Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mini quilts

Pinterest can sometimes be the devil.

I know many of you know this, but I just wanted to say it again, because honestly!! I see all these cool ideas and projects, and think, "I'm TOTALLY going to do that! I'm just gonna get the supplies this weekend, and it'll be done by next week! Yeah!!"... Ha!

Colors for project 1

Then weeks, maybe months pass after I get the fabric or beads or whatever supplies....and here we are again!

Colors for project 2

I am hoping one day to work on at least one of these perhaps, maybe posting and sharing with you will encourage me to do something, but I'm pretty sure my sewing projects are going to take a backseat for a little while longer while I catch up on my cross stitching projects that are sitting unfinished...

Colors for project 3

Anywho! I can't recall if I've shared with you yet, but I happen to think miniature just about anything is the most awesome things ever!! It's just amazing sometimes how you can take something that is a lot of work in regular size (say, a quilt) but then make it in miniature form!! 

Project 1 - Pattern/instructions can be found here.

Honestly, the idea itself is cute to see something smaller than it's meant to be (kind of like when I re-create my art canvases from those BYOB classes into little 2"x2" or so canvases), but it also serves a purpose of practicing techniques or skills when you make a smaller project, before you go all-in for a much larger project and perhaps might ruin or waste the materials you had purchased, and then you're super sad and have to decide whether you have the will power to re-do, re-purchase the supplies, or .... try to turn the large failed project into perhaps a smaller successful project, because really, who's gonna know!?

Project 2 - Blog and pattern/instructions found here

So mini quilts sound like the most awesome idea to practice measuring, and being precise when it comes to sewing together the squares (or for Project 2 above, triangles!!) to make an awesome picture in the end, and I can't wait to give it a go!!

Project 3 - Square patterns for whole quilt can be found here and instructions/tricks for making it easier to sew the quilt blocks and make it look super awesome here courtesy of Angela Pingel's blog Cut 2 Pieces

One day, when I finally do end up making any of these, at least you know I'll share them with you!! :D

I sure hope that's at least....within the next 6 months? With a stretch goal of 3....yeah......

Craft ya laters!! :) 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Monthly Flowers Calendar in Cross Stitch - Update 1

I told you all back in November last year that I was going to start a "Monthly Calendar" in flowers cross stitch project, found here.

I haven't worked on them in quite a while, but I wanted to update you on how far I did get before life got in the way!

Straight lines and single Xs are so easy, but it might get tedious after doing this border 13 times.... lol

First off, January - Carnations:
Started with the leaves first on the carnations

Got really excited and ran through the greens I did have, then started on pinks...

Previous pic, no flash
Got some darker pink added
Previous pic, no flash
Carnations done!!
Carnations done!!!,... no flash
 Next up, February - Violets:
First sitting working with the violets for February

First violets sitting, no flash

Little more work on the violets

And a little more... 
Almost there.....

Almost there, no flash

And done!!
Done, no flash

I hope I can get started on the March flowers soon, but I have a lot of unfinished projects I need to work through at some point!

Craft ya laters!! :)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Xmas Tree and Ornaments

I didn't realize I'd drafted this post, and never published last Christmas season!!

I guess I've been busier at the new job than I realized!

Well, here goes the share!

I tried to do a natural looking design for the Xmas decorations this past season, and may do the same again this next year, we'll see!

I spent hours as well as lots and LOTS of hot glue sticks to make the tree skirt:

I used natural and chocolate brown linen cut in strips of about 3" wide, and as long as the fabric was I got cut at the store, then hot glued them on the base muslin I used. I was a bit messier, but you can see a great tutorial here.

These guys were pretty easy; just take out the metal tab at top, pour in some very diluted dish soap ad water and swirl it around to get a thin layer on the inside of the glass/plastic ornament, pour it out, and then you can pour in some extra fine glitter. Roll that around inside to cover the entire inside layer, and then pour out the excess, et voila!! You have completely non-messy glitter ornaments!!

These are fun... I made 3 yarn chains of varying lengths, the 3 paper fans with a rhinestone glued to the front middle, glued the backs of the fans to push pins to put in the wall, and then just draped the yarn chains on the push pins.

Close-up of the middle paper fan. I used an old book I got at Half-Price Books for all of these ornaments for the natural look and feel.

The smaller fans for the outsides. I love this yarn y'all!! It's a nice brownish color with gold threads woven in for that extra shine.

And then there's the tree topper itself. I just made 7 fans of differing sizes, glued the rhinestones in the middles, glued them together in a pleasing design, and then the special ingredient: sprayed with aerosol adhesive and sprinkled with extra fine gold glitter for extra shine!! :D

No one ever sees the back, right? This is how I kept the base fans together to create the whole piece.

