Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Also, I'm trying to downsize my fabric collection, especially fleece that I have. My sister and I used to do craft shows and I have an abundance of the stuff. I would try to do some craft shows but there are so many people who do fleece here compared to where I moved from that it's just not worth the effort. I do have some blankets and girls' ponchos left over that I'm going to try to either ebay or etsy them. I don't have an etsy store set up but it is on my to do list. My major dilemma with that is what I need to get rid of doesn't blend with what I want to try to do for future sales but I want to make a store that is what I'm all about. I've also given away some of the fleece blankets to a hospital charity and will give a blanket and poncho to our holiday adopted child.
Okay, not let's get ready for the holidays!!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
One of the major events in my life was taking my husband in for pretty much as-soon-as-they-can gall bladder surgery. He has been in pain for almost 4 months mostly in his chest. That led to an ER visit which led to heart tests and then more tests (ultrasound then a CT scan) when everything checked out fine. All the tests started about a month ago. Hopefully this will take care of the pain. So far, so good.
The only thing I was able to accomplish while waiting on him was finally finishing a book. And, now that I'm finished I'm giving it away. So, if you like to read fiction especially about crafty women go check out the giveaway of The Runaway Quilt.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Next month I get to be the teacher. I am going to show everyone how to make these cool wire-edge ribbon flowers. You can view a tutorial for the folded ribbon rose I wrote over at Craft Critique. I am going to teach this rose plus the leaf and then if we have time I will do the rosette and rolled ribbon rose. They are quite easy to do once you get the feel of it and they work up very quickly.
Monday, July 9, 2007
The pictures on the page are from our trip downtown. One is my daughter in the cold water with Chicago in the background - the tallest building is the Hancock building. The other picture is her in front of one of the art pieces displayed along Michigan Avenue. The current collection are fashion inspired pieces using a dress form shape. This one was called Metamorphosis. There was a cocoon also but the streets were just too busy to keep stopping for photos.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
- I grew up in a very small coal-mining town in the Appalachia foothills of Southern Ohio. The town was home to Hull Pottery and other various potteries before they all closed.
- One talent I wish I had would be to be an awesome singer. I love to sing BUT no one wants to hear it. Fortunately, I am aware of this or I might find myself failing miserably on American Idol.
- Our family dog when I was growing up was a little dachsand that my mom named Nikki after the character on The Young and the Restless.
- I lived in Arkansas for 5 years and while there got to see President Clinton win both elections watching the second one right in the front of the stage where he gave his acceptance speech. We also got to see Tony Bennet and Kathy Mattea sing. It was one of the coolest things to be a part of with all the major news anchors and select celebrities.
- I collect tea pots. I probably started this because of drinking tea with my mom when I was a kid. I still have the teapot she used that was made near my hometown at McCoy pottery where my sister worked at the time. Oh, and we didn't "do" tea like you would think. There was nothing fancy about it. Tea was just a drink and there was nothing ceremonial but I still enjoyed it.
- I never thought I would have kids. My sister's 3 were enough for me growing up but then I got married and we decided to try. My daughter is the most special thing in my life.
- Speaking of special things, my husband and I met in July, engaged in December and married in May and we have been married 15 years! Wow!
Well, hope that was enough sharing. I'm suppose to tag other people but I don't want to pick any favorites so if you would like to share, feel free. I look forward to what you have to say.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Let me know what you think but be kind since it is my first one. I hope it is useful.
Here is a photo of the completed stitch.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
My quilting articles always have the latest posts listed on the side bar here so you can check those out whenever you like. Also, if you're not a regular over at Craft Critique you should check them out as well. They had a very popular segment on organization which I didn't participate in because I'm more in need of an organizational intervention. I'm lucky if I can see the floor of my craft space from time to time. I did read the articles so I really shouldn't have too many excuses.... Some of my articles though lately include - Celebrations: Tea Party, Kids Craft: Decoupage, and Michael Miller Memories Fabric Paper.
