Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas 2009 Cards

Just a quick one because the subject of my last post has taken up waaayy too much of my time lately!

These are my cards for Christmas 2009. They're very simple because of the aforementioned last post, but I did so many they took me two whole days to complete.

Here is the front

We have simple Bazill Basics cardstock. I soaked the right side of the card with my aquwash brush, then pulled it/tore it apart to form a softly frayed edge.

The first image of the tree is stamped in Hunter Green Stampin' Up ink.
The second tree image is first stamped with VersaMark, then embossed in gold. Boy, does new embossing powder make a difference!

The words on the bottom are stamped in the same hunter green.
It's then finished off with a Hunter Green grosgrain ribbon.

The Inside

The inside left is stamped with a whimsical holly looking design in the same hunter green. I stamped off the stamp once to fade the ink.

The right side is printed on the computer.

Happy Christmas to those that visit my blog. I hope your new year is a happy and prosperous one!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Not Really Crafty, BUT FUN!

Look what I got today!

It's a 2001 Yamaha XVS 250.

I've been looking for a bike for a few months and was actually looking for a Yamaha Virago. I found several that I liked on our good friend Ebay, but couldn't bring myself to actually bid on anything. A friend of ours had decided to sell his and the rest is history. It's pretty much what I wanted, except the color, which can always be changed someday. And it has all the extras I wanted as well. It came with the windshield and brand new saddlebags. The sissy bar was put on a while ago.

It's so shiny and pretty .

It may look huge in the pictures but it's really not. I can actually stand flat footed on both sides and I'm about 5'3". It's super comfortable, the seat is nice and cushy and the foot rests, since they're forward, don't hit me in the calves.

I haven't been able to ride it yet, just a test ride, because I didn't have a proper helmet, AND because it was so windy I probably would have gotten blown off. Tomorrow, however, watch out!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Finito! The Saga of the Bargello quilt ends!

I'm finished! Finally! And with pretty nice end results. I wish the colors would have come out better in the photo. I loved working with these fabrics.

However, the quilting was another story. I did the best I could, there is no perfection in it, and my inner perfectionist will never let me live it down, I still have to admit I learned from it. And after taking it to Janelle and practically begging her to quilt it for me, and her telling me that I could do it, that I'd done harder things, I took the bull by the horns and just went for it. I had sharpened the photo, but realised you could actually see the quilting clearer, I did an "unsharpen", sorry. This way it just looks like it all flows! lol

The back was a bit of fun... no, really... I added a little foot pocket. I don't know about you, but in the winter, when you're trying to watch tv and all you want to be is snuggly, your feet somehow always find the "cold out from under". I wanted to remedy this for my friend as the idea came from watching her struggle to keep her feet covered one evening. I thought it was a pretty brilliant idea, and it wasn't that difficult. I had to make the binding a bit wider, but it really seemed easy to attach, and it didn't seem like there was too much there. That end is a bit heavier, but not much. It's only one piece of fabric, folded in half and one piece of batting in between. It ended up being about 15" wide, which I thought was sufficient without being over kill.

I took it over to my friend, just 4 days before the official end of winter. Hey, I made it at least! lol. It matched her couch so well. She has pretty little throw pillows and the cream colors on this quilt really matched well with them as well. I think she really liked it because mutual friends had approached me and told me she had shown them. It didn't actually stay on the couch though, it ended up being a sort of bed spread on their bed. I had thought it was a bit small for something like that, but it actually looks nice, kinda like a decoration.

I'm pleased. Now on to the next project... I wonder what that will be. Perhaps I'll go back to this one.

This time, however, my inner perfectionist will get her wish, even if it means unsewing and resewing several times, I have all summer before I need it!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Photoshop Crafty 2

This is another PhotoShop thing I put together. Gotta love PhotoShop!

If you've been to my blog before, you know that I've been drumming for close to a year now. The company I go to for my lessons is In Rhythm. Most of the people that attend the classes are djembe players, there's only a couple of us that play the djuns. They have some of the coolest t-shirts they sell at events, but they only have them with djembes and djembe players printed on them. So I thought about it one evening and began playing with different images to see if I could come up with something that I could put on a shirt. It took me all evening, but this is what I came up with. I don't know why, but it's coming up green. The finished product is brown.

Each bit is from a different photo, the sticks, the hair, the torso, the drums were actually a picture of my own, and the feet even belong to someone else.

I sent it to my friend at In Rhythm to see what she thought of it, and the company wanted it! How cool is that! So I was able to broker a deal with them and they now own the rights.

It was a fun little project and this was another area where I learned some valuable lessons for the future. I can hardly wait to get a shirt of my own, with my own work on it!

Bargello Beauty part 2

I'm getting to the home stretch of this gorgeous quilt, and wanted to share it.

When I was last here, I was off to cut the strips for this quilt... I just got done... lol, no not really.

First I needed to sew all these strips together in the gradient I wanted

Then I sewed two more of the same colour gradients on to this, so 33 strips in all. I then sewed the beginning and end strips together to form a tube. The tube is then folded to make it more manageable to cut.

