Sunday, May 29, 2011

OPUS GLUEI #103 - Mail Art

MAIL ART has been around for I don't know how long, and I really don't care. I DO care that I like it. It's so much more fun to receive a decorated package than a plain one. Don't you think so too.

This week OPUS GLUEI is challenging everyone brave enough to make MAIL ART. And we aren't even that strick with our requirements. It's really easy to decorate an envelope. Markers, stickers, decorative tape, sheesh the options are limitless. You can go simple or complicated.

These were all made using 9x12 white envelopes.

First up is this complicated looking one.

This one has a lot of layers. But it was pretty simple. I used templates and a very light hand to trace the shapes with a pencil. Used masking fluid on the pencil lines. Watercolored. Then filled in the address areas with the masking fluid. Stamped. Then rubbed off the masking and erased the pencil lines. The hardest part is waiting for everything to dry before going to the next step.


This colorblock envie was made using masking fluid too. I used a ruler and lightly drew straight lines randomly. Then I used acrylic paints to fill in the spaces. After it dried, I painted over the entire thing with an irridescent paint. Let that dry and then rubbed off the masking. The bottle says to use an eraser to rub off the masking. I should have listened. It was a lot of rubbing and now my finger tip is tender to the touch. Of ANYTHING. LOL


This simple looking envelope was the most time consuming of the three. I drew the inch squares and the address boxed and then started to tangle. For me the hardest part of tangling is coming up with the designs for each area. It isn't finished, but it could be at this point. I am going to fill in the big white area before I use it.

Hope you give MAIL ART a try this week.

Either way go over to OPUS GLUEI and see what everyone else has done.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

And ... here we go!

1. This week I just barely made it through by the skin of my teeth.

2. Even after trying on the clothes, my daughter ALWAYS has returns.

3. It's all about ME! DUH!

4. You won't find me out in the sun.

5. I demand a lot. And am usually wanting for more. It's just who I am.

6. Try going off the beaten path, it's filled with all sorts of exciting, undiscovered delights.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the Fourth Pirate movie, tomorrow my plans include, well, not planning for anything and Sunday, I want to sleep in and perhaps quilt a bit on Melissa's quilt.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

WOYWW #103

Yikes. It's Thursday. (almost Friday) Not Wednesday. I DID get this picture on the proper morning though. So it still counts. RIGHT????

Seems that no matter the medium, I can only spare the bare minimum of space to actually work in. I am really, really enjoying the re-discovery of quilitng. And crocheting.

See more Workdesks from the Wednesday HERE.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WIP Wednesday - #28

I think I have more of a handle on what I have to catch up on with regards to my quilting. I have admitted to several neglected quilt tops, and have even started actions to get them quilted. Okay, I know I started another one (Melissa's Bricks), but it kinda got me back into the quilting scene, SO, I am quite alright with it.

I have no idea what possessed me to make this top. The colors really aren't ME. They are calm and sedate. I LOVE the bright and obnoxious colors. Anyway, I am going to give this one to my mom for Christmas. It's a lap quilt.

I started quilting this one in a zig-zag-ish pattern to match the bricks. But I got screwed up some how and then decided about a third of the way into it to switch and just quilt in straight lines across the rows. Sounds really wonky, but it doesn't look TOO bad. And I have the quilting done now. So, it's going to stay this way. 

I also made my first mug rug. And have already been using it at the office. I work in a government office, so color is desperately needed. I have enough batting scraps to make several more mug rugs too.

More pics HERE


Projects Completed:
Mug Rug - started and finished
Projects Newly Started:
Granny Square Afghan - 10/120
Mug Rug for co-worker - pieced and layered
Projects Worked On:
Grandma Quilt - quilted and trimmed
Megan's Crochet Afghan - added more rounds, got more yarn
250 Crochet Motif Blocks - 4/250
Projects On Hold:
Melissa's Quilt - need backing fabric (on order)
Quilt tops - I must be patient
Japanese Flower Afghan - have the yarn



Granny squares for MY afghan.

Quilted and ready for binding.

Megan's afghan. Getting bigger.

My first Japanese Flower. I made guesses about the pattern. I guessed before I really studied the ones out there. I guessed wrong. I like the flower I made, but it won't work for the afghan I want to make using this type of flower. I made too many petals. I'll keep this flower though. Because it was my first. And I hate to unravel it.

I am linking up to WIP Wednesday.

For more WIP's on this fine Wednesday, go HERE.