Also, last night at our Chicagoland Craft Collective meetup I helped Susie teach embroidery stitches. She does some nice embroidery. You can visit her and see what she's working on at her blog Susie Can Stitch.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Thank you so much Summer.
Monday, June 4, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Of course this would be awesome if it could work that way for crafters especially quilters and knitters who love to have the "stash". One of the comments on this article addresses this because of the advice of only "pick up what you need." I have yet to meet a crafter who can walk out of a store with only what they need for a project and then if they do it usually means they forgot something and will have to go back or make due if possible.
There is also the question if it becomes a business, is it still a hobby? I hope someday to be lucky enough to incorporate what I love to do with what I need to sustain an income. For now it would just be nice to break even.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
To help keep you connected to my quilting news I have added a feed of the Vertical Quilting Curve on the side panel so you can see the newest articles published over there. I am still getting used to the Word Press program that the blog is done through so I've only just started to add photos and I just added a photo of a new needle punch piece if you want to take a look.
Hope you get a chance to take a look!
Friday, May 25, 2007
Don't forget that today is Memorial Day, a day to remember those who died serving our country. Also, look out for veterans selling poppies to help raise money for disable and hospitalized veterans. Without getting into politics I would like to say this is a very important cause to support the men and women who willingly put themselves in danger answering a call most of us don't have to. My father and both brothers served in the military but luckily did not need the use of the medical facilities although they covered WWII, Vietnam and the Cuban Missile Crisis. One of my strongest memories of my childhood is how my mother would make sure she went to town to buy her little paper poppy on poppy days. You can learn more about the story of the poppies that hospitalized veterans make by clicking here.
Have a fun and happy weekend!
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Also, since the new blog is a quilting blog, I will be keeping this one for all of my other crafting and everday life adventures. I will also still be doing articles over at Craft Critique. Speaking of, be sure to check out my last one on Michael Miller Memories fabric paper. It was published last week but I didn't get a chance to sit down and tell you all about it.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
2. Relaxation. Many knitters, crocheters and other needle artists I know say they do it for de-stressing. In the November 2005 issue of Natural Health they ran an article "Knit one, relax two" where knitting was cited as a meditation method. Click here to read the article.
3. Meet new people. Make new friends. I've moved around a few times and I always make friends by joining the local embroidery or quilt guild. After moving to the Chicago area I used Meetup.com to find the Chicagoland Craft Collective and the Palatine Crochet Group. Most groups don't require you to be experienced in the craft represented just interested and there are always people willing to teach each other.
4. Make gifts for friends and family. Want to give someone a special gift that's not mass produced by someone overseas? Or, maybe you want to give something a little more personalized? Find a book, take a class or enlist a crafty friend to help you learn how to sew, paint or decoupage.
5. Just to have fun! Of course, this is probably included in most if not all the 1st 4 reasons but it is probably the most important. But, if you find you start a craft then decide it's not for you, don't give up on all crafts. Just because you're all thumbs and can't for the life of you cast stitches onto a knitting needle it doesn't mean you can't try to make that mosaic stepping stone for the garden.
I hope you give something new a try. Everyone has the ability to be creative in some way. Whether you scrapbook your favorite photos or quilt a full sized bed cover just remember to enjoy yourself, especially when you first begin. Your skills will improve with each step of the way and you will make new friends and impress old ones.
This post was inspired by Problogger's Group Writing Project. If you have a blog of your own and are looking at ways to grow or are thinking about blogging as a business Problogger is a great place to start.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
As my interest in the craft/hobby has grown I have even done a book review, Scrapbook Styles: Fabric and Florals, for Craft Critique that put scrapbooking with some of my favorite things involving fabric. At that time I did my first 12" x 12" page using a cute cat fabric and an assortment of photos of my first cat. Although it turned out nicely, it just wasn't quite finished. Since I had not been doing scrapbooking very long I really didn't have the embellishments to give it the finishing touch. The weeks following my original creation I went on several hunts to find just the right items but it seems like I would find something and then it wouldn't be the right color or size. Eventually I picked up enough things to sit down and embellish the page. As you can see in the photo, I didn't really add too much more but I feel like I accomplished a good page.
