Friday, August 30, 2013

Journal Cover

I was intrigued by the Stitched in Color journal cover tutorial, so I have kept it in mind for my friend's daughter (age 12) and now the time has come to reveal my interpretation.  The tutorial features patchwork journal covers and I really considered doing that.  The girl likes bright colors lately, so I thought about doing something with a fun design, but I just couldn't muster the spirit.  So I did something with ribbons.

I really thought about doing horizontal and vertical ribbons and then weaving them together, but that idea was squashed when I thought about how easy pens would catch on the woven part.   So just horizontal.  I like that all the ribbons are different:  one is velvet (orange), one is like a skinny twill tape, one is satiny and the others are fake grosgrain (fauxgros?).
As for the tutorial...not bad at all -- it was very easy to follow.  Good stuff.  Oh, and this fits one of those composition notebooks.

I also sent along a sand art kit by Djeco.   Her mom hates glitter, so I couldn't go with the glitter art kit, but she's never said anything about sand.  This sand art kit featured masks.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pirate Princess Painting Psmock

The "p" is silent.

Irate Rincess Ainting Smock?

So here is the second painting smock for my sister's kids.  The first was for my nephew and catered to his favorite topic:  dinosaurs.

My niece likes pirates.  She's almost three and her smock can only be worn by a pirate princess, which, as luck would have it, she is.
Again, it's from Oliver + S: Little Things to Sew.  Unlike the last smock, this one has bias tape lined armpits.  Speaking of...
The two side panels are identical, though the pocket pirates are a bit different.  The black/white skull fabric was previously used in a cheerleader costume.  The pink pirate pocket fabric was originally used for my mom's apron, though I don't seem to have a non-mom photo of it and I'm guessing she does not want to be featured here.  Both fabrics were used for these aprons.

As for the skull and crossbones patch, I bought two of these when I made that cheerleader costume.  One went on the costume and the other was stuck to my roller derby bag.  I peeled the latter off the other night and stitched it onto this smock.  Thanks to my book club ladies for advising me on the best placement for it.

So this package gets sent out today with both aprons and some do-a-dot markers.  They are like bingo dabbers, but in fun colors. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Set Your Places...

...with placemats!

I made six quilted placemats for my friend's belated birthday gift.  My inspiration was here, but I decided not to do any patchwork and just used the quilting idea.  My walking foot was a beast.  It kept making loud noises, spitting black mascara dust onto my fabric, and then choking every once in a while.  On the last set, the green, I finally took it off and just quilted with my normal foot.  I probably need to take my machine in for its 60,000 stitch tune up.
Two bound in yellow, two in peach, and two in green.

One of each is quilted in this sun/horizon style with four different coordinating threads:
And two in this squiggly line pattern:

I backed them with some floral fabric that is a coordinating version of my umbrella fabric:

I feel like they are almost, but not quite, a complete game of SET.

I am thinking I could make some napkins out of the remaining floral fabric.  That would be sharp.  The gift is already late...could just be a little later.  But I wanted to send it with her kid's present and that birthday is in early September.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

State Fair 2013

We made our third visit to the Minnesota State Fair today.  We definitely go for the food.  It has such good fair food.  This year we tried the following:
Dough-sant by French Meadow
I don't know.  I think this Dough-sant is supposed to be like this fancy cronut that has people peeing their pants in NYC or wherever.  But it definitely did not look like that.  As for taste, well, it was okay.  All of the Fair reviewers have been gushing about this one, but it was not my favorite at all.

That was breakfast.  For lunch we had steak sandwiches at the Mancini's booth.  Seasoned steak, peppers, and focaccia.  Delicious
Chased by some draft root beer.  1919, I think, is the brand.  See the frothiness:

And then there's our finale of Minneapple (deep friend apple) pie with cinnamon ice cream and all you can drink milk (for $1!):

I also found the displays of all the jam, quilt, and other crafty submissions this year.  For some reason I could never find it in the prior two years.  

I love how all the baked goods have the samples sliced out of them.

My favorite baked good submission was this:
How did this not have a blue ribbon on it?  This was fabulous.

And the needle arts submissions were also pretty good:

And then this one is very mysterious:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Painter's Apron

My sister's kids do a lot of art, so I've made a little art smock for my nephew's fourth birthday.  I plan to make one for my niece, as well, because when I was a kid I remember getting something when it was my sister's birthday.  

As for this one, I used the bias tape apron pattern from Oliver + S: Little Things to Sew.  The book has an actual paint smock pattern, but my mom said that the kids like to paint their arms, so I did a sleeveless apron.  
I used some plastic coated dinosaur fabric.  I have had this in my stash since 2008.  I remember the year, because my husband and I went to Tucson for a one day work training session.  After work we went to get some sort of authentic Mexican food and there was a thrift store near that.  I bought a bag full of fabric, sorted it on the sidewalk, and redonated what I didn't want.  That way I did not have to schlep home any ugly fabric.

I did the medium size that fits up to size 6.  He's a big kid for four, so I hope this fits him.  Maybe I could have squeezed out a large, but I really wanted this blue T-rex centered on the apron front.

I have yet to put snaps on the back of it, but that will finish it off.  It was a relatively quick and easy sew.  This is plastic coated, so I had to sew with some tissue paper (from V Secret, of all places!) under the presser foot.  I accidentally did one French-seamed shoulder and one makeshift flat felled seam.  I don't know why.  And I forgot to put bias tape under the armpit.  Oh well.