Lee - I am not able to post a comment to your blog. For some unknown reason blogger isn't playing nice. Here is my comment:

Can't wait to see your blue block. Your rainboot fabric is ADORABLE. I don't envy you potty training. Hang in there though.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

PInwheels make pretty mug rugs...

This week's OPUS GLUEI challenge is PINWHEELS. I had a wonderful idea to use some old binder dividers to make some weather proof pinwheels. The dividers are red, blue, green, yellow and orange. PERFECT. Except it didn't happen. Instead I started thinking about the bright colors of the pinwheels and then wandered off and made a mug rug in those bright colors.

I started out with the flamingo fabric. I just HAD to use it. Then I just added some scraps (and made some more). I just started sewing around the bird. Then trimmed it to 5.5x8 inches. It's what my batting measured, and I thought that would be a good size for a mug rug.

What's a mug rug, you ask? Well, it's a jumbo sized coaster. Made for a mug and a donut. Or a roll, or a bagel, or toast.....

There is no coffee in this mug. It was used as a prop. It is too warm for coffee in these parts right now. But I HAD to show you how it will look in the fall. 

I'll have to wait to use it for my mug because the temps are already into the 80's here, so I'll use my mug rug for water (or iced tea) and whatever treat I fancy on any given day.

Sort of looks as though my little friend there is guarding my cookies, doesn't it. I am loving how I can see more of the mug rug through the base of my glass. (Yes, this is the glass I use everyday for water or iced tea.)

So, can you see the pinwheels?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins we go!

1. I see light at the end of the tunnel, and it isn't a train this time.

2. I love bread made from scratch.

3. They begin very quietly, next thing you know, they are very LOUD teenagers.

4. She still acts like she did so many years earlier.

5. This I know: It's all about the journey, not necessarily the destination.

6. I have no friggin' clue what to make for dinner.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to starting my weekend, tomorrow my plans include sleeping in, a bit of cleaning and some fabric/fiber time and Sunday, I want to sleep in again, go on a bike ride, and see what else happens!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WIP Wednesday

It's confession time W.I.P. Wednesday again. Lee over at Freshy Pieced is hosting W.I.P Wednesdays. Nothing like getting a little bit of accountability on your side. Admit to the world that you are going to DO something. And then follow up with that same world (blogland) just a mere week later. I'm game for that...

I got the borders sewn onto Melissa's Bricks. (No picture yet.) I'll have to wait to layer and quilt. The store is out of the fabric I need and has it on order. They said it would be about a week more. Grrrr. I was on such a roll too.

I thought I was doing great, but I forgot all about getting batting. DUH. I guess it really has been a while since I have been through this process. Soothing as it may be, there are some steps that I CANNOT (don't wanna) omit. Like batting. I like batting in my quilts. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to make one without batting, but for now, I will bat my quilts.




I have made several quilt tops. Some of them were quilted into quilts, but sadly there are a handful that have not. They have been neglected and are just sitting in a basket waiting for some love and attention. I am going to try to get them ALL quilted by the end of the year.

Melissa's Bricks - This one you have seen. I am waiting on the fabric I need for the back. I already have batting set aside.

Bricks (top) - I got backing fabric this week. I found a piece of batting that is just the right size. I have this layered now. I just need to quilt it. (As soon as I put these bon-bons down...)

Leaves (2nd down) - I have a beautiful backing fabric. I just need batting.

Pastel (middle) - I have a suitable backing fabric. Again, I am lacking batting.

Sunflowers (2nd from bottom) - I have the backing fabric. Same batting issue.

Picnic (bottom) - I picked up a perfect backing fabric this week. Still need batting.

I'll show them as I get to working on them.

Of course there are more quilts in various stages of planning:

  • Birdie Block of the Month
  • Ticker Tape
  • Spider Web
  • Wonky House
  • Crazy
  • ...

Can you really ever STOP envisioning them!?!


* * *

In the crochet world, I have started making an afghan for Megan. She picked the color and the pattern. I find myself, again, providing the labor for a daughters design. And I find myself, again, LOVING it. 




I love that she gets more and more excited with each skein I add.

I love that she can hardly wait for me to finish.

I LOVE that SHE loves that I am making it for her.



This is my first attempt at wrist warmers. I have so far made 1 of them. I made it a tad too big. But I'll take it. I didn't use a pattern, just kinda winged it. My right wrist gets cold and it hurts. This has helped a lot in the few hours that it has been in exsistence. I used it today at work, and it really made for nice cushioning while I was typing. BONUS!
I used Bamboo Ewe in Mermaid. I LOVE that color name. It's made from Bamboo and wool. It's pretty easy to work with. I am used to working with standard acrylic yarn. You know the kind. It isn't bad, just different to work with. I want to experiment.