Close-up so you can see the glitter a little better...

I also created more yarn chains out of dark green yarn to drape across the curtains behind the t.v. and to hang tiny little ornaments from.

A sort of full shot so you can see more of the draped chain on the curtains, the tree, and our cat!! I made the little Santa hat out of felt with a piece of elastic string to keep on his head. Btw, that cat isn't just a Xmas decoration; we keep him up there all year round... I'm not sure why exactly except that my hubby and I just thought it'd be funny. The original intention was that every season we'd put a hat or ears or whatever fit, but Xmas seems to be the only time I actually do it. Yes, we're the odd ones out, but at least we're odd together! :)

And last but not least, my paper cut-out ornaments. I got this awesome circle punch at Jo-Ann and it works fantastically. Just punch a bunch of circles and then glue them on a Styrofoam ball with hot glue, like fish scales  Don't forget to glue on a string/loop to hang them with! I just used thin jute that I tied a knot in on the tips, and glued the tip into a hole at the top of the balls.

And one hanging on the tree.

Craft ya laters!

Monday, December 19, 2016

'Sover. ...Takeaways? ... Next!

While unemployed my 2nd time this year, I decided to check out a local group called the "LaunchPad Job Club". The facilitator/trainer is actually a trainer from the local WorkForce so she's able to give real advice and guidance on all things related to job hunting. 

At a meeting, she did a presentation all around the idea that once you lose a job, or have a major life occurrence, you have a process that should happen on your way to moving on and up. 

- Realize that first, it's over. There's nothing you can do about it, whatever the situation was (didn't get along with co-workers, company's view and future didn't align with yours, etc), you're no longer in that position. 'Sover. 

- Reflect on what the situation was: was there anything you could have done better? Is there anything you could look out for in the future to not get into situations like you did to make you leave/get let go? What did you learn from working there, doing your job, your assignments, working with other teams, etc. Basically, what experience, knowledge, growth items can you take with you to your next job? What are your 'Takeaways'?

- Prepare for what's next! Get excited for a new adventure, a new company, new co-workers, new friends, new challenges, all that comes with taking that next step! Stop being sad for what's gone and look forward to whatever comes next in your life! Next!

I personally have trouble letting things go, and was especially having trouble with having lost a long-time job (9 years) and then a new job I'd been excited for with all the new challenges and experiences I'd get to have, and got let go (after only 2 months) as it just wasn't going to be a good fit personality-wise.

I was looking for new jobs left and right, and getting very discouraged and depressed by not being able to find anything. After this presentation though, I think I was able to re-focus and calm down a bit. I have learned over the last few years the benefits of self-evaluation and just taking time to assess situations you've been through/found yourself in and how you got through it, what you could have done differently, etc, so this new mantra of sorts made sense to me!

As such, I wanted a little visual reminder, so I decided to draft a simple pattern and...

Do you see what I did there with the punctuation and the color choices? 

'Sover. - it's done, over, STOP thinking about it, period, RED
Takeaways? - think it over, you're getting ready to start moving again, but not quite yet... but question marks prompt thought/response, so, ? and YELLOW
Next! - Obviously you're ready to go! And exclamations promote excitement, right? so, GREEN


And with black outline/backstitching. It looks MUCH better with this, doesn't it? :) 

I then decided to go ahead and frame it as-is. I somewhat wanted to add some sort of border or flowers or something, and I still can later if I take it off the foamcore and out of the frame, but for now, I like the simplicity of these words, in the simple espresso frame.

What do you all think? Is this a mantra that you could perhaps use in your life? What other mantras have been strong/powerful for you in getting through tough situations?

Until next time, craft ya laters! :)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Broken and Magical - Unicorn Commission

I'm WAY behind in posting about this commission from last year but I promise I have a REALLY good reason!! As I was finishing these pieces up on a vacation my SO and I went on last year (I was behind on getting them done and out in the mail on time, so I had to take them with me to finish and ship out), and was going to post when I got back home, but that was the weekend my dad passed away so this project went completely forgotten!!

Anywho! This commission was based on the unicorn pattern here:

Pattern can be found here.

A shopper found my Etsy store where I'd posted a few cross stitch patterns as custom orders,  and found this "Lovely Unicorn" pattern from DailyCrossStitch.

She wanted 4 of these pieces, with 2 catches: 1) Add words - "Broken and Magical all at the same time." 2) Make each one different so she can give one each to 3 other friends as a group gift.

I was unable to fit all the words so had to shorten the second half, but I did "break" each unicorn in its own special way.

What do you think?

Here's the details on each:

Broken back leg:

Broken horn:

Broken front leg:

"Broken" hair:

And here's how the backs looked on average:

As I wasn't sure how she wanted them finished, and it wasn't something that came up in the discussion about the custom order, I left the backs open for her to do anything she wanted to do with them by just simply threading some floss through and tying them in a bow.

