Thursday, December 31, 2009

An End to 2009

Hardly seems possible for this year to be over already.  I've got to start writing 2010 now.  I wonder how many times the date will be written as '20010' before we all get our fingers retrained!!

Today is when all the news media - and others - are doing year in review stories.  Top sport stories, the top ten disasters, top 100 songs, best and worst of . . . whatever they can think of.  Some of which we'd prefer to forget!

So . . . . . . . .  Of course, I had to do some kind of year-in-review.  Don't worry.  I'm not choosing top, bottom, best, worst, or anything else.  Just pictures.

My Dolls:


1.  Yolanda 2. April-May 3. Carmen 4. Madame Rossignol 5. Seraphina 6. Natalie 7. Valentine swap 8. Fuscia 9. Aengus 10. altoid doll 11. Wonderland swap 12. Zenobia

Fabric postcards:


1. March 2. December 3. 4. November 5. October 6. July 7. April 8.  September 9.  February

and other Projects:


1. Quilt Guild challenge 2. Quilting Arts Rock 'n Roll challenge 3. Cafe Anniversary 4. calendar box 5. Ellie's Quilt Place BOM 6. Halloween wall hanging 7.  Stuffed hand UFO 8.  Pieces of Friendship swap 9. Quilts of Valor 10. Stack 'n Whack quilt 11.  Creative Boxmaking class 12.  Take It Further (TIF) book.

Just in case anyone wonders . . . .  This is NOT the kind of post you throw together at the last minute.  Just to have something to post?  Not!  I don't have an automated mosaic maker and then I looked all the links up individually.  Goal for next year . . . photo mosaic software!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday WOW - December 30


I'm about a third of the way through the December square.  And then the embroidery will all be done!  Yippee!  Now to decide what to do with these squares!  LOL!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday WOW - December 23


I'm thinking it might be time to do a little cleaning!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Mill on the Floss - a Wednesday WOW Story

OK.  No, this has nothing to do with George Eliot's novel or misguided love or floods or anything like that.  It just sounded catchy!  Because this post is about - er - floss.  The stitching kind.

PC150002I have a major collection of DMC cotton floss.  For many years my  free time was spent doing cross-stitch.  I was working and raising a family, and there was little time for hand work.  Cross stitch is something I can do in small blocks of time and I love the way the colors build up a picture.

PC140015 Up until recently, I stored my floss in two small parts cabinets, sorted by DMC number.  Finding colors specified in a pattern is really easy with this kind of system.  Although it gets a little messy, it has worked so far.


More recently, however, my embroidery work has been in the form of embellishments.  In some cases I have designed my own pattern and I hope to do more of that.  Which means I am choosing my threads by color.  Which is downright impossible to do in the current system!

So, I've been winding skeins of floss onto thread cards.  And storing them in this:


They are still sorted by DMC number at this point.  I still have some patterns I want to stitch.  But I can also see the colors easily and choose just what I need.

Now, winding threads is kind of mindless work.  Great for sitting in front of a TV show or video.  Or, even thinking!  Except for the tangling part, that is.  So I came up with a system using these two jam jars.  They are just the right size for a skein and the tangling is reduced by quite a bit.

PC150004Now, if I could just figure out what to do with all those little snaps!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stitching Fun!

I've been busily making Christmas postcards this past week or so.  Once they have reached their destinations, I will show you what I've been making.  We wouldn't want to spoil the surprise, would we?

But I can show you a little trick I tried with the edgings.  I have this cool little Bernina foot with a teeny hole in the piece in front of the needle.  You can see I have threaded something through it in this photo.


Bernina calls it an Embroidery foot, but I got it to attach wire to the edge of a doll skirt to give it shape.  Only a small wire fits through there, but this fits, too! 


By simply stitching a zigzag stitch, I attached two rounds of the Light Effects thread to the edge of each postcard.  You can see some of the sparkle here, although they look much more festive in 'real' life!


I used a heavier thread in the bobbin, so the back of the card looks neat, too. 


Isn't Christmas about pretty things and shining lights?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Goals . . . Good or Bad?

Well, it has been an interesting journey anyway!  Before we "analyze" the year, let's go over the past six weeks.

PB300001 1.  Christmas projects.   Done!

Well, almost.  I have mailed out packages (with finished projects inside!) and the Christmas cards are sitting here in front of me.  As far as being ready for Christmas goes I am way ahead of my usual timeline!  Comes from lowered expectations I guess.  LOL!  (BTW, the photo is of an idea that did not make it to completion!)


2.  Finish challenge pieces for quilt guild and doll club.   Done!

You have already seen the pictures of these projects.  The folded pillow top for guild was finished in plenty of time.  And the batik doll was a huge success.  I am very pleased with the way this goal came out.


uncut 3. Attach binding to finished quilts (3 so far, maybe more).  Best two out of three!

Yes, I still have one more binding to put on.  It is for a keeper quilt, though, so there is no real deadline.  I need to clear the workspace of Christmas projects first anyway.  The two quilts that were bound went to QOV last month.  See pictures here.


4. Practice free-motion quilting.  Nothing yet.

Actually I am all set to start on this project.  Got my fabric sandwiches, my laptop loaded with videos, and the Quilting Arts e-book printed out.  What else do I need?  Oh yeah.  Time!


photoscreen 5. Learn to use some PhotoShop features.  In Progress.

I have been working through the book "Photoshop Elements for Dummies".  I haven't kept track of how many sessions I've had, but I am almost through Chapter 5.  The trouble is that the first part is all about navigating in the program and organizing files.  I can't DO anything yet!  Well I'll keep plugging along.

pinbaste 6.  Christmas projects.  In Progress.

This version of the goal is for the at-home things.  Decorations, baking, and so on.  I have laid out some plans and there are supplies gathered.  Nothing to show at this point, though.  Hey!  I've still got TWO WEEKS!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

There you have it, folks.  Not terrific, but not awful either.  In fact, when I look over the past year's worth of goal reviews, I'm seeing just a tiny bit more of "terrific" than of "awful".  Enough so that I think we can call it a successful year.  I did get a lot accomplished and I hope you enjoyed watching it come together.  For the statistically inclined:  Out of 47 goals, 22 were completed (eventually!) and two are still in progress (OK, four counting this month).  Only four goals dropped off the radar completely.  Woohoo!

I am now thinking about how to approach next year.  Things will be a bit different.  Firstly because I can never do the same thing twice in a row!!  But mainly because of a shift in my long-term plans.  I need to give it some more thought and then I'll let you know what is coming up in 2010.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday WOW - December 9


Really messy, isn't it?   Christmas is looming . . . who has time to clean up?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

'Tis the Season

At least I am starting to feel a little bit Christmas-ish!  I was doodling in my photo-editing software and came up with this:


I used three pieces I got from TenTwo Studios.  Each year Lisa posts some free "printables" as a Holiday gift to her customers.  I love looking at the collection she provides!  If you do any type of artwork and are not familiar with this web site you need to go take a look!  Most of her offerings are perfect for ATCs or postcards as well as other mixed media work.  There are collage pages for any theme you can imagine. She also publishes the Monthly Muse newsletter which is crammed with inspiration!

I have been working rather sporadically the past few days, so this is really the only "finish" I have to show right now.  I am postponing my scheduled Goals posting, too.  I'll get my head on straight and be back soon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday WOW - December 2


A little Christmas project going on here.  How can it possibly be December already?!!