I want to crochet these things too:
  • Flower Afghan - I have yarn picked out
  • Wrist Warmers (more of them)
  • 250 Blocks from the Crochet Motif's book - This one might take me a little while.
  • Amigurumi Turtle, Lion, Elephant, Giraffe - Cuteness!
  • Pot Holders - I want wool or cotton for these.
  • Wash Cloths - I want cotton for these.
  • Japanese Flower Scarf - They are just so pretty.
These aren't in the order in which I will attempt them. Just in the order that they popped into my head.


Thanks for hanging in this long.

Next week I'll have a simpler status report.

I hope.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WOYWW #101

This week finds me quilting. Working on a quilt for my youngest. Poor thing hasn't gotten her big quilt yet. Don't feel to badly for her. She does have a baby quilt I made for her. Somewhere in her room. I haven't been into her room farther than a couple of feet for a couple of months now due to the toys covering the floor. But that's another post for another day.

Back to the quilt. You can read more about it HERE. Basically, she picked the pattern and the fabrics. She arranged the blocks and I am the labor.

As is true to my nature, I have been doing a few other things too. The little owlie in the background was given to me by the youngest for Mother's Day. She knows I love me some owls. (insert HUGE smile) She made it in art class and is using some of Tim's stains to color/paint it. (I am supervising. Those stains actually STAIN.)

Also visible is my Tootsie Pop Drop stash. See those three boxes. I found them in a DC drug store last summer. I bought all they had and am glad I did. I haven't seen them since. (insert small sigh)

No paper crafting this week. I did manage to crochet a bit. Again, that's for another post on another day.

You can see more Workdesks from this fine Wednesday HERE at the loverly Julia's Stamping Ground.


And now for WOYWW #100: here is my desk from last week:

Can't believe I did it again. I am making a promise to try harder next week.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Melissa finally gets one...

...or, I should say Melissa is finally "GOING" to get one. A quilt of her very own.

Her sisters have quilts that I made for them when they were around 4 or 5. Megan has this wonderful little FISHES quilt.

And Morgan has this wonderful little FROGGIES quilt.

Heck, even Danny has a quilt. His is the only one I have "hand quilted". I use that term loosely here because it is tied. But I did it by hand.

I enjoyed making the quilts for them. And they really enjoy having them. Somehow, poor Melissa has been neglected. (I guess this will knock me out of the Mom of the Year running. LOL)

Don't get me wrong. Melissa has a little quilt. That she has been sleeping with since she was a baby. I did make her a little baby quilt. I made one for the other 2 also. Now they are used for dolls and in the car on long trips.

I have even had to sew the binding back on a few times. She used to LOVE to pick at the threads until she got the whole thing undone. She hasn't done that in a few years though. The little tiny one was made for Melissa too. From leftovers from a baby quilt made for a friend.

SO, it's now time for a quilt for Melissa. I thought that maybe she should pick the fabrics for it. So I let her "shop" my stash. I did have two fabrics (Millenium ones that I bought the year she was born - 2000) that I picked to put in there. But as luck would have it, they both blend in perfectly with her choices. She also picked grey for the sashing and borders. Dark grey. Hmmm. Not what I would have picked, but it's her quilt.

I also told her to pick a pattern. I mentioned the FISHES and the FROGGIES. AND I showed her some butterfly quilts. And some teddy bears. (Her BFF is Skinny Bear.) BUT she wants this pattern:

Picture is from Stitched in Color

She was looking over my shoulder one day as I was surfing quilters blogs. It was love at first glance.  I mentioned that I would make her any quilt she wanted. She is much like her mother in that when she makes a decision she sticks with it.

Rachel over at Sitiched in Color has a QUILT ALONG for this pattern. It's touted as a beginners quilt, but I prefer to think of it as a quick quilt. I hope my thinking is right. Rachel's instructions call for a slightly smaller block. I used some fabric from a kit that was already cut to a certain width which was an inch wider, so I used that instead.(I am not known for my ability to follow directions. LOL)

I spent Mother's Day sewing the top together. I was nervous about the dark grey. But it totally works. The kid knows her color combos. At least this time.

There is a row for each of her eleven years.

