Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Taking an On-Line Class

I cannot begin to tell you how much I am enjoying "Start Your Own Arts and Crafts Business". We have had 4 lessons so far and my learning curve is climbing at a dramatic rate.  Yes I regret I didn't take this many years ago, but that's ok, I'm soaking everything up like an over dry sponge!  So far I have classmates from Australia, San Diego, CA, Saskatchewan, Canada and of course I am here in good ole middle America.  There are only 7 of us which makes the discussion area very follow friendly.

My only problem is that the teacher feels it best to concentrate on one craft for the business and since I suffer from craft ADD that is going to be difficult.  I will still blog about everything crafty but my business will be focused on least for now...

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Kaleidoscope Quilt by Julie

Julie is a co-worker of mine who happens to make beautiful quilts.  She just started quilting about 3 years ago.  I am very pleased to feature one of her magnificent creations!  I think her work is fantastic.
You can find Julie at 

Kaleidoscope Quilt

Sweet, sweet, victory.  That’s how I feel about this quilt.
Kaleidoscope Quilt 627handworks (1)
This was the first time I’ve made quilt blocks with linen.  I starched the crap out of it.  Not sure if it was necessary, but I did anyway.
Kaleidoscope Quilt 627handworks (3)
It’s also the first time I’ve done rows of straight line quilting. These are spaced at 1″ and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
Breepickles suggested quilting concentric circles, which would have been awesome, but I’m not comfortable doing that yet. Feel I should play with that style before attempting an entire quilt.
Kaleidoscope Quilt 627handworks (6)
Aurifil’s Medium Turquoise (#5006) cotton in 50 wt matched the backing perfectly.  Then I used my absolute favorite color, Platinum (#2912) for the front. The Platinum blends into the Kaufman yarn-dyed linen and doesn’t take away from the bright quilting cottons.
I figured as long as I used the same weight of thread for the top and bobbin, it was okay to use 2 different colors.
Kaleidoscope Quilt 627handworks (5)
Crinkles make me happy.
It does annoy me when when the fabric in some straight line quilting twists and turns between the rows. Luckily I got away without that happening and I didn’t switch directions between rows. Nope!  I’m a rebel.
My machine (Janome Memory Craft 6600p) has a really nice built in walking foot so all the layers stayed put.  To be honest, I think not switching directions between rows helped prevent that twisty-turny that bothers me so.
Rows of straight line quilting doesn’t freak me out now that I’ve done it. Next time I’d like to try skinnier rows or random spacing.
Kaleidoscope Quilt 627handworks (2)
I was super late to the Kaleidoscope party at Don’t Call Me Betsy’s. I didn’t use the templates but I did use her fabric requirements as well as strip sizes.
I cut 6.5″ strips of fabric and used the 30 degree mark on my ruler to cut the triangles.  Elizabeth has a template if you are not comfortable doing that. I also used my ruler for the corner triangles, but she provides a template for that too!
Alternate blocks of 8 prints and blocks with 4 prints & 4 solids.  All corners are solid.
If you make one, definitely play and look at pictures first. Some people make all their blocks using alternating solid/print with some of the corners a print.  Then lay them out all the same, while others rotate every other block. There really are tons of options!
Kaleidoscope Quilt 627handworks (4)
I used more of the Kaufman linen for the hand stitched binding. Linen has such a nice texture and it just makes me feel all fancy.
The backing is Free Spirit’s voile in Mist from Cucire.  I heart, heart, heart it. Soooo soft.  After loving it on the back of a baby quilt, I decided to spoil myself.
And, of course, I added a label. I used to embroider them, but this works well too.  You can order labels and save 5% using code 627handworks at Ikaprint! *wink wink*
Kaleidoscope Quilt 627handworks (7)
It measures 72″ x 60″ which is great for the sofa and I’m keeping it for myself (shocker).   Let’s see if any of my family members can pry it from my hands. Doubt it.
Oh… I spray basted it. I’ve never pinned.  Is my quilty membership revoked now?


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Knit Beaded Bracelets Part Two and New Yarn

I have finished the first round of round of knit beaded bracelets and thought I'd share photos of those I have left.  Once I attached the toggles I used clear nail polish to coat the thread ends above and below the bead spacer to prevent fraying and breakage.

I like how they look and feel; so light weight - hardly know you're wearing one.

I'll be working on more and here is a preview of the next color I've chosen.  Picking out the beads is one of the most interesting parts of the creating these bracelets;  never quite knowing how the bead combinations are going to look is rather fun.

Some very interesting new yarn is showing up in the stores...I'll admit this doesn't look like much all jumbled up like this....but I'm thinking it's going to "grow" up to be a beautiful scarf.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Little Change of Pace

Nail polish... I love it.  No matter how many bottles I have I can always find a new one to try.  I don't believe I have ever actually used up a bottle...most of the time I throw out old as I buy new.  I've made a promise to myself that I would have no more bottles than what I can fit in a shoe-box-sized plastic container and I have been pretty good at sticking to that promise.  

Pink is my go to color when I don't have a new favorite.

But, I do love some of the more "exotic" colors as well.  

A girl has a right to change her mind every once in awhile.

While I will buy pretty much any brand (although I do have a price limit of $8) 
I tend to choose Essie  more often than the others.

Two of my current favorites are...

Essie smokin' hot (my current nail color) and Essie go overboard.

While having a professional mani/pedi is something I would like to do all the time, I usually apply my own polish, granted I very often end up painting most of my toe when doing a pedicure, the overflow does come off easily with hand lotion and a nail brush.  
I have found rejuvacote nail growth system a great nail strengthener, base and top coat.

What polish do you use to feel pretty?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Little Crochet Humor

Crocheting is a huge part of my life.
 I do realize that I tend to accumulate projects, yarn, and  pattern books to the point of distraction.
Thought I'd share a little of the humor that has been posted on different media
about folks who are a wee bit obsessed with crochet and yarn....
Hey we have to be able to laugh at ourselves, right?

This one is really not's TRUE!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Art Journaling

I've been wanting to art journal for some time now.  I was first introduced to the craft in the magazine "Art Journaling" published by Somerset Studio.

I found it a bit intimidating, I'm not an artist, can't draw or paint, but that doesn't really matter, and that's not really the point.  You can use stencils, photos, clip art and doodles.  And the painting part?  Well, it's kind of like the water color painting we used to do in elementary school with a few additions to make it last, not rip the page and coating it so you can apply adhesive and ink.  That may be a little simplistic, but I don't believe I have to be Monet.  I purchased a great how to book "The Art Journal Workshop" by Traci Bunkers. She has a super list of supply suggestions and very detailed page assembly/creation directions.  The prompts and exercises are tremendously helpful.

So I've begun gathering supplies and plan to start some pages over the weekend.

When I was in high school, many, many years ago, my best friend and I used to buy scrap books and illustrate songs and poetry with pictures from magazines, cut up wrapping paper and doodles.   
There are several songs I would like to illustrate in an art journal, as well as some poetry.  
I'm sure I will eventually get into putting my own thoughts on the painted pages but until I feel more comfortable with the medium, illustrating poems and songs is just fine.  
Can't wait to share my progress.  
Wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Crochet Inspiration

Never have enough dishcloths!  No tutorial for this, but I really like the pattern
I'll have to figure out what it is someday!