Wednesday, January 13, 2016

SOTU(FOs)

State of the UFOs. Lol! Sometimes I crack myself up for being so darn silly.

It hit me hard today, the number of UFOs I have. My brother, who never sends me anything quilt related, sent me an advertisement for a quilter's PH.D. (Projects half done) shirt. And to add insult to injury, today was the day I set aside to officially compile my UFO list.

Truth hurts, doesn't it? Don't worry, I'm not really upset. Just trying to take it all in stride. I have all sorts of projects in various stages

  1. Diamonds in the Sky - still hand piecing
  2. Civil Unrest - quilted, needs binding, label, hanger
  3. Modern Unrest -quilted, needs binding, label, hanger
  4. Aviatrix Medallion -fabric pulled
  5. 2015 Mystery - need to fix block measurements
  6. Guild Mystery - need to finish piecing top, etc. 
  7. Johnny Mac - need tweak on top, finish back, etc. 
  8. Cotton+Steel - fabric pulled
  9. Scrappy Windmill -fabric pulled
  10. QAYG -determine if worth it to continue. If so, finish blocks
  11. BW Solids - fabric pulled
  12. Lady liberty table topper - finish/repair
  13. Lisa's quilt top - determine next steps
  14. Kaffe-a-palooza - add border, etc
  15. Autumn leaves swap blocks - determine layout, etc.
  16. Japanese Taupes -fabric pulled
  17. Beatrice's quilt - will pull fabric today and start adapt. Due in March
Yikes! I've got some sewing to do! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 So Far

Hello! It's been a very busy year so far! I am starting 2016 off with a bang. First off, I changed my cover/books for my planner/wallet. I sprung for a  Foxy Fix Wanderlust in Licorice (black). Oh my word, that leather is just yummy and buttery. I can't stop touching it! I covered my monthly Moleskine books with scrapbook card stock and some photos I printed from online. Now I got me a chunky, tiny planner. Love, love, love it! I also sprung for a crackly leather Avalanche cover as well. Just love the texture! Not sure what I'm going to use this for just yet. I think I'll keep this one minimal, just the natural kraft covered books. Both hold the pocket size moleskines or those small field notes books.

I bartered out my blue leather A5 cover for quilting services since I find it too big. The person I gave it to uses A5 compatible books and will give it the proper home. I've been extremely pleased with everything I've bought from Foxy Fix. They truly put out a gorgeous product. And now that they are one state away I love them even more -- faster shipping! Wheeee!

The Diamonds in the Sky project is plugging along. I'm in the middle of gluing the last row of pieces to the templates so I can begin sewing the last two rows together.

Then there is a very important baby quilt to be sewn for Grandbaby number three, Miss Beatrice, due mid-March. I've chosen a cute heart quilt (see Pinterest pin here) from Australia's Homespun Magazine. It's just perfect! I'll be pulling fabrics for that very soon.


A pressure-cooked egg. Perfection in six minutes! 
My third book of the month is nearly finished, so I'm definitely making one of my creative goals, and yes, I'm holding up on the bargain of creative time as well! It looks like pressure cooking will be my method to master in the kitchen. I've had a cooker for several years and never really took full advantage of it.

Clearing clutter has been on my mind as well. This weekend I took it upon myself to go through my makeup basket and drawer. This is what survived my cut, as most of my stash was expired. Some items in the photo are new. I took advantage of an Ulta discount I earned and went on a mini spree. Today I wore one of my new L'Oreal color match foundations and I gotta say it totally rocks when you find the perfect color! I found out I was wearing foundations that were too light for my complexion. No wonder I felt washed out!

I even sprung for some RED lipstick. This was daring for me... As I usually stick with neutrals. I wore red today and I liked it (L'Oreal British Red). Oh, and I'm sporting much longer hair these days. Chin length bob. I diffuse and go. Talk about easy!

So 2016 is, so far, a very creative and productive year!





Monday, December 28, 2015

2016 Creative Goals


Sorry I haven't been here in a while. Life got in the way. Right now my schedule is thrown off by the holiday and a sick hubby. Poor baby. Got a pot of soup on the stove for tonight. Hoping it helps him out. He's got respiratory crud going on. Bless him.

I'm ferverently trying not to get sick. I've been popping airborne and using my neti pot like crazy. Like that one lady on You Tube says, "Ain't got time for that!"

