SMS Giveaway!

Boy worked his database magic – and our winner is:

mysql> select * from wp_comments where comment_post_ID = 3668 and comment_approved = 1 order by rand() limit 1;

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| BreannaS  | 2014-12-08 21:57:08 | My favorite crafty site is ravelry.com |

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A big thank you for everyone who played along and supported us crafters out there:D

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Hello old and new!

My, my, it has been a long while since I had a chance to participate in Sew Mama Sew‘s mega-awesome giveaway day (which is now actually a week!).

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Here’s what you can win: a handmade book cover for a standard U.S. mass market paperback book (which is not the same as a larger trade paperback book, and might even vary between countries for all I know).

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This particular cover is shown with a 560 page book, for what it’s worth, but I pretty much use these book covers on all my novels without issue, and the page count varies quite a lot!

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It has a bird print cotton fabric, with a snazzy brown fabric  (I am no fabric expert and it was gifted to me), and a sweet little green ribbon. The bookmark is a yellow ribbon sporting a found bauble (a big red bead). The inner lining is a brown, green, and blue polka-dot print on cotton, and the cover is double-lined with a medium weight interfacing to give it a nice sturdy feel as it hugs your favorite book.

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This giveaway is open to anyone in the whole world until Friday 12/12/14 at midnight CST (GMT -6)! To enter, simply leave a single comment and share your favorite crafty website (and yes, it could be your own! Be proud, yo!). Make sure to also include a way to contact you. Follow these two rules and you’re in. Winners will be chosen randomly and contacted by Sunday 12/14/14 and the cover will ship out by Tuesday 12/16/14.

Good luck everyone :D

Scrapping Peru

Not only did I finish my pillow, but I finally, finally, finally tackled the scrapbook layout from my Peru fieldschool that has been sitting in a closet for literally years (I mean, the trip alone was in 2007!!).

These pages are from my excursion to the Museo de la Nacion (the National Museum). The blank spots will be filled in with a little story of my trip, but I am out of ink at the moment and to match the pages I began years ago, I want to keep the printed font theme rather than go to handwriting.

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The recreation of the man by the hut represented some of the work of our field advisor.

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I’ve learned now not to take photographs of human remains as many cultures find it distasteful, but I was young and naive then and I thought it was really cool. Now, I recognize photographs are best spent on research reasons, not “cool bones”.

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That’s me, pointing to Machu Picchu, and I was terribly excited to go (I would go at the end of my 5 week stay stay in Lima, the capital). The statue art in the lower left was an exhibit just getting set up, and I got in trouble for taking photographs (I had no idea, as I do not read Castilian, was separated from my group, and only guessed that’s what the security people were trying to tell me).

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The images in the top left were sad. It was a special exhibit detailing some of the political unrest and civilian casualties from recent history. We didn’t stay in that exhibit long (I may have lingered longer could I read anything).

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Let’s just put it this way: the ancient Moche loved what we would now call erotic art.

I am not sure how much more I will scrapbook, but I do hope to get back into it this winter break. Now that I am getting the hang of teaching, I feel the joy of free-time again. Of course, this semester is a study in organization but otherwise simple. Next semester may be more complicated…

Hexagon pillow case

Today, I finally finished the paper-pieced hexagon pillow case I had been working on. You can read a little bit more about it here. A quick recap is that the flowered piece was sewn by Boy’s grandmother who has since passed away.

hexagon_pillow_case_1Boy picked out the fabric for the back. he said “you gotta go with green, no one ever chooses green!” I love it when he participates.

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It works perfectly on my little couch for a little lumbar support!

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I used a 16×16 pillow form and shoved some batting in the corners to fill them out. Oh, and I used a sheet of stabilizer too, just to make sure all my hexie work didn’t come undone under pressure. Originally, I had intended on doing an envelope case, but then just decided to sew the pillow in. My hidden stitch worked for a change!

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Taking photos in the winter lighting conditions (or ever, if I am being honest) isn’t my forté so please excuse that.

First applique experience

I finally wrapped up my sister-in-laws 2-year-belated wedding present and gave it to her. In this post, I am going to talk about the process. When she sends me over a photo of it hung on the wall in all its glory, I will post the final look.

I learned many things. One, I like appliqué as much as I like hexagons. For her project, I used all free materials, except we purchased the background (a nice canvas for structure) and the trim (upholstery piping). The rest came from her grandmother who has passed away, her stepmother (my neighbor, a quilter and giver-of-scraps), and what I had in my stash (some gifted from my friend Leslie). I used a template I found on the internet, but for the life of me I cannot find its source again. Grr! I did not use the giant one, mostly the three on the left and a few of the one on the bottom right.

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The process was simple – cut paper templates out, baste stitch around the edge and press.

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Oh, so two, I learned the difference between ironing and pressing. And three, that you can burn your ironing board cover :(

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Kaite was very lax about what she wanted. Or where she wanted to put it. So, I tried to stick with neutrals and her general house colors, but she also said to make it a bit fun. I selected a rainbow of colors and fabrics.

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Not all of them made the cut once I started putting them together. I think I only used about half of the ones I had prepared. Here is a look at all of them:

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My inspiration came from this image, I found through a foray into Pinterest (I do not have a Pinterest account, for the record – but I scope it out every now and then. But not having it prevents me from locating this art’s owner…).