Other things I've made out of this book:
Puppet Theatre
Bucket hats

Monday, August 19, 2013

Textile Center

I've known about the Textile Center for a while now, but had never made it to their facility until this weekend.  It was actually my husband's idea.  It is really focused on the education of fiber arts, like dyeing, quilting, needlework, weaving, etc.  They had a little shop, a little gallery, and a bunch of studio space.

I picked up a bag made of woven plastic bags for my sister for Christmas:

And then I bought a fat quarter of hand marbled fabric from Holland.  I bought it as a gift, but the more I look at it, the more I want to make something out of a little zipper pouch.

Or I could just take a class on marbling.  I think that's what I really want to do.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Gift bags...for December

Sometimes fabrics get earmarked for certain projects, so I pull them out of the stash, set them aside, and wait for the right time to make them.  Sometimes those fabrics get earmarked years in advance and go through periods of being back in the stash or awaiting project initiation...depending on how clean my craft space is.  Christmas fabrics have had such a fate.  A few years back I made up Christmas gift bags out of holly fabric.  They were cute.  Unlined, but still cute.  I used all of my Christmas stash up that Christmas and then my sister-in-law sent me a yard or so of blue Xmas tree fabric.  Oh boy!  So I started over and my collection grew and I even added some Hanukkah fabric to the mix.  Every few months I'd pull the fabric out of the closet and think about making bags.  In early July I finally started sewing some up.

This time I lined them.
 I really love this blue.  So vibrant!

And here's the fabric for the Christmas bag:
Lined with some heavy green/white check home dec fabric.  My mom gave me this, I'm pretty sure.
 Oh, and the blue is lined with pirate fabric (used for a costume by my mom and once I incorporated some into an apron).
I have a few more Xmas bags done, but I only had enough for two Hanukkah bags.  The ultimate goal is to lighten my holiday stash this year.  I have tons of non-Christmas fabric that could also be turned into gift bags, so that's definitely a future project.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

In My Garden

Flowerbed Progress

I am putting edgers along the perimeter of my backyard and I've been doing that the start of June.  It takes a long time.  I was doing about five edgers per evening, but sometimes I don't get any in.  So this was my first set of pavers (crap, I mean, edgers...why can't I ever get this right) in June:

Two months later, the bed has grown as such:
I put some herbs (thyme, oregano, chives, and dill -- that's the overgrown stuff) and a few other plants that I can't remember.  There's morning glory and a lot of volunteer sunflowers that grow from the seed that falls out of the bird feeder.

From this bed, I put pavers (ugh, edgers) in near the deck, but no plants yet.  I need to think of some bushy plants that don't get a lot of light.  There was a grape that I wanted to grow up on the deck, but the stainers smushed it and then tore it out of the ground.  I guess it looked weedy to them.  So far it just has my compost bin and the water bin.
I can't seem to find a before picture of the entire back yard, but here it is now:
The raised bed is going to come out at the end of this season,  but I've been making my way down with the edgers on the right side of the yard and planting flowers as I go.  
Nothing is really in bloom except for the sunflowers.  Oh, and the neighbors planted morning glories so that's what's growing on the fence. Otherwise in my flowerbed, there's a red carnation plant, phlox, bee balm, coneflower, and some other things that I can't remember.  All are perennials.   I planted an urban apple tree, but I think it is still going through tree transplant shock.  Such a sad thing.

And the last view is the little tiny bed over near the deck.  I like it.
Some perennials.  The white stuff is alyssium or something like that.  The vine is a hyacinth bean.  I planted them last year and when I found some seeds sitting on the ground this spring, I stuck them in and got a sprout.  Catnip is in the basket.  It was on the ground, but neighborhood cats kept destroying it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Display Containers

I spent a lot of time dreaming of felt food this past week.  Well, felt food and play kitchens.  I wanted to DIY one, but I don't have any tools and I would probably cut off a finger if I did have the tools.  Plus my husband is afraid that any re-done entertainment center would topple onto our girl, so with a 12% off coupon courtesy of my mudder, I ordered a kitchen set off of Overstock.  I think she's still too little for it, but that does not stop me from dreaming of all felt food I'm going to make her.

I found these containers at the goodwill the other day.

They are like little fast food containers.  Can't you just see some felt crinkle cut fries sticking out of the yellow one and an awesome cheeseburger sticking out of the red one?  I can.  I just have to make them.  There's also a hot dog container that I picked up.

But wait!  That's not all!  
Berry containers!  I picked up a few of these when they were in the dollar spot at Target, but Target sends their overstock to the goodwill and I got them for like 75% off the whopping original ticket price of $3.00.  I can't wait to make strawberries and sugar snap peas and whatever else that will fit in these little baskets.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Absenteeism Explained

Hello!  Here I am!  I don't know what happened.  I've been doing a little bit of crafting, but mostly I've been out in the backyard working on putting in a flowerbed.  But I can't do that in the dark, right?  Right.  

So at night I've been binging on television.

Like Seasons 1 - 6 of Mad Men.  All episodes.  I don't hate Pete Campbell as much.  And I still love Peggy.  And Ted.  And Peggy and Ted together.  Oh, and Joan...she's still awesome.

What else?  The Fall.  Good stuff.

And then there's The Bridge.  

And Breaking Bad.  Final Season, bitches!

Anyway, here's a teaser photo of a project that I've been working on for a month.