It was a quiet Christmas for us. I was resting after making over 25 pillowcases (had a sweatshop going in the living room). All were distributed to happy recipients. It was fun to watch the kids pick their new pillowcase out on Christmas Eve. We spent part of that evening celebrating at our friends' place.

The smiles said it all!

Looking back, this year was a creative wasteland. I had a lot going against me. The surgery and my newfound mobility limits, then the big move. I'm now ready to get the show on the road.

I set three creative goals for this year. All are quite doable.

  1. Read at least three books a month. 
  2. Spend 2-3 hours/week in creative time.
  3. Learn/master a cooking style or cuisine. 
The only other goal I'm adding personally is to utilize my prayer journal more. I purchased some devotional a and study books for that. I'm waiting until after the first of the year to buy a journaling bible for myself. That will come in handy. 

Planner-wise, I'm waiting for a new cover and paper to come in. So far I've been loving my pocket sized travelers notebook as my wallet. I finally got my little photo printer out (Canon Selphy) and started using that. With the use of mosaic picture apps (Moldiv and Pic Stitch), I can get multiple photos on my 4x6 paper. I can't get over how easy the printer is to use! 

Journaling-wise, I've been trying to stay current on my listing challenge. Last month's prompts didn't thrill me. They were too Holiday oriented. I'm just not into that goofy Christmas memories stuff. Hell, I can't find my carkeys, let alone remember gifts I got at ten years old. My past stays in the past. I may find another source for inspiration. Part of me thinks I should just pull out the dictionary and pick a random word. I don't know. Half of the fun will be finding the prompts. 

Sewing wise, I'm trying to finish my EPP project. Then after that is a baby quilt for granddaughter #3, due mid-March. I've got tons of fabric in my stash for that. I'm just debating on which direction to take.   

Cooking wise, I've mastered the basic 5-minute crusty bread recipe. If you haven't done that, you should. No need to buy those crusty round loaves from the store. I just pop the dough into my covered Pyrex dish, make sure the oven is screaming hot, and then enjoy. 

This year may be the year of the pressure cooker. Not sure yet. A friend's hubby got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I may be experimenting to help her out. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

What I'm Working On

This past week I started an online holiday bible study through Time Warp Wife. I'm enjoying the living heck out of it. Yes, I'm only one week in, but I'm learning a lot about myself and my faith. While I'm not a traditional church-goer, my religious beliefs straddle several religions. I still enjoy learning about the Bible and our creator.

This is the journal book I made for the class. It started as a cutesy bright floral Japanese dollar store journal. With a switch of cover paper and a few stickers and Washi, I transformed it into a simple, but elegant little journal, complete with a beaded bookmark! The ribbon needed more bling.

I'm marking each week's beginning with a Washi tape divider of sorts. I'm binding the page edge with Washi tape and clipping the top and bottom outside page corners. That makes each week's start feels special and I can go right to it.

And I'm using colored ink. There's a rebellious side in me about using other colors than black or blue.  Lol! Plus I'm really liking the Pilot G2 pens pictured above. They write well.


I've also set up my bullet journal as a wallet. This helps minimize what I carry and it keeps everything with me. I purchased two Midori brand passport size zipper cases for my credit cards and currency (I keep US and Canadian dollars with me). It makes my book huge, but I know it'll be tough to lose. And I feel better having it all in one place. I may end up dumping the back two books. We'll see how it goes this week.

Black Friday was my first annual Stitch and Bitch. Those invited had a blast and we set December 14th as our next one. Today I hit the Costco Business Store (a Costco that has stuff geared toward restaurants and small businesses). There I got three  6-foot folding tables we can use to get the retreat room going.  I'll be able to accommodate up to eight people total depending on spatial needs.

I'm over the moon excited about this!

As for my English paper piecing project, I have 1/3 of row 12's paper pieces glued for sewing. I'm determined to finish this project before New Year's Day.

By the way, the pumpkin bread turned out pretty good. My loaves were a bit flat due to the size of my loaf pans, but the taste was delicious! I'm glad I switched the spices. Oh, and the sweet potatoes were a hit. A friend that detests sweet potatoes took a bite and he's a convert. And, no, he wasn't just being polite! So scroll down or click older posts to get the recipe links! You're welcome!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Smell of Thanksgiving

Right now the house smells divine. It's a baking day here at our home. I just finished a batch of chocolate crinkle cookies, and a pumpkin pie and two loaves of pumpkin bread are in my ovens. I'm hoping the pumpkin bread turns out. I added a different spice mixture to it (2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves, and a generous pinch of nutmeg) It's times like this I'm glad I have double ovens.

