Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Uhg! What Have I Gotten Myself Into!

So I've started work on a very special quilt. My little sister is turning 10 January 16th and I think that she deserves something pretty special. What better than a quilt? I went on a shop hop with some friends in September and purchased all of the blocks to complete the shop hop quilt. because of the color I just knew it had to be for my sister. I have started sewing blocks and they are coming along wonderfully, until I started trying to work on the applique. The quilt has 8 appliqu├ęd blocks from some focus fabric. I thought, hey this should be easy. I love to embroider so why not applique? I'll tell you why not, it sucks.
I read up and found some great tutorials for the needle turn method of applique. I cut out my flowers and leaves and set to work. It is a total pain. Such an agonizingly slow process. I'm trying very hard to make it neat and clean looking, but this is just nuts. Here are my stitches so far.
This is a side view so you can see some of my stitching. From the top it really doesn't look that bad, but I'm so worried it looks messy and horrid. Here is a top view.
Then I found another way. I found a tutorial on using iron on interfacing. Seemed like a great idea. Machine sew around the interfacing on the applique, turn it right side out and have nice neat edges to stitch on. Until I tried it. I have some narrow areas and my interfacing was tearing and not allowing me to turn. I ended up with this.
Not going to work. Uhg. The pattern for the quilt suggests just fusable webbing the applique on and then button hole stitching around them. I'm not a fan of fusable webbing as it gums up the needle of the machine so bad. I also wasn't sure I wanted to machine stitch around these as I'm worried that would look messy as well. I'm just at a loss and the quilt top has to be done by next week so I can take it to the long arm quilter.
Any suggestions on how to stop this crisis and make me smile again?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays To You!

Wishing all of my friends a beautiful and happy holidays. May you have all of the best things in life; love, laughter, joy, and creativity. Stay warm and hold those you love close. Happy Holidays!

From the Novak's
And Merlin too! (he didn't want to be cooperative in the photo. LOL)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Wonderland

It is cold. Ok, so that is probably an understatement, but I don't know how else to explain what 15 below zero is like. That is of course without the wind chill. The cold also brings the most beautiful weather you could imagine. I stepped outside this morning and my eyes lit up with wonder. Don't get me wrong, I hate cold, but the pictures it creates are so astounding! I grabbed my camera slapped on my ear flapper hat and stepped out my front door to take some pictures. I wish I could have driven into the country to get some shots, but the hubby has just gotten off work and needs to be in the bed. If you'd like to see these photos even better go to my flickr and see them in the large view.

Jack Frost's Visit
Jack Frost's Visit


Welcome Sunshine
Welcome Sunshine

Three shots to share of my neighborhood. It is going to be cold all day and that sun is so misleading. More snow on the way tonight. Time to curl up in the chair today with some tea and my book and forget about the stress of hosting the holidays. Well, I may do a little spiffing up around here. Clear out some of the art supplies from the desk and floor surrounding the computer.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Rainbow Fairy

I signed up for another class over at Willowing.ning. After doing the free class, Art, Heart, and Healing, that Tam offered I was so excited to work more on my skills at mixed media. The Hubby paid for me to sign up for the Magical, Mythical, Makings class that starts in January. To gear up for the class I started doodling a fairy. She went through many layers and changes until I found something I was happy with. I don't normally work in this palette of colors so I was so excited when she turned out!
Rainbow Fairy
I think I'm going to give her as a gift. I tried to find a frame for her, but the dang water color paper I used is an odd size. I'll maybe work out something before Christmas, otherwise they get her unframed.
Rainbow Fairy Close Up
I used my water soluable crayons, acrylic paints, graphite pencil, tissue paper, gel medium, gel pen, stamps, shimmer stick, and glitter. It was fun layering and layering. She looks even more glowy in real life. Hmmmm..... Glowy, what a great word!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Peacock Quilt

The Peacock quilt is done and ready to be wrapped up in a pretty box with a bow.

It is the Chinese coin pattern in blues and greens. It is 58X80, a nice size to curl up on the couch with. I used the backing fabric to base the other colors on and since my Auntie is getting it and she loves peacocks and their colors I went a bit wild.
Peacock Chinese Coin
Here is the inspiring backing fabric I used.
Peacock Chinese Coin Back
I had it quilted by the same long arm quilter that did my first quilt. She did a gorgeous feather pattern in a fun variegated thread. It pulls the whole thing together so perfectly!
Peacock Quilting

I'm so excited to see her face when she opens it! I think it is the gift I am most looking forward to give.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

WIP Sunday: I'm Not Working On Anything!

