Crafternoon: Felt flowers

Over the weekend, I hosted another crafternoon. I printed out several templates from around the web and between my friend Ashley and I, we supplied felt, scissors, glue, thread, needles, buttons, and beads. Sites included How Joyful, Make & Do Girl, Lines Across, and some general ones I found through google image search that I can’t locate the original site for.

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Everyone also brought a snack. We had cheesy turkey quesodillas, blueberry muffins, peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes, zucchini chocolate muffins, fresh blueberries, and fresh chips with queso and salsa.

There were four of us, a small group, and I wondered at how many I had actually invited and what would have happened if that number had been doubled. Out of everyone I know, I have the largest table (easily seats 8), and we certainly filled it with just the four of us!

Ashley made flowers to match the theme of a shadow box she is making and sent me a photo:

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Some flowers were much more time intensive than others, and so I decided I am too impatient to make the more complicated ones. I did enjoy learning some new tricks, like how to make flat 2D flowers more 3D. Oh, and how easy some of them turned out to be!

Mine were just randoms, so I could learn the process, though I might use that embroidered one for a book cover:

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I forgot to take photos during the crafternoon, so I do not have any more to share. Katie made her new niece and nephew (twins!) a little gift: flowers for a headband and a small little bowtie. Courtney was creative and made the little cloud flower out of two different colors and added a button in the center, then she stacked a bunch of complimentary colors together for one of the 2D versions. Everyone’s flowers was pretty awesome and it’s a shame I didn’t take photos. Hopefully next time!

If you’ve been following, my hexagon pillow top is complete, and I bought a pillow form. But life came up and once again, it looks like I will not be finishing a project for a while. We have changes around the house (siding, windows, HVAC system, and a lot of other smaller jobs), I am in an intense gross anatomy workshop, my summer class began about two weeks ago, and it dawned on me the other day that the fall semester is almost upon us and I still have classes to prep for that. Oh, yeah, and a grant application for an archaeological project.

But I hope to squeeze time for some crafternoons, at least once a month. We floated around several ideas and it looks like paper quilling might be next!

Lysa’s match needle book

Here it is! This is the result of a pattern I tested for Lysa, the most generous gal to have given me a free kit to make my own (serious goodness, right there!). I truly felt that this little needle book was one of the most clever things I’ve seen around. I just had to have one, and I am so grateful she is so awesome to make that happen:)

Here you can read about the SMS Giveaway she hosted with books she crafted herself. I did not find the pattern troublesome so I am optimistic that she will have it ready at her shop soon enough so you can make your own match needle book! I also enjoyed using such a thick stabilizer; I had never used anything other than stiff interfacing and having something like stiff felt was brilliant. I am going to totally look into this option for future projects.

(Read on if you wish to hear a story about lightning, the evil doer.)

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This project was also perfectly timed. It is late June, but Mother Nature doesn’t realize it, so we have been enduring storm after storm after storm (I am listening to thunder as I write this). Thursday circa 9pm, lightning hit our house. Of course, Boy has installed all the high end surge protectors one could possibly own, but lightning is a force in itself. Apparently, and who knew, lightning can use the internet back door. It looks as if Comcast (the cable internet people) did not ground the cable outside our house, and the jolt of electricity came in that way, zapping anything directly connected to the internet (the modem, router, all the switches and miscellaneous devices to make the internet work in the house, the Vonage phone box, possibly the main phone, a smart tv, a PS4, and two media boxes). So, without the ability to do much work, or watch movies on Netflix, or play video games, I sewed!

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We thought it had also damaged our Wii U, and PS3, but when Boy brought home some equipment from the office the next day to get back online, they both magically turned on and were also able to connect to their networks. Phew. (Seriously, is there anything worse than losing all your saved games??) Now, something we cannot figure out is why our Onkyo receiver is fried as well, not being an internet device and all. But, who can say we puny humans will ever understand the force of lightning?

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Pattern testing, whoop whoop

There was one item through the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway event that I seriously wanted. I didn’t win it, but I kept thinking about it. I finally went to see what it cost, because I wanted it that badly. The shop was under construction. What to do? Well, finally I just emailed the gal. Long story short, she offered me the most generous deal: I could test her pattern and she even sent me a pre-cut kit! (And that card she sent? She drew the fabric stash!) I will have more details when I complete the project. I am always so humbled at the internet crafting community’s generosity. Lots of love out there:D

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A side story goes like this: Part of the pattern required my machine, part of it required hand stitching. So I had just finished part one of the pattern with the machine and was tidying it up with a needle and thread. Lo, I hear a *pop* and perhaps a sizzling noise. What is that?? I muted Star Trek: The Next Generation (once again, thank you, Netflix!). I had hoped it was something weird with the show, but then I hear *sssss* *sssss* and sure, it was coming from the machine, alright. I leaned in to confirm it; pulled away immediately. Was that smoke? Holy cow, that’s a lot of smoke! I yanked all the cords out of her. She smoked for probably two full minutes. Come on, I wasn’t even using her at the time!

Boy came home and his mechanically-electrically inclined ways fixed it. It seems that some poor little spider crawled in (probably the tiny Parson spider I had ignored on my table while sewing, come to think of it….) and zapped itself. The electrical shock must have coursed through the machine some how as it sprung the coil that the foot pedal used to make the machine go.

Now she is all oiled and squeaky cleaned (she had gathered dust during my grad school years). Boy even found two small faults that I didn’t even know was a problem! One, the hand knob to run the machine just pulled off (it was suppose to be screwed on) and two, the needle was staying in the cloth instead of returning to the top position once I let off the foot pedal. I had forgotten it was suppose to do that.

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The machine was a wedding gift from my mother-in-law. It is a Bernina Record 930 Electric model. When it was smoking, I looked online and was worried, based on other bloggers’ comments, that I might have to get a new one. Without a job, that wasn’t a reality – I wasn’t even sure I could justify paying someone to fix it. (A small part of me wondered what it would be like to have a new snazzy machine, to be honest, though).

But in helping Boy fix it and learning about her innards, I realized I don’t want a new machine. This one has very little plastic (ugh, seriously, when will this world make plastic illegal?). Steel doesn’t break very easily, you know. When you turn it on, it’s on – no waiting for a startup. To change a foot, it’s just a lever, not a screw. It’s just…. simple. It has 27 types of stitches, too. Since I am by no means an expert on sewing, this one fits me just right. Thanks again, Gayle!