hand quilted.  (Don't look too closely at my quilting stitches.)  Here is the elephant (front and back). 

Since Therese is a quilter, I used a quilt block on hers.  The hexagon flower was an extra from the quilt top that I finished last year (that still needs to be quilted). This one is hand appliqued and hand quilted. 

 I know that not everyone knows what a mug rug is, so I created a poem on a tag to put with the gift. 

And a close up: 

Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit today.  Have a wonderful day. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Hi friends.  A couple of weeks ago, I started working on a new quilt - hand applique butterflies.  I know it's a big project, but I love that it's portable until the blocks are all sewn together. 

I like to use freezer paper when I do hand applique.  That means cutting each piece from freezer paper (which I do in multiples) - I fold the paper twice, trace the pattern as many times as will fit on the folded sheet, then staple the center of each & cut them out.  I iron the shiny side to the wrong side of the fabric & cut those out with an additional 1/4" seam allowance.  I don't measure that, just guess.  Then I clip any curves and glue the seam allowance to the freezer paper with a washable fabric glue. 

For this quilt, I just pulled scraps from my stash.  I only needed enough to have matching upper or lower wings, but I cut both from many of the fabrics.  I am not putting any of the same upper and lower fabrics together on the same block.  This picture just shows some of the pieces.  These are prepped, but not sewn yet.  The stack in the lower left is just a small amount of wings that I've paired upper & lower. 

I also needed to choose background fabrics for the blocks and I don't want to use 2 the same.  The finished blocks will be 9", so I'm starting with 10" blocks, & will trim any extra off to 9-1/2" after the butterflies are sewn on.  That will allow for any variance if my stitching is tighter on any blocks. 

The plan is to make 90 blocks (9 x 10).  I think I have enough wings cut & prepped, but still need to choose more backgrounds.  As you can see from the pictures, I'm using both light and dark fabrics for the wings as well as the backgrounds. 

I made a basic template block from paper with the butterfly drawn on, so I can put it on my light table, lay the fabric on top & glue the wings down.  This way I can be sure that I have the butterflies centered on the blocks.  I roughly timed how long it takes to stitch all the wing pieces on & that was about an hour. 

Once the wings are stitched (blind stitch by hand), then I cut out the backing, leaving the seam allowance.

I then soak the block in warm water for a couple of minutes and pull out the paper. 

Once the block is dry, it gets pressed and is ready for the butterfly body. 
I haven't sewn any of the bodies on yet, but the process will be the same as the wings. 

Thanks so much for joining me today.  I hope you'll follow along on this journey.  I'll try to post more pictures as I go along. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

the great divide

Hi friends.  I thought I should post something, so you don't feel neglected. 

I worked in a booth at the stamp/scrap expo on Friday and Saturday.  I was demoing some dies, so I was on my feet all day.  It felt good to get home and sit. 

It's finally gotten really warm here... somewhere around 80, which for me is actually too warm.  We had windows and doors open, so there was a bit of breeze blowing in, but the breeze has tapered off now. 

I wanted to enter the StampTV release challenge, so I put together a quick card this evening. 

I used Gina K Design stamps hugs & prayers and stately flowers I.  The designer paper was just some scraps left from demoing.  They were too small to use, but just too nice to toss, so I threw them in my bag and brought them home.  The green strip was more blue-green, but I just added some green ink, so it would match the flower stem better.  The flower and bird were colored with distress inks. 

Thanks so much for stopping by.