Unfortunately, I can only hope that she and her friends liked these pieces as she never did supply a review on my Etsy shop. Oh well, can't win them all, right?

What do you think? Cute? No?

Craft ya laters!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Watermelon Halter Dress - First Wearable (In Public) Garment!! : Part 2 and Reveal!

My last post shared my experience in sewing the dress from this sewing pattern:

I really liked this pattern, and it had a lot of firsts for me, but what I don't like so much is that because it only went so big on the bust (I pieced together the biggest size pattern pieces for the bodice, and small size for the skirt), the cup pieces aren't quite big enough to cover me, and so, don't drape as well as they should. With proper fitting bodice pieces, the waist/skirt would fit better I'm sure (since it would actually start where it's supposed to, under my bust, not still on top of it as it is in this version), and would give me better definition overall. This is a pattern/bust adjustment that I'd have to be able to do and don't know how yet, so that will just have to be something I learn later!

Awkward pose from the side to show you a little of what I'm talking about:

The pattern itself wasn't too difficult to read, I just had difficulties with new-to-me concepts (the peak on the bodice pieces lol is the main part I had trouble with).

If you are familiar with zippers, it's easy enough to sew into the dress. The only part I had trouble with, and I don't believe I did well with, was the top part where you're supposed to sort of fold down the top fabric to cover the top part of the zipper, shown below in last step: 

The hook-eyes are a hand-stitch item and I'm not thrilled with doing that part, but I also am just more paranoid that my stitching won't be good enough and will burst my top open. This is mostly only because of the size/weight of my bust area, that it's just a constant concern for me.

Speaking of the bust area....

The part in front, the neckline, was a little low, but it was manageable. This picture is just me trying to show where the pieces come together in front, where the pattern pieces actually line up, which is cool! What it harder to tell however is that I wasn't able to stitch them together fantastically, so the stitching is pulling a little at having to keep together! Hahaha

In fact, here's the instructions for this particular part, joining the two bodice pieces. Just tacking them together, then attaching bodice top to bodice bottom pieces, went ok. It stayed stitched together at least and didn't burst open on me, but I think it's because I went over and over that stitch line a few times, just in case!! Also, even if this stitching had come apart, it would have been a little awkward, but not so much since the top and bottom pieces would still have been stitched together well enough to keep the whole dress top up and on.

And here is the backside. It's not horrible, not so low that my bra would be showing too much, but as you can see, there is still an issue of my bra being a bit visible. I'm not sure if you can see this either, but if you look far left of the below picture, you can somewhat see the fabric bunching. See it? Know what that is? I had to use a safety pin to tighten up the sides so that there wasn't a big gap that left the dress super hanging in the back!! Even still, I was having to pull up the back of the dress fairly often to ensure my bra strap wasn't still showing.

Maybe some day I'll figure out how to take in sides/adjust a pattern so it doesn't do that... That's sort of the same thing though as learning how to do a bust adjustment.

In the meantime, the best I could think of to ensure that the bra strap wouldn't be visible would be to perhaps sew some sort of "belt loops" on the inside, back, of the dress. They would need to be wide enough so that I could put the bra straps through them, and that should theoretically help hold it up? That would also make it so I don't need the safety pins (or have to adjust pattern too much) and would then also not make the dress bodice so tight around my bust, worrying me about pulling at stitches too much.

Remember how I mentioned this dress has pockets....??

Yeah! Showing off my pockets. I'm SO happy this dress has pockets!!

These pictures may look weird, but what I'm trying to demonstrate is the tiny bit of gathering done under each bust side. I definitely did better on one side than the other, but they look similar enough, it's no big deal. Plus in normal interactions, it's probably really hard to see these details ;)

Now for the final reveal!!


Here is my full, wearable dress, with a circle skirt, pockets, and halter-top!!

Of course, you can't show off a circle skirt without spinning!!!

P.S. - I also got some tulle...

And I'm hoping at some point to use the tutorial from Sugardale Clothing's blog here to make a petticoat (shown below) to wear under the dress using the above tulle.

There you have it, folks! I have made my first, wearable (in public..since hubby tells me I can't wear my pj pants in public lol), piece of clothing!!!

What do you think? If there's still something I'm missing, or if you have any advice for next time to help make it easier for me, please share!!

I wore the dress once for a Toastmasters contest in March 2016, but I'm debating wearing this dress again since it's a little more revealing that I'd like, and the whole problem with the poor fit due to the bust pieces being too small, make it not that flattering.

If I do get a chance to make the petticoat though, I will share with you, so keep an eye out for that!!

Until then, craft ya laters!!