This Sunday is going to be a leisurely one. I'm going to go enjoy a Christmas music performance at the art center later and I may do a bit of laundry, but other than that it is my day to just be. Knowing me I'll sit down at the sewing machine and do something, but it won't be anything that needs to be rushed.
I thought I would share a photo of our Christmas tree. We ended up getting a slightly crooked one as we were so late getting the remodeling wrapped up. It is a funny little tree and loosing a lot of needles, but it is our tree in the end.
2010 Christmas tree
You can see lots of handmade ornaments on it. I took it before I got the lovely package of handmade ornaments from Heidi (Digital Misfit) though! I'll have to share them at another time.
I also made a Christmas card yesterday! We were going to have dinner and a party with an Aunt and Uncle of mine and the gift I ordered them did not arrive on time. So I made them a card and put a printed out picture of the gift inside. I think I just wanted an excuse to make a card!
Merry Christmas!
A little Christmas Elf! I started out thinking of drawing a whimsy angel and she ended up being an elf. Oh well, she turned out cute!
Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Look What I Got!

My swap package from Alexz is finally here! I just had to share.
Swap Package From Spooky Pooky
She sent a wonderful package. A geisha doll, a store bought Halloween blanket and pillow set, framed Merlin art, a Halloween wind chime/hanger, a small stocking and Christmas Address book, some extra photos of Merlin that she altered with digital scrap booking, and Nessie key hook plaque to match the Nessie message board she sent before.
Merlin Art From Spooky Pooky
My favorite part of the package is the Merlin art! I love how she illustrated him! It is just perfect and I can't wait to hang it up after the holiday decor comes down. The Hubby and I have already started deciding where it will go. The extra pics are so great, I'm going to put them in a brag book.
Geisha Doll From Spooky Pooky
The geisha doll is so adorable! Hubby even thought so, but did question why it didn't have legs. LOL He's silly like that. I'm going to find her a special place in my Asian themed bedroom.

Thanks so much Alexz!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WIP Sunday: Erm... Wednesday Edition

Oops! The weekend flew by as I was frantically working to get things done! The best thing of the whole weekend is that I have my house back! After a struggling 4 months of remodeling we can breathe! I'm so happy. The kitchen needs about 2 tiny finishing touches and the dining room needs 1. The laundry room has been put off until after the new year, but won't take much to finish up.
I am pretty much done making gifts and even though I didn't get to make as many as I wanted I'm happy with my progress. So on to some pictures of my finished kitchen and dining room!
Here is the dining room! The only thing that needs to be finished is trimming out the coat closet. We will eventually be purchasing a new light fixture as well. The only thing we really changed in here was the floor.
Newly Remodeled Dining Room
Here is the view you see when entering the kitchen. There is a small piece of trim by the stove that needs put up, but you can't hardly tell. We will also eventually be purchasing a new light fixture for over the sink.
Kitchen Remodel 2
Here is the view of the stove. That cupboard above the microwave is the only real unfinished thing. It will have glass front for displaying my tea sets!
Kitchen Remodel 1
I'm so proud considering we did all of the work ourselves with a bit of help from a friend and my Aunt and Uncle. It turned out so well and didn't cost us millions. I'm slowly adjusting to the new configuration and keep opening the wrong drawer for silverware, but I'll get the hang of it!

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm Still Here!

The remodel has been sucking away any fun time for blogging or just being on the computer, but good news! We are almost done! After starting this project in September I'm so happy to be seeing the end. We had so many hiccups along the way! I have a bit of painting to finish up and the drawer handles and door knobs will be installed hopefully tomorrow.
I just thought I should share a photo of the weather I'm living in right now! I snapped this pic like 5 minutes ago up my street. Just another winter day!

I did manage to finish up my Grandma's Christmas gifts! The Elvis china hutch runner and double ended pot holder. Not a great pic as with weather above the lighting is terrible.
Elvis Pot Holder and Runner
Hopefully I'll have some finished pics of the kitchen tomorrow!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

WIP Sunday: I Promise I Won't Panic!

Oh wow! Things are moving so fast! I'm trying my best to keep up with it all. I won't be making as many gifts as I had hoped this year because of the remodeling, but the ones I do get made are certainly good gifts!
I spent all morning grouting the dining room floor! My hands and wrists are killing me from all the squeezing and scrubbing, but it is totally worth it.
My Dining Room Floor WIP
We did the staggered brick pattern and I love how it is looking! You can see up in the top of the pic where the hallway and kitchen are yet to be finished. The hallway should be done tomorrow evening and the kitchen should be done by Friday! Whew! Then I can paint, and put the furniture back and have my house! Huzzah! Then comes the decorating! I can't wait! Usually we have our tree up by this time!
The next project up is my gifts for Grandma. I plan on making her two wonderful things from this pile of fabric and trim. A runner for the china hutch and a double ended oven mitt thing to match. She loves everything Elvis and she loves changing up the china hutch decor so I thought it would be a fun gift. Maybe she can put it out when we celebrate his Birthday!
Elvis WIP
Three down, two to go of these notebook holders! I have to run to the store for more notebooks to fill them, and some pens to customize with fabric to put inside. I hope my friends love them!
WIP Notebook Holders
I'm also madly sewing on binding to the peacock quilt! The thing is huge and I hate binding! After approximately 3 hours of hand sewing I have a little over 3 feet done! Uhg!
I just keep telling myself not to panic, I'll get everything done! Gifts, decorating, menu planning, everything!