Some of the things I used to finish it were some star shaped brads from Spare Parts. These were especially helpful for attaching the matted photos to the page. Since I had used fabric for the background I didn't think glue or regular adhesive would hold up so I attached the photos to the background with the brads. Some other embellishments include Love My Cat stickers from Karen Foster Design, an acrylic heart piece from Spare Parts and fabric letters from Spare Parts.
Friday, May 4, 2007
The magazine file I chose to do really got my creative juices flowing. I was cutting, gluing and even ironing. It turned out super well, too. I have to say I was very happy with myself since I haven't done that much papercrafting. You will have to see for yourself over at Craft Critique. I hope it inspires you. I know I will be making more and may do one for my daughter's teacher for an end of the year gift but probably not quite so involved. To see the details of how I made an altered magazine file and up close pictures just click on over to Craft Critique: Altered Ikea Magazine File.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I have become the family cake creator which lets me get to try out different things without having a cake left over at home. For the first time I decided to try some fondant decorations especially since my daughter wanted to help. Since we were short on time because of the 2 1/2 hour trip to my in-laws I purchased Wilton's Ready-To-Use Rolled Fondant (Neon Colors Multi Pack). I also purchased the Daisy Fondant Cut-Outs and the Fondant Cutter and Embosser. The best part of this was the fondant was easy to roll out and cut with the cut-outs just like cookie dough. The worst part was the taste. Since I've never made my own fondant I don't have anything to compare it to except for the traditional buttercream recipe which is always a hit with everyone. I did use the buttercream for the background and then my daughter and I placed the colorful flowers onto the icing. She really enjoyed doing this especially since she wasn't able to use the decorator bags very well on her grandpa's cake.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Craft Critique: 2007 International Quilt Festival; Chicago#links
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
The show is great! It is the first time I've been to this one. I've never been to the original one in Houston but I have been to the Paducah Quilt Show which is amazing and is on my list to get back to. I am showing you a detail from a quilt by Kathy York titled Little Cities. It is machine and fused appliqued, machine pieced and machine quilted. The detail is the center of the quilt. I love how it has the circular quilting pattern rippling out from the center and the colors are so vibrant. You can see the quilts online beginning tomorrow on the quilt show's website, Quilts, Inc.
I am also sharing with you one of the vendors in the Make It University area sponsored by Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine. Ten Seconds Studio has unique tools to emboss metal and add them to your scrapbooking, cardmaking or as shown in the picture, wonderful little art quilts. You can find the supplies at alteredstyle.com. I picked up some of their rub-ons because they stick to fabric (used for art pieces not to be laundered). I will let you know when I get a chance to try them out.
At the quilt show I am taking a class on Saturday. It is called Threads of Imagination by Cara Gulati. I think I'm going to be a little tired and a little broke at the end of the weekend but hopefully I will be really inspired. I've already learned so much just from the vendors I've met tonight and I've probably only touched a small fraction of what is there. Wish me luck and if you can, stop by the show online.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Since my Doll Cake was such a hit at my daughters birthday party I wanted to make one for my father-in-law. My daughter was eager to help and I was limited on time so I decided we needed something simple. This cake was only going to be 2 layers but I recently purchased very nice, heavy-duty Wilton non-stick cake pans which were 9" round instead of the 8" I originally had. The layers looked rather short especially since I was going to write all of the terms of endearment for him around the sides. The quick cake become a longer adventure just by baking another layer to allow the space for writing. I made the usual buttercream icing but I didn't have enough to add some extra elements like I had planned and I was running behind. My daughter had picked out Jelly Belly jelly beans to put on the cake. We had thought of spelling out Happy Birthday with them but it just wasn't going to work. She came up with the idea of placing them around the cake for a border. Pretty clever for a six year old I think. She wanted to help by putting polka dots with the blue icing but she still doesn't quite have the pressure correct on the decorating bag. We are going to have to make a practice cake for her in the future. Anyway, it wasn't quite what I had imagined and it took waaay longer than it should have but everyone loved it especially when it came to the eating part.
