Monday, January 28, 2008

Procrastinating again!

Did I ever mention here that when I find that a current project is going to be a bit difficult, I tend to procrastinate? Actually that's why my parents scrapbook was so late! Because Brooke's baby quilt is promising to be difficult to quilt, I've set it aside today and decided to create something completely different than anything I have on this blog so far... Bird toys! My female ekkie, Tirsa, is going through a phase of chewing. She is the champion wood chewer in this household. So in order to save the woodwork (which doesn't belong to us) I keep giving her bits of untreated pine that hang from bits of cotton rope or leather strips and she reduces it to rubble in no time.

A couple weeks ago I ordered a whole bunch of parts from my favorite bird toy store Fowl Play. I got a bit carried away, but you can see that the princess is happy! Her betrothed, Jonah, is sitting on his cage door, a safe distance away... he's a fraidy bird!For the few days previous to today, Tirsa would look whistfully down at the box on the floor containing all the parts, then grab her empty rope and shake it a bit, probably trying to get me started making something for her to destroy... either that or she wanted the box! So I finally gave in and while sitting in front of the tv today, I made this
As you can see, Tirsa couldn't wait to get into it! I had to take it away from her cage to get a few other pictures before she set out to tear it apart. After putting it in her cage, I didn't hear a peep out of her for the longest time. I think she was in chewing heaven! Jonah however, couldn't see the big deal. He finally got brave enough to go check it out, but it just didn't do anything for him. Now, Tirsa's untouched dinner, THAT was another story! Oh well, she made her choice!

Here's a close up
It should take her a while to get through this... maybe!

The borders are on!

Here is the fun little quilt I've been working on with the borders attachedAnd now its all pinned together to begin the quilting process.I realized that trying to put three layers of quilt together by myself, while being picky as, is not the easiest thing in the world. It took me about 3 hours to get it to this point. Next time I'll ask for help! The back has three panels, the yellow with the hearts in the middle, then the green with the safety pins on either side... I can't possibly make things easy on myself! That's why I had so much trouble pinning it together. All the seams on the front AND back had to match up so when I go to quilt it it won't look wonky. Janelle suggested that next time I decide to make the back as complicated as the front, I should probably plan it a little better! yeah yeah... I told her to just expect me to do things the hard way from now on, that way neither of us will be surprised!

This will be my next project, and I'll probably use lots of rich dark greens, browns and blacks, its going to be gorgeous! However, I'll probably go light on the back for this one since the front is going to be really complicated. I'm actually looking forward to it. Perhaps its just being hopeful!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Is this not the cutest little thing you've ever seen?

Look at that little face!

This little boy birdie is one of Sandra's (from ekkie chat) and he is an eclectus parrot. He's about 4-5 weeks old. For those of you who don't know, male eclectus parrots are all green... well, kinda. See the picture, top right of this blog.
Makes me feel a bit clucky! I think my couple are getting a nest box toward the end of next month!

I got it, I got it, I got it! Finally!

After the promises on Friday, and calling the guy this morning only to hear "I'll call you back in an hour", then NOT hearing from him, I kinda thought this wasn't going to happen again today. Lo and behold, he called me not an hour later, but 2 hours later. Honestly, I thought it was going to be another promised unfulfilled and I was actually beginning to formulate a speech about how I was completely dissatisfied and going elsewhere to get a machine... or quit sewing all together... yeah right.

Anyway, I got sidetracked and didn't hear my mobile ring, when I checked it to put it in my bag to go out, I noticed I had missed a call. Yep, it was the sewing machine guy, my machine was ready to be picked up! I practically RAN out of the house! Got over there and realized that in my haste, I completely forgot my trade-in. So I had to rush home and get it and bring it back. I had about an hours worth of training from the lady that runs the shop on Monday's, she really knew a lot about the machine and I really appreciated her.

It looks like a dinosaur, and it is really, its about 30 years old, but I've been told that this is THE machine to have. That most people that have them never sell them or give them up because they are just too good. Its heavy as, and the case is a bit dirty, but it will clean up nicely.
I couldn't believe the original styrofoam was still in the case! And of course the locking mechanism for the table is still in tact and holding the table in place.Again, it looks like a dinosaur, but the machine is in such good condition it doesn't matter. We tried sewing with it and you could barely hear it and it just swept over the material like a breeze. I was very impressed. We took out the bobbin case and the inside was shiny, like brand new.
If this woman ever used this machine, you sure couldn't tell. However, there places it needs to be cleaned up, but not many. Unfortunately, the woman that owned this machine died recently and her husband wanted to get rid of it and an overlocker she had. Probably the only reason I own one of these now!