... And a sense of smell! Lol! Yummy!

Laundry is tumbling and swishing. It's a busy week. Lots of housework to catch up on since last week's storm and power outage.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. This year it's just hubby and I. No traveling. Dinner will be chicken, country greens, and black eye peas. Maybe some stuffing and cranberry sauce, too! The big holiday dinner will be Friday night at a friend's house. I'm bringing ham and sweet potato casserole (you must make this!). 

Friday morning is my first annual Black Friday Stitch and Bitch. I invited a few friends to come by and sew. Lunch will be a salad bar and fresh baked peasant bread (at least some pretense of being healthy! Haha!). Sewing beats shopping.

Speaking of sewing, another row is completed on my diamonds in the sky top. That means there are two rows left. Yay! I might get this done before January 1!

I've started yet another journal. I'm trying out Time Warp Wife's holiday bible study. While it's not an artsy journal, it's involves thinking, so I'm marking this down as a creative project. And you know I have to make it all pretty.

Well, my bread is almost ready. Gotta scoot. Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 20, 2015

Hand lettering

Good afternoon! Well, just barely afternoon here. Lol! (No makeup day. Haha!)

This past week has been crazy. Housework has been severely neglected here. First I was relaxing from weekend company, then we had a huge windstorm that knocked out the power for a good portion of two days. And to be honest, I don't feel like doing squat.

Yes, I know I'm delaying the inevitable! 

I spent yesterday practicing my hand lettering skills. On a whim, I decided to actually go back and refer to some of those sites I've been pinning on Pinterest. (My hand lettering board)

Today will find me taking advantage of warmth and sunshine in my family room, so I'll be working on some English paper piecing as soon as I finish this blog post. I wish it were warm enough to be outside... But it's not. Boo! 

I'm hoping to unpack the photo printer I got last week and play around with that for my journaling. That plus I have a few gifts to make. Speaking of gifts, this was cute bookmark I made for a friend. I used some office supply paper protectors and a special fuse tool to make the shaker packet. I also did up a cute little card for a friend that needs cheering up. 

I also made a sticker organizer using page protectors, the fuse tools, scrapbook paper, a bit of elastic and my hot laminating stuff (oh, and my grommet stuff too). This enables me to categorize my loose sticker stash.

I'll be honest in saying that my pocket planner has been gathering dust. That may be part of my inert behavior. Ideas if I write my list out it would make me more accountable. So chalk this out as a period of non-production in some areas.

Hope y'all have a good weekend. I hear that our storm is now ready to hit the Midwest and go further east. Stay safe, warm, and dry. It's the perfect excuse to get out your stuff and create!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Still Alive and Creating!

Still a mess but getting better! 

I've been slowly but surely getting my studio in good order. One medium sized moving box got filled with goodies and donated. I moved my fabric stash to half of my shelf and am using the other half to store larger paper crafting items.

Paper crafting palooza

Then I moved my drawers full of paper stuff to my IKEA Raskog cart (love that!), and consolidated my sewing supplies. Most used items are out, and the rest went in the closet shelving. I need to rehang some artwork and quilts, thin down my books and give the room a good base cleaning and I'll be ready for the gray rainy winter. Rumor has it we have a major storm coming in the next 24 hours, so I won't be doing my usual Tuesday out.

I've made a few sewing days to work on my paper piecing project, but no major sewing has been going on. I do have a wall hanging out for quilting, and it's companion piece waiting to be bound. Other stuff has been calling me. (Master bedroom decorating and houseguests)






I have been working on my journaling project for Listers Gotta List. It's an hour up front each month to decorate the base pages, then about 5-10 minutes each day, depending on the topic. I really am enjoying this journaling project. To keep it simple I've used a planner, since the prompts are daily. It works out great!

I've also been teaching myself some baking skills. I started watching The Great British Bakeoff on Netflix, PBS, and You Tube. Last week I tried my hand at biscotti. I made the one recipe as written, then improvised on two more batches. One improv batch turned out great, the other was so-so. I have some tweaks to make on the not so great batch. I'll likely try that this week as well. My goal this week is to do a crusty bread. I have an issue with my Italian bread recipe proofing out instead of up, and I learned a new trick on the show.

I also ensured some future sweet experimentation when I picked up this cookie porn. I'm thinking a holiday cookie swap might be in order!