From there, the new strips are cut, This is one of the two tubes I needed to create and as you can see, the farthest end is the one that has been squared up and that's the end I've cut the new strips sets from.

Following this pattern, I cut each of the strips in the size called for on the pattern

Like this. I then had to move each strip down, or up, following the pattern, pin them together, and sew them up. Sound easy? Not really, I kinda lost the plot a couple times and had to do some "un-sewing", but how are we to learn if we don't make mistakes? There's a step here that I'm purposefully not mentioning, 1) due to copy write laws, and 2) because I don't have the picture to accompany the step, but this step was my undoing a couple times. You canNOT watch tv while doing this part.

This is the first half sewn together.

And this is with the first and second borders. I went with one of the creamy colours for the first border, just because it's got such a pretty pattern. The second, larger border, I chose because it will match the couch it will be on really nicely. The little white marks are actually little red and white flowers.

And here it is hanging over the banister and then laying flat on the floor.

I just love the movement, and because the colours are so pretty and rich, you hardly notice all the mistakes!

The next step, I'm planning to make a foot pocket on the back... you know how when you're trying to cover up on the couch in front of the tv, your feet always stick out at the bottom... the pocket will be about 18" deep, go across one end of the back, and will also have batting so it will be cozy warm. I'll quilt it as well, in a diagonal pattern to make it stronger, then sew it to the quilt before putting the binding on.

After creating the foot pocket and before I attach it, I'll flip the quilt over, put the batting down, then the back, pin it all together and begin the quilting process. Since the fabric and pattern are so intricate, I'll keep the quilting simple.

After the quilting is done, I'll square it up, sew the foot pocket on, then the binding. Then it will be finito! Finished, yay!

But I really have fallen in love with this quilt, it's just too pretty not to love. I may have to make one for myself! With all the gorgeous fabrics that Janelle has at Pieces to Treasure, the possibilities are endless. You can also get this pattern from her website.

** Thanks for the question Marty Michelle. The fabrics I used were selected out of a whole bunch of different ones. I have to admit, Janelle helped by knowing where all of her colours were and pulling out a bunch in the same colour family. Out of about 20 she pulled out, I chose 11 for the final product. She has so much at her shop it would have taken me hours to find it all.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bargelo Beauty

I'm starting a new quilt today, well, I'm blogging about starting it anyway. Its called a "Bargello Quilt" I think it has something to do with the movement or pattern.

Again, I have to say thanks to Jenelle Kent at Pieces to Treasure, for spending so much time with me figuring out what I wanted to do, and she is great at picking colours out of her vast array of fabrics. I really don't think, I'd want to have to figure this out on my own! It would take twice as long and I'm sure I wouldn't be as completely happy with my own selections. She has such a gift.

So here is the pattern

And here at the stars of the show. This quilt will be created with some deep blues and creamy colours.

To begin this beauty, I'll start by cutting all this fabric into 2 1/2 strips...

I better get cutting... stay tuned!

New Legs!

I finally got the legs my duns dreamt of! Just wanted to show them off.

Before - You can see that 1) they don't match; 2) they don't match the wood of the drums; 3) they are made from what looks like floor moulding, nail holes and all. I wasn't all that happy with them.

After: Look at these fantastic things! The wood matches, and the new legs are a lot more stable than the old ones. These are the legs that were meant to be on these drums!

Thanks to Graham for his "craftiness" and for making my drums look the way they're supposed to.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Back to Cards

Back in October, I went with Michelle to a big paper craft weekend. We had a great time and the following are my results. Funny thing is, I took off right out of the gate and had heaps of cards on Michelle, but in the end, at the last day, she had me, of course, just like always, she made double what I did, and hers are always a lot more intricate than mine. I wish I had some of hers to show you.

So here we go. This isn't all of them, and the pictures are mostly blurry, so sorry about that, but you still can get the idea of what they looked like. I PhotoShopped the heck out of them just to get something I could use... got a new camera in the US, too bad I didn't have it in October!

I used Michelle's Cuttle Bug to create this beautiful textured background paper. I have to get one of these things.

This stamp was so cute, but I overworked the auqwash pen on the cake and ended up buckling the card stock, so to fix it, we made the buckling more pronounced and put foam tape on the back of it so cake stayed uniformly puffy. I also used Kindy Glitz to shiny it up a bit. The Happy Birthday is stamped in black, then over stamped with VersaMark and embossed with clear embossing powder. You'll notice there's also some handmade pink paper in a strip behind the stamped part, and little pink flowers stamped all over.

My favorite card I made, all weekend, was the one on the left. The card stock was a very light green and I put it through Michelle's Cuttle Bug for the embossed look. Then I stamped the tree and the greeting in a deep garden green. When it was dry, I Kindy Glitzed the tiny leaves on the tree. I love the tree, and it was an inexpensive stamp!

The card on the right, I had the flower brad and was lucky enough to find paper to match in my box.

Another couple of stamps I bought just for that weekend. The Birthday stamp and the cute little bird.