She arranged the bricks in the rows. It's entirely her design. I'm just here for the manual labor.

EDITED: I just today (Wednesday) found WIP WEDNESDAY. I think this post qualifies. I hope it's okay to submit a post from 2 days ago. I'll try to remember to wait until Wednesdays in the future. See more Works in Progress this week HERE.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

1. NCIS LA is my favorite TV show because I love letters.

2. Go to page 45 of the book you're reading or of the book closest to you; go to the 6th paragraph and make a sentence out of 7 words from it: The President's children are easier to understand.

3. I am addicted to hooking right now.

4. I love long walks.

5. Take some time to leave comments.

6. My blog needs a bit of a re-fresh.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a soccer game and a sneak trip to Mikey's for some much wanted colorful yarn, tomorrow my plans include an 8am fundraising track team breakfast, a 10am soccer game, a trip to the flower store, planting said flowers, and finally playing in my Studio, and Sunday, I want to go to Busch Gardens for Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

go HERE for links to flickr pictures

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'm hooking again...

Lately, not only have I been reacquainting myself with fabric (more on this in a future post) but, I have renewed my yearn for yarn. Okay that was really bad. But, it's who I am. I saw this inspiration photo for a card making challenge. And just like those clever commercials we all see on TV, I can't remember whose challenge blog it was. BUT, I do remember the scarf.

And was immediately on a quest for the source. I wanted to know how to make one for myself. I remembered seeing a beautiful quilt on some TV show in college, so I bought a book and taught myself how to quilt. So why not do the same with crochet?!?!?! As you are all aware by now, I have that incurable disease: ICANMAKETHATitis. I have heard of folks that have been able to overcome these urges, which are quite overwhelming, but I have never heard of folks that have been cured. Some suppress it for a bit. Some of us just bear the affliction. SIGH!

I was successful in tracking the source. AND found out that this is called a JAPANESE FLOWER SCARF. You can read about it HERE at Attic 24. And see many more wonderful pictures too.

Now all I needed to do was figure out HOW to make one. You see the disease makes one incapable of distinguishing between projects that you WANT to make that you actually CAN make. Herein lies my dilemna. You see I was taught to crochet by Mrs. Olson. She was our neighbor in San Diego when I was around 10 years old. I saw one of her blankets and was hooked. (no pun intended - but it works LOL) She taught me some stitches but not how to read the instructions. I have made granny squares into blankets. I even made a ponco for Melissa a few years ago. Just sort of winged it.

BUT, this scarf is GORGEOUS and I feel like I owe it to the craft to learn how to read those cryptic writings. So, I bought this book.

There are 250 Crochet Motifs. I intend on making EACH & EVERY one of them by reading the instructions. Maybe I'll make a hodge podge blanket of them all. Eventually.I started out with the granny square. It was a bit of a challenge, but I did it. I ended up making 12 of the first type. I wanted to get the practice and I used up the remnants of a skein we had in a tote bag tucked in the back of one of the closets. I am going to join them together to make a doll blanket for Melissa's dolls. You can find the book here. I got mine at a local crochet and knitting store.

Once I really get into the swing of things, I'll whip out a scarf or two. And maybe one of these little beauties.

I mean, I DO have the book. It was a weak moment while shopping with the girls. Morgan (the middle one who is constantly trying new things) talked me into getting it for her. I caved. It had cute pictures, so how could I say NO. I'm glad I caved now.

Now I am off to Google "How to join granny squares together?". I never did learn how to do that...

Monday, May 2, 2011

April is Done. May has begun.

I finally jumped on the wagon this month. I really LOVE the way this turned out. And will try to do them from now on.

I blame Gina. If you haven't seen hers, then go HERE. NOW!
Just kidding. No blame. Only thanks.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Matchbox challenge at OPUS GLUEI - #100

The challenge this week at OPUS GLUEI, the 100th challenge, is to create/decorate a MATCHBOX. And then swap it, if you like.

I have decorated matchboxes in the past for swaps, so this time I wanted to do something a little different.

Yup. I created a little garden scene. Giving the viewer a Sunshiney Day no matter what Mother Nature is up to outside.

I covered the match box in a pretty little paper. And made the sun, tree top and flower base. Then I colored them and glued them onto toothpicks. I made holes in the top of the box, cut the toothpicks to size. Then colored them too.

It was fun. And I think it's kinda cute.

And the best part is that all of these little elements store right inside the drawer.

Head over to OPUS GLUEI and take the challenge this week. Join in on the swap and just have fun.