Friday, April 6, 2007
You will be able to see my first fabric bowl and my first fabric postcard. The bowl if you look closely is a little lopsided but I think the black fringe helps out. (You can get a peek at the bowl in my flickr gallery in the side bar near the bottom). And, my postcard is a little plain but still pretty cute. I just learned how to do them at the Sewing Smorgasbord I went to a couple of weeks ago. There are so many ways to embellish them and I plan on making some more because they are so much fun and a pretty quick project to do that you can share with someone. They would make great swap items.
You can also check out my tote bag I did earlier which introduced me to InnerFuse. It makes a great side pocket on a bag that doesn't sag. So make sure you go check it out the full article.
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Monday, April 2, 2007
As you may have read in my earlier post about the Smorgasbord, I was most hoping to take the felting make-it-and-take-it demo. I'm happy to say I got into the class. For a $10 kit fee we received a Needle Felting Starter Kit by Fiber Trends, wool roving and a Styrofoam egg shape to make a pincushion. Usually, you would felt an entire egg from the roving but because of time constraints our instructor had us cover the Styrofoam.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I had a great time visiting family and attending the Sewing Smorgasbord. I have so much to share with you that I will be doing several posts on what I saw and what I learned. I just wish I had more pictures for you. I was so excited to go that morning I left my camera in my suitcase at my sister's house. But, I will have pictures of the goodies I bought and projects I've done as a result of the classes.
Just in case you need some more reading and you are into or would like to get into scrapbooking or other papercrafts, check out Craft Critique. While I've been gone they have been cranking out articles on all kinds of adhesives for mostly paper. It's a great resource and there are too many to list here.
Also, Craft Critique is holding a contest. All you will have to do is send a photo of a fabric inspired papercraft or paper inspired fabric craft. Check out the guidelines and get the email address on the right side of the home page to get some free goodies.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Recently I whined to my husband that I wish I didn't work. If I didn't, I could get so much more done. He doesn't believe me because when I stay home with our sick daughter it all seems to fall apart more but when he stays home with her he gets things done. My argument is that if I were to stay at home while she is in school then I could get more done. Unlike him I find different tasks to do and my daughter is much different with me than him especially when she is sick. I'm sure all moms have stories like that.
Anyway I have been working on several projects and hope to show them soon. I will be going on a trip for a few days so I won't be posting anything until I get back. My sister and I will be attending the Ohio State University Perry County Extension's annual Sewing Smorgasbord in Thornville, OH (see this PDF for details) this weekend. They have several demonstrations and workshops and I hope to get to try the needle felting class. Hopefully I will have something to show when I get back. Hope everyone has a great weekend and I will be back next week.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
I happened to have a medium glass candle globe and tissue. I bought some Modge Podge by Plaid this weekend. We cut up pieces of tissue paper. We used a brush to apply the glue then pressed the paper in place overlapping them as we went. After the globe was covered we apply an extra coat of glue and let it dry. I added some specialty yarn to my globe and the smaller one she made. I added some beads using 28 gauge wire to secure them to the hanging lengths of the yarn on the larger globe.
Now I have two special candle holders that look as if I purchased them at a boutique and my daughter is ready to make more for gifts. Quick, cheap and gorgeous! Can you get any better than that?
Sunday, March 11, 2007
The delightful and informative ladies of the guild showed quite the variety of items you can make with a crochet hook and yarn or thread. I might not even remember them all! They all had their hooks out happily displaying their skills and giving insight on crochet in general and in the different applications. Of course, you had the very traditional items of afghans, scarfs, hats and the Granny Square. There were also handbags, lace, clothing and jewelry.
My favorite items were purses made using freeform crochet and jewelry. Freeform crochet is a very liberating art form where you don't follow a pattern and simply let your hook and yarn take you on a journey. It is like crazy quilting for crocheters. It makes fabulous purses and abstract art pieces. Click here to see a site with multitudes of examples. The jewelry they had made actually was made two different ways. There was beaded crochet which I have done before and they also made jewelry and art pieces using wire as their yarn. I actually bought some wire today to do a little playing. I will post a piece when I do. I found a great tutorial at the Lapidary Journal site - check it out.