And the accessories! There are things in this box I have no idea how to use! And check out that manual! All the pages are there though and it's very indepth. The woman that owned the machine before actually pasted samples of all the stitches and the results of all the feet included. Impressive. The bar thing sitting there is, I can't remember what the shop lady called it, but its to use with your knee to make the presser foot go up and down... hands free! So Bernina seems ahead of their time, even 30 years ago! And of course there's the walking foot (in the box on the left). Its brand new, but whats a quilting machine without a walking foot??!Now I can get back to this! I went to Janelle's last week and started it on one of her 30 year old Bernina's. Tonight, the borders go on and tomorrow I'll go see Janelle again, but this time it will be for more fabric! Although, only to do the back of this and get the batting for the inside. I'll probably find out how I need to quilt it as well.
I'm so excited! I feel like I can get back to life now!

Waiting, waiting, but with a light at the end of the tunnel

Last week I was bored out of my mind and that mind was set on one thing, my sewing machine. I had called the shop where I was getting it from, and once again got promises and not much else, however, the promises were more sincere.

So I got out my altered book/journal thing and "thought", but didn't really come up with a lot to put on the pages. I tried tearing a black page and a white page together so they'd tear in the same place, then tried to sew the smaller white piece onto the larger black piece with really thin wire. I don't know, I just thought it would look cool, I did a card like that before and it looked nice. But in this book, it just didn't work. So after a couple hours, I gave up. Perhaps sometime soon my papercraft mojo will return.

But here are a few pictures from my book. I haven't really written in it much, but more designed, half designed, pages. I'll get around to doing more sometime. I suppose thats the beauty of not "having" to do something.

This is the front of the book

On this page, I used a round stamp on a roller thing to stamp the flowers on the white paper, just on the border, then I cut the black paper to add interest. The white page remains white, pretty much, under the black.

I created this page in memory of my friend Jodie. She's not dead, but lives so far away now I probably won't see her again in this life time. I plan to write some things about her in the blank area.

I cut several squares out of the pages, offsetting every few pieces, and used silicone to adhere this brass leaf to the page. I love this leaf, its so pretty.

I used a popsicle stick to cut around to create this effect. I'll probably design around the cuts on the individual pages, but don't know what I'll do yet.

And this is the page that has the color. The saying is really meaningful to me, to remind me to be a "leaf in a stream" and let God (the stream) guide me without fighting the guidance.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Ok, couldn't wait any longer!

I still didn't get a phone call from the sewing machine guy today. When I called him last Friday he said the machine he told me about may have electrical problems and that he'd call me on Monday to let me know the status. Its now 10:30pm... I don't think he's going to call today...

I couldn't stand the thought that I've got some of the most yummy baby flannel just sitting there begging me to run my hands over it, trim it down and make it into something that everyone is going to want to touch. I have never felt flannel like this. Brooke's baby is going to love it!

Here are some pictures of what I've chosen after its been ironed and squared up. I just need to start cutting the squares. I've decided that since this needs to be done before mid February, I'm just going to start it with my Singer and see what happens.

Well, its clear to me that PhotoShop and I are not cooperating with each other. This was supposed to be an upright picture, but its the only one I have with the pattern in the background. I'm changing the border a bit. There's going to be a 2" then a 5" border before the binding goes on. You can also find the pattern on Janelle's site. Since we obviously don't know what it is yet, only thats its a single baby (not twins), and that its expanding Brookes waistline, I've decided the safe colours are green and yellow.

Here's a better picture, you don't have to turn your head to look at this one.

After looking at Janelle's site, I discovered that the pattern I'm following is just a bit different than the one she has advertised at the link I've sent you to. But that's ok, have a browse around, she's got some beautiful stuff... I dare you ;-)

Just a little fun...

If you look on the right in the section where I have my favorite links, you'll see I've added a new one. Its called "Do you know your geography?" Geography has always been something I enjoyed studying so this test was a fun IQ kind of test. You can play it as often as you like, and of course as you continue to play it, you do get better!

My final score was over 425,000 and I got to level 8. Seems I don't know much about South America! I should probably get my atlas out and study.

As far as crafty stuff, I'm still waiting for my sewing machine to turn up. I have a quilt I need to have done by mid-February. My Singer is getting traded out for a used Bernina and I've been in the process of getting it since before Christmas. Waiting, waiting... never something I was good at.

As far as papercraft... well, there ARE some challenge things I want to do, but I just feel papercrafted out from Christmas. It may take me a couple more weeks to get with it.