Monday, September 27, 2010

Miss Chloe Turned One

The lovely miss Chloe turned one, well a few weeks ago but we celebrated yesterday. She was lucky enough to celebrate her first birthday with her Aunt who was celebrating her 50th or the 20th anniversary of her 30th birthday.
I was in charge of cake for the masses and because I am a wee bit insane and because I believe everyone deserves a kick-ass birthday cake of their very own there were two cakes. To be more accurate there was one big cake (vanilla with chocolate icing) and one wee cake and a lot of cupcakes (zucchini with cream cheese frosting).

In a moment of being really on top of craft-gift giving I made this dress for Miss Chloe, don't be too impressed poor Chloe is one of the quiltless ones. Oh the shame of having let a year go by and not made any quilt progress! But let's not dwell on that right now, let's be supper impressed with me for having finished something on time.

This is very loosely based on a Debbie bliss pattern. Why does she like seams so much?  I think she must be so high up in the craft world that she has someone whose entire job it is to sew all her seams up. Sadly I don't have such a person so I have to convert everything to the round or I will never complete anything. One day I will let you all see my pile of otherwise finished projects minus the seams sewn, but not today.  Today enjoy Miss Chloe and her lovely momma.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Making of the Napkins

The making of these lovely napkins was one of those great moments when the process was just as good as the product.
I am very lucky to have a group of ladies in my life that creative, kind, funny and daring.  I like to think of them as crafting super hero's (and yes I am thinking about making us all outfits).  One of the best parts of this project was that I got to work on it with them and I got to spend a lovely weekend upstate.  Here are some photo's of the making of the napkins with super crafters Molly and Katy.  Unfortunately super crafter Mary wasn't able to make it to our weekend but I promise she was there in spirit.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lovely Linen Napkins- for Lovely Folks

Two of my all time favorite folks got married this past summer: my good friend Callie and her now hubby Randy.  Callie is the Reverend of The Church of Craft so a community crafting project only seemed right.  Crafting superstars Mary, Molly and Katy joined me to make this delicious napkins. 

We made the napkins from a lovely natural color linen and embroidered the flowers.  I found an old plant identification guide at the library and copied a ton of pictures, we whittled the options down to four, so there are two napkins of each image.  We had some trouble with the photocopy transfer (this is were you iron a photocopy imagine onto fabric) I think the linen still had too much sizing in it despite having been washed.  We ended up doing a compilation of several techniques: photocopy transfers, transfer pencils, and hand drawing with an water soluble fabric maker.  In the end they turned out lovely but there was some grumbling along the way.
I think if I every manage to put together a craft book of my own it will be on community craft projects.  I love getting together with a group of friends to make something for someone special.  These things end up with lots more love in them and I love seeing how people can take the same project and do it differently.  No two napkins are alike, in fact I bet if I hadn't told you that there were two of each you would not have spotted it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Skirt

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I thought I might start to scratch my urge to sew more clothing by making myself a skirt.  It is from a pattern that is roughly based on a skirt I got many moons ago at American Apparel.  I made it from jersey with some lycra in it which meant i didn't even have to bother with an elastic waist ban.  Does anyone see where this is going?  Yup, you guessed it jersey with lycra in it stretches- really stretches.  Which means by the time I made it to work I was holding up my skirt with one hand.  A second pass on the sewing machine made things better and I think it may now be one of my favorite go to items.  I promise to post more pictures of the shape and such soon.  I am currently recovering from a yukky cold that has prevented any photo's, well frankly it has preventing anything that wasn't moaning on the couch.

Monday, September 13, 2010

One Year

Today is my one year anniversary.  Can you believe it?  Clearly I haven't been wearing my boggie shoes enough.
We had a bit of the "do we exchange gifts" debate and I sort of thought that something needed to happen to mark the year but nothing too serious, cause we aren't very serious when it comes to things like this, and nothing to big and elaborate cause that is not really us either.  So of course I turned to etsy.
Apparently the first anniversary is paper which was a least a place to start my search.  Since we moved last March my guy has become a bit of a farmer.  Well as much of a farmer as a city boy can be with a big back porch and plenty of squirrels to shake a fist at.  He is already talking about starting his seedlings for next summer which led me to this.