The card on the left was the first one I made, followed closely by the one on the right. The one on the right has acetate fastened on with the flower brad. The Happy Birthday is stamped on the acetate. I thought it was a cool idea. Unfortunately it was the only card that worked that way, proving that once you have a good idea, it might not work again the second time around!

These two cards were simple and quick as. The lavender one was just card stock ran through the Cuttle Bug for the embossing. I put a little Kindy Glitz on it and hand wrote Happy Birthay, and added the gross grain ribbon. The one on the right was even quicker. Patterned paper with Kindy Glitz and a chiffon ribbon. Simple.

Another simple, quick card. Again, patterned paper, a bit of glitz, a bit of ribbon and a couple of brads.

Gotta love that Cuttle Bug!

Even Birdies Need Crafty Stuff!

Before we left for our month long holiday, I figured I'd better make a good woody toy for Tirsa so she didn't drive the fiddy sitter mad.

I just took the old toy that I had made a couple months ago and replaced a lot of the toy parts with new bits. I get most of these new pieces from Fowl Play. I think they are really good value and of excellent quality. Check out their site, if you have chewy feathered friends. If I would have thought about it first, I could have made the blocks read her name. Oh well, next time, I'm sure she didn't catch it.

In fact, I think she rather liked it. "Hmm, this looks yummy!"

However, like most kids, she liked the box as well.

Of course I
took all of the
tape and
stickers off

3 days into it


no, really, she DID

In fact, she looks rather proud of herself, don't you think? I think if I could have heard her thoughts, she would have been saying "it's still mine!"

She literally worked on this for 10 days straight. She has to be the most determined bird I have ever met! And it's taught me that she's a cheap bird, give her the box instead of the expensive toys and she's just as happy! Just like a human kid.

Crafty Friends 2 The Price of Friendship

My best friend has always been a blessing to me, and she has taught me many many things about being crafty.

Every year for our birthday's and Christmas, we have vowed that we would never just buy something for each other, but spend time creating something from our hearts.

This year for Christmas she created a beautiful bag for me. Michelle doesn't sew, she hates it, but she also knows that I've been quilting for over a year now and wanted to put her hand to it, just for me. Not many people in our lives would completely go against their better judgement to try to create something, when they have no idea how to go about it... oh wait, I guess I did that, didn't I? Well this is just one more way we are so alike.

So after researching and looking for a pattern, dragging out her old sewing machine, and probably having to learn how to use it again, and through all the tears of frustration, and temper tantrums (I know those tantrums, been there, done that), this is what she came up with for my Christmas present this year. Honestly, I think she did a beautiful job and I so appreciate all the work that went into it.

The front

The back

And she even quilted it!

I use it for my drumming bag, to tote my sticks and accessories in. It gets a lot of use!

Thanks again Michelle!

Crafty Friends 1

Since this is a crafty blog, over the next two posts, I'm going to share some craftiness from a couple friends.

This first one, the gentleman that created this masterpiece is a dear, dear friend of mine. His son in law is in a band and picked up this guitar and asked Mike if he would do some feather work on it. Because I wasn't there, I couldn't tell you the exact conversation, so don't quote me... The guitar had all the hardware taken off and it was sanded down to bare wood, then feathers were carefully placed and glued on. After that, there were several coats of resin (don't quote me on this either), and it was hand sanded and finished to the perfection you see here, then all the hardware was added back on.

Anyway, this is the final result, and I think it turned out gorgeous, and the son in law agrees with me! I believe the feathers are grouse.

Lets get updated!

It's been a while, and in that time away, I've gotten to spend a month in the US with family and friends. That's always a good thing. So I know I will be forgiven for being slack.

The first thing I want to share is the finished quilting project I was working on last year. It was the red, black and white quilt. I finally finished it and it was given to the happy couple on their wedding day... yes, I made the deadline! Yay me!

So here it is in the actual quilting process. I drew out the leafy patterns on grease proof paper and carefully pinned it onto the quilt, where it was to be quilted.

Then as you can see in
this picture, I carefully
pulled the paper off
and lo and behold I had
a nice quilted pattern.
I'd be lying if I said the
quilting process was
made easier using the
paper, because it wasn't.
But I learned a lot and
that's what matters.

This is where the quilt is cut down and squared up.

An this is where the binding comes in.

With the binding, I had a bit of trouble getting it on the quilt right. I had sewed one side on and realized that it felt wonky and the reason was, it was sewed on just slightly crooked. Slightly always makes a huge difference in the end, it always ends up being a much bigger issue if it's not fixed in the beginning. So I took the binding off, I'm becomming the queen of un-sewing, and drew my quarter inch seam on and began the re-sewing. When I was done, it turned out brilliantly, I was glad I fixed it sooner rather than later. The binding went on beautifully and properly. I would suggest that if anyone has the slightest problem sewing a straight line, you draw your quarter inch line on before sewing. It makes the process a lot easier and quicker.

This is the finished product, and I'm happy to say that the couple is really happy with it. I hope they get lots of use out if it. It's going into winter here in Australia so it's probably well timed.