I really want to join the guild so I can take advantage of the upcoming classes and workshops they will be doing. Oh, how I love to learn new things and meet people with the same creative disorder I have because then I don't feel so crazy after all.
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
For this particular shirt I used an iron-on applique that I purchased on clearance earlier this year. After ironing it on I used a narrow zigzag stitch in a matching thread. I wanted to make sure this would last through washings. Then I used a Gemagic Rhinestone Setter (similar to the Bedazzler) to set some colored rhinestones around the applique.
Sunday, March 4, 2007
The first card is hard to see it as pieced together in the picture. In fact it is hard to see it is pieced together in person. Since I am just starting these paper projects and I have limited tools and trims I wanted to do something simple but I think would still be sophisticated. I simply took two coordinating papers - one striped and one with messages. After cutting a piece of card stock and using my score blade so I could fold it I cut the striped paper and glued it to the front of the blank card. I cut out the words I wanted from the other paper, arranged them and glued them down. This was my husband's Valentine's card and he loves it. He thought it was one of those fancy Hallmark cards at first.
The second card started out the same but I chose to only go with one print and a coordinating blue cardstock. After cutting the front piece of paper for the card and gluing it in place I cut it with the scallop blade so the cardstock would show behind it and then cut the back to match. I still wanted simplicity but I also wanted some pizazz. After seeing projects done with the Crop-a-Dile I decided adding an eyelet would be an excellent idea but I didn't have that snazzy tool but I did have a Dritz(R) Eyelet Plier Kit in my fabric tools. So I added an eyelet on the front and back and bought some ribbon. The ribbon is attached by making a knot in the middle of the length of ribbon to secure it when threaded through both eyelets. After threading it through the card simply tie it in a bow. I'm definitely going to make more of these for birthday and thank you cards.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
Thank goodness times have changed. Now that knitting and crocheting are growing in numbers among all ages of people the knitting shops are not only traditional but becoming very hip. There are several in the Chicago area and I plan on visiting them all and I will share what I find here. Today took me to West Dundee and East Dundee, Illinois.
The first shop I stopped by was The Gifted Purl on Main Street in West Dundee. This is a quaint shop in an old downtown storefront with a creaky wooden floor. The staff is super friendly and very helpful. There are comfy chairs and a sofa to sit and stitch at any time you would like to stop by. My 6 year old daughter was with me and took advantage of a box of toys from which she built a town from Lincoln Logs while I browsed. You can choose from several classes including knit and crochet although they specialize in knitting. Their signature activity is Friday Night Stitch In which they do every Friday beginning at 5:30 and ends whenever. The shopkeeper said last night they were there until midnight! They have been in business for 2 years and have a great selection of specialty yarns including cottons, wools, silks and blends.
The second shop was across the Fox River in East Dundee on River Road also in an old storefront. The Fishbed Knitting Emporium has only been open for 3 months but looks like a lot longer with the great inventory of yarns especially wools. There were so many colors it definitely was like visiting one of those candy shops with the rows of colorful candies along the walls. My daughter was impressed with this one because there was real candy to sample and the owner was very sweet to her. The coolest items in the shop were not even knitted. The owner, a fashion design major in college, had a couple of fiber art headdresses on display. One was made with wire springs, cut out pieces from scrap CDs and old computer parts. I wish I had had my camera with me.
Of course I couldn't leave either store without buying something (see the photo). At the Gifted Purl I purchased a handcrafted kettle-dyed wool by Manos del Uruguay and at the Fishbed I purchased a 100% corn fiber (yes corn like you eat) called aMaizing by the South West Trading Company. Now I just have to make something. I am a new knitter but have been crocheting since I was 5 so I will probably choose crochet over knit for now. I want to do a felting project with the wool and I'll have to see with the corn. I'll share with you what I discover with both of these. Corn! I still am aMaized.