The gardening paper pot maker.  It is super cute and makes these great little pots out of recycled newspaper that you start seedlings in and can go straight into the garden once they are ready.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cake Craft

Well I wouldn't say it was a piece of cake, although really it wasn't too bad.  This is my practice birthday cake, no not my birthday but the birthday cake I will be bringing to a birthday gathering.
The simple vanilla yumminess (aka the cake base) was inspired by a angry chicken post and can be found here.  The icing came from smitten kitchen, do you all know her? cause if you don't you need to check her out now. Be warned that you will get very hungry reading her site! 
The icing is made with sour cream and chocolate.  Given the current state of affairs with egg recalls and my lack of wanting to deal with an egg based icing this seemed like a good choice but I wanted to check it out first.  It is lovely.  Not too sweet or tart and I used low fat sour cream (because that is what my guy bought when he went to the store) but you couldn't tell and I will use it from now on.
Confession time: the icing called for corn syrup.  And for the first time in my life I bought corn syrup.  I don't usually cook with stuff like that but as my dear friend Mary would say, well after she said "get over it", sometimes there are recipes that this stuff is meant for.  I think icing might be a good example and so there is now a bottle of corn syrup in my house.  It was the smallest one I could find but it is still huge and will be there for a very long time but I guess that is okay because the stuff lasts forever right?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

You Have To Eat All Your Vegetables Before You Can Have Dessert

I took Friday off from work to have a super 4 day weekend, because as my boss put it how often do you get a 4 day weekend.  I was planning on sewing the whole day away.  I wanted to make a skirt, make happy birthday bunting for Ms. Chloe who just turned one and work on this new quilt square I just saw a tutorial for on-line.  But then I had a moment of responsible crafter: you have to eat all your vegetables before you can have dessert.  In this case dessert equals all the new projects I want to do that look all pretty and shiny because I haven't started them and the vegetables well those are the heap-o-projects that need to be finished.  So I was a good girl and pulled out Amelia's quilt.  I bought new backing material because you may remember last time I tried to finish up it didn't go so well.  I also decided that this quilt wants to be tied and not quilted.  After three failed attempts to quilt it (twice by hand and once by machine) and a lot of time picking out quilting gone bad I came to accept that it was a tie quilt. 
I got it all tied off and of course realized there was not going to be enough fabric to do a rolled edge...Why are these things never simple?  and so I am now making binding so that one day, one day with a little luck before she goes to college I may actually finish this quilt! 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Some Goals

I have been trying to figure out how in the heck to fit in all the things I want/need to do into this crazy world of mine.  Between work and home and various projects it can be hard, oh and did I mention I am drinking less caffeine now?  Why am I drinking less caffeine now you ask: the simple answer is that I have been drinking way too much caffeine since birth, really I blame my father and his fancy oh so yummy coffee machine for this.  There was a brief 6 months when I went cold turkey but that is a distant memory.  So my goal right now is to drink one, that's right one cup a day.  After that morning "get your butt in gear girl" cup of coffee it is no more caffeine for me.  So far so good, although I do find my brain a wee bit fuzzy in the afternoon, at moments like you know now...
Anyway, I was telling you all about my attempt to fit everything into the mere 24 hours there is in a day.  And let me stop here and say I really have no clue how in the heck folks with kids do anything.  I have a very selfish list of things to cram into my day and I still can't.  But in an effort to keep trying to cram it all in I thought I would share it with you and then when you see me clearing not doing my best to accomplish these goals, or more likely trying to sneak an afternoon cup of joe you can yell at me, nicely.  And yes if you are going to yell at me do it sweetly after all I am trying to kick a caffeine habit here.
So here are the goals I have going on right now
  • Do a bit of apartment cleaning every day so you don't have to do it for a whole day later.  So I have been trying this out after reading something (sorry for the lack of article reference here I have no idea where) about doing small bits each day.  What I have been doing is spending the first 15 minutes that I walk into my apartment doing some piece of housework (full disclosure usually I pee first).  I vacuum, or do 15 minutes worth of dishes or sort the laundry or clean the bathtub.  So far so good I have a far cleaner apartment and far less angry long cleaning days.  The next trick is getting my guy to adopt this.
  • Project Make My Pants Fit (PMMPF)- somewhere along the way I gained some weight and now my pants don't fit.  Actually I know exactly when it happened but I shall not speak of this here, however, PMMPF is well underway which means the gym 4 times a week after work.  This may not seem crafty but if the gym thing doesn't work it means a lot of clothing altering later so you know it kinda fits.
  • Sew more stuff in general
  • Sew more clothing for me but because grown up clothing scares me a bit ease in with some kids stuff
  • Blog more- which unlike this post means take more pictures, which usually means during the day, AND download the darn things to the computer so that I BLOG MORE.  This should not be that hard and yet...
  • Start finishing up some of these lingering projects I have around the house- seriously
  • Do more crafting that scares me- ok so sew more stuff for me and really blog more fit here.  There are a ton of creative things that I am excited about but I don't know maybe I am waiting for the moons to align just right but I just can't quite get past my "ohh that looks fun but hard" phase to telling you all about the amazing thing I tried that didn't quite work.
  • Get my etsy shop back up- or stop beating myself up that it isn't
  • Make more stuff for good causes.  there are a ton of charities out there that I want to make stuff for and get all of you to make stuff for
So that is the list for now- oh and I should add don't drink coffee in the afternoon but I feel we have covered that