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A long time ago, I bought this rectangular embroidery (?) “hoop” (is lap-quilt frame more appropriate?) for a project that I hope to embark on soon for a coworker of mine. (See a theme here about belated projects?) It worked out really well! I pinned the petals in place, and then appliquéd them on one by one. And four, let me tell you, Star Trek TNG is starting to get really, really good. I am almost on Season 4 and I am just now starting to understand why the internet thinks Picard is such a badass (when I was little, he was just the old man!). Now, I know.

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An easy roll-over over to finish the edge:

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Even with the original choices for this pattern, not everything made the cut in the end. You’ll see that in the finale in the next post.

Then, some embroidery for the bride and groom – standard backstitch in a complimentary brown.

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I had to cut it to size, and I lost some of the petals here. It was slightly crooked so to square it off; more got chopped off than originally planned. Then, of course, adding a quarter inch seam all around ate some of the real estate too.

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I had another piece of canvas for the back trimmed out with pockets for a rod – to either be hung vertically or horizontally (the embroidery works with both!). And, to either be hung so you do see the rod, or with spaces so you can use rod hangers behind the whole thing so the hardware doesn’t detract from the view. I wasn’t sure how they would hang it, or if they would want it hidden or not. I sewed the front and back face-to-face and left a fairly large hole to turn it out. More pressing and ironing. Then I sewed the trim to the backside (I was too afraid to try to get it perfect whilst sammiched inbetween). I also wanted to hide the edges of the canvas for the rod pockets, but with them being that small, I could not get them to turn out. The sides are nicely hemmed, but the bottom isn’t. And ironing them was a pain also, so I went with fray check (the darkened line across the bottom). I mean, it’s the back, right?

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See those sweet scissors? Boy got them for me for my birthday! He says no embroiderer is complete without gold swan scissors. He admires them for their engineering and is sad he is not allowed to use them (he’s learned the hard way about my sewing sharps!). I should mention he is the one who picked out the background and trim for Kaite’s project. He’s very proud of that.

Hopefully she will send me pics along soon to show you the front so ye can be dazzled.

I also learned finally how to not end up with crazy knots all over the backside (in all of that, I had one knot – in the embroidery – and I was able to get it out before I tied it off!). I was so proud of it I took a photo, but the thread is too much the same color as the canvas and you can’t tell what’s going on. Just believe me. It was cool.

Crafternoon: Paper Quilling

September’s Crafternoon theme was Paper Quilling, though the end of summer is a busy time for everyone so only I had managed to get quilling supplies. No matter – we chatted and enjoyed snacks while we learned about each other’s WIPs.

I had ordered the Darice Beginner Quilling Kit, as I had expected to just make a lot of random bits and bobs as I was learning the process. However, once I sat down with google image search to find inspiration, I decided I wanted to make a tree. This one was my inspiration:

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I am not really a hearts person though, so I simply used circles in mine. I am pretty proud of the outcome, considering it was literally the first time I had ever tried quilling!

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Oh, my, is that a heart in the middle of the tree? How did that get there? Alright, so when I decided I was digging this project enough to quite possibly actually display it somewhere in my house, I thought about what artful trees mean to me – and they mean family.

Boy and I do not really have things around the home celebrating ourselves but I expect this to change soon. I have always planned to print photos of our elopement for our bedroom, but our current bedroom has been “temporary” (can I use that word still? for five years?) so once we move to the new room, I imagine I will finally get them printed. Plus I have had ideas for my dining room, but that has kind of been under construction for quite some time, too. Soon, the rehab contractor people will be out fixing this house up and afterward I think I will finally feel like it’s ok to hang some photos!

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My favorite thing was a true inspired moment. I was mentioning to the gals about how I like the look of mixed textures. Ink and quilling paper, for instance. So I had decided I wanted to perhaps draw a swing. But then the idea came: if this tree meant family, and I wanted a swing, well, at  my gramma and grampa’s, I feel like I practically lived on the tire swing, so ta-da! (Mixed media being a yellow cord – just like the one on their tire swing!) The tire – Goodyear whitewall and all –  dangles freely. I absolutely love it.

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What I did not expect was for my paper to get wavy from the glue’s moisture (I used Elmer’s glue on parchment looking cardstock). I think once I frame it, that will not be noticeable. In fact, I have a frame that once upon a time the glass got broken, so I think it will be a perfect pair.

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Of course, none of my spontaneous crafts like this are well-planned so the art does not fit the mat board. I’ll have to take off about a quarter inch on the left and right so it might be some few weeks before I find a mat cutter. Meanwhile, I will find a place to display it! Another thing that I try to not think about is that I ran out of greens, so in the top middle portion, I had to start spacing them out further than I would have liked, and the tree didn’t get to be quite as full as I had originally imagined. If I ever get more quilling paper that matches, I will likely add to it some.

I learned a few things too. One, paper quilling like this is actually fairly easy. Two, you get glue all over. Three, you get paper cuts, but I didn’t notice these til I turned myself into a prune after a long hot shower. Four, originally I had tried to keep the outline of the tree very straight and not curve around the individual circles. Sometimes, I failed at this and as it turns out, I like the bumpy factor more than the straight edge and wish I had done that all over. Five, talk about time consuming!! Although I liked the process and am very proud of the end result, I am not sure I would want to do it again. At least not for myself, anyway. Our crafternoon started at 4pm, and I wrapped this up around 1am. Yeah – that’s normal for me. Once I start on something I am really excited to see finished, you cannot stop me from crossing that finish line. I’ll even forget to eat! But there is nothing more of a stress reducer than focusing hardcore on something creative, I tell you what.