Friday, March 2, 2007
I am currently working on a photo layout of my daughter's Christmas portraits. I used my new Cutterpede paper trimmer to cut the rectangles for the matting but I had to use a ruler and exacto knife to cut the opening. If only I had one of those cool paper punches to easily cut the hole in one fluid movement I would be done a lot sooner.
This got me to thinking about all the things I want to have within easy reach to make my crafting better and more efficient. Here is my list. What would you put on yours?
- A new fancy, schmancy sewing machine with decorative stitches. I love my old machine (my mom bought it for me 15 years ago) but I really want to be able to add different stitches to jazz up my projects.
- Embroidery machine. Again I would love to do some embellishing especially for customizing our wardrobes and home decor.
- One of those quilt frames where you don't have to baste your layers together. Since I don't have a quilt frame at all this would eliminate my reasons for not quilting my big quilt tops.
- Long arm quilting machine. I would have even fewer reasons for not finishing quilts and it would be much easier than machine quilting on my regular sewing machine. Plus, these machines would have as Tim Allen would say "More Power (insert grunting sounds)."
- Better digital camera. I love photography and love to put photos in my crafts no matter what medium.
- Better color printer. I really need this. I bought a cheapo just to get by when my good one died. I haven't done any memory quilts or photo crafts since.
- A knitting machine. I just learned how to knit but I want things faster darn it. It could help out with bags I want to felt.
- A nice looking OTT floor lamp. I have a small portable one but it just doesn't work in the living room very well.
- Oh, and a new house so I can fit everything in it without taking over the living room, the dining room, the bedroom, the garage, etc.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
I also have been adding to my helium.com articles. One of my latest ones I thought you might enjoy reading especially if you like making handcrafted items for gifts. Although I initiated the topic, I am no longer ranked #1 at the moment but the other articles written on the topic of “Why Make Crafts for Gifts” are great reads. I find great joy in creating my own gifts for people instead of always purchasing ready-made.
I hope you enjoy these articles and that they inspire to try something new or keep up with the projects you have. You might even join in on the conversation by writing your own article or leaving a comment here or at Craft Critique.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Wow! It feels so good to actually finish a project. I love to start projects. I love to learn new techniques and will take an interesting class whenever I am able to. But most of the time I start a project or finish a class it usually gets so far then ends up unfinished because I find a new project or new technique I just have to try. Of course, I have finished many projects over the years but compared to all the projects I have started the list is quite short. Lately I have been trying to start items that can be easily finished and this tote bag is one example.
The punchneedle emboidery piece was squared to the best of my ability. I added a couple of borders to complete a quilt block I wanted to use for a pocket on a tote. I used Heavyweight InnerFuse by Dritz to fuse together the block with a piece of muslin. The block was then trimmed again. I used a satin stitch across the top edge of the block. Then I centered and pinned the block to a ready-made denim tote and stitched it to the tote with the same satin stitch as the top.
For everyone who regularly stops by and have seen my little tidbits about Craft Critique, my bio has been published over there. And because of that I have several more people checking Crazy Crafting Mama out.
I'm still a newbie in blogland and have been enjoying every minute of it but I'm still learning my way around so if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to contact me or leave a post. One of my favorite things of doing this is being able to be apart of the very large crafting community and being able to have conversations with everyone.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
I had seen a pincushion made from a miniature flower pot and I thought I would try to do one with my miscellaneous cups. So I bought a couple of the Pebeo Porcelaine 150 colors and a booklet. Following the directions for painting on a glazed teapot I first painted a base of a fuchsia color. After drying I then did a rag technique with gold. Then when this dried it was heated in the oven. I cut a square of fabric about 1" larger than the diameter of the mug. I placed fiberfill inside the mug, tucked in the sides of the fabric and glued the fabric in place. I used a jewel glue to glue on trim, tassels and buttons. And that's it. It was really easy and it looks great. I also made a couple for gifts. I'm hoping to do some more and hope to share them here with you.