Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What grows

What grows on your work table or work basket? In mine is this:

I doodled a hula bunny one day while on the phone while "on hold" for which ever medical personal office I was blessed to call that day. I liked it (the bunny, not being on hold) so I reworked it larger. Then I did my colour, embroider method--which needs a really awesome name...hmmmm....like Crayola DMC method--maybe Coats of Crayola?

So I was thinking, thinking, thinking...I know there's another chocolate bar somewhere around here what shall I do with this embroidery?

At that moment, more or less, I got an email that Breaking Traditions Art Quilt Exhibit still needs submissions. For whatever reason, they've been slow to arrive. Since we are allowed to submit two pieces I figured I'd have a second go at an art quilt. This time I'm using iron-on fusing for the pieces. I'll let you know how it goes...maybe in time for My Creative Space.

For good measure, see what else grows at our house. This is a tree in the front yard. Could it be summer?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

That Silly Game

Remember how much I love Pet Society? The game on Facebook?

They're having a contest to celebrate their first birthday: what would you do with a million coins. Coins in this case means Pet Society coins, not English pounds or American dollars.

My idea: A public paradise....yes, what Pet Society needs is not only a beach but also a cute dog like this. (Which could be turning into an embroidery pattern soon.)

Back to parenting and crafting and cleaning....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Creative Space is Home

I am SO excited to show all of you in blogland my first ever art quilt. And it's perfect that I finished it this afternoon just in time for My Creative Space. Pieces of it have been all over my creative space all week.

A week ago my friend Kate featured her entry in the Breaking Traditions Art Quilt Exhibit on her facebook page. Breaking Traditions hosts an art quilt exhibit each year at the American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan. Although the art quilt exhibit occurs each year I'd never heard of it. Yippee for Kate!

A quick aside about Kate: she's an amazing artist, skilled at all things sewingish, super sweet, always thoughtful and she has this slightly sarcastic, fairly self-centred but always witty monkey named Nigel who has his own blog. Last year Kate gave me the heads up about an opportunity to exhibit a few of my sock softies at American Sewing Expo.

The instructions for the exhibit are to make an art quilt measuring 12 inches square which embodies the theme "home." My piece is called "Side to Side", referring to the two sides of Michigan where we have lived over the past 16 plus years.

Here is how I did it:
1) Traced my own designs onto white fabric with crayons. I colored them, ironed off the excess and put them in the dryer on high for 15 minutes. I wanted to make sure nothing was smudging.
2) I added the embroidered details using stem, split, satin stitch and french knots.
3) The layers of the top were appliqued. Next time I will fuse them before I stitch them. I had a little bit of shifting that made a few less than perfectly flat places.
4) I machine quilted the fabrics and then added the binding trim.

I made lots of rookie mistakes, learned heaps while working on it but I'm all aglow now in "Look What I Did" joy. And for more joy hop over the see more My Creative Spaces.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Celebrate Summer

My new Summer Time Celebration banner is so cute it could not be captured digitally until the National Science Folks created a higher cute intensity camera. Really. I haven't just been goofing off. Cause I mean it's super cute.

Featuring the Bar-B-Cute designs of Wild Olive.

Got to run write a thank you note to those nice scientific people....yep. Don't forget that tomorrow is My Creative Space. Will mine be clean or messy....tune in tomorrow to find out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm Still Here

I've been working on a lot of things lately. Really, I have. I know that I don't have to justify myself to you blog readers. It would be okay if I hadn't been working on a lot of things. But then I would have been playing so I could blog about that--my weekend trip to the Riviera, the week in the Catskills, punching cows out in Wyoming--maybe just waving at them since I'm a non-violent sort of gal. But, no: I have been working. (Okay, Huckleberry and I did go for a Turtle Sundae on Sunday but otherwise I've been working.)

I just don't have anything finished which I can show you. I'm making my first ever art quilt and it's a tonne of work. (Tonne is like ton only even heavier.) I had no idea. I'm finished with my wonderful camping banner, pattern by WildOlive, but haven't made time to take a picture of it. I'm working on a secret project for the Embroidery Exhibit which I cannot show you on penalty of death...or at least disqualification. I added two rows to my embroidered quilt but I haven't taken it to the quilter yet. I've created two new embroidery designs but want to stitch them up before I show you.

Oh and I'm getting ready for a visit from my parents, trying to keep my deaf daughter moving forward with her reading, trying to get my stubborn daughter to work a bit on math, trying to get applications completed: the two oldest girls are going, if I ever finish the paperwork, to afternoon classes at a Christian school next fall.

And I'm searching for a way to keep the house neater...along with peace in the Middle East and the Holy Grail. Of course, in cleaning up around here I just might find the Holy Grail. And, if it were neater, I could more easily take pictures of the finished projects without using creative framing to make sure no junkie backgrounds show. Okay, it's onward and upward.....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bear with me---tutorial

Continuing where we left off yesterday...embroider your pattern as you see fit. I used a split stitch to outline my bear. For the nose I used a fun, funky stitch--I think it's called woven spider's wheel. Embroider both the front and back patterns.

Placing right sides together, pin. I sew the seam around the outside of the pattern and then trim back the fabric. Be sure to leave a gap where you can turn your sewing back rightside out. Stuff. Sew the hole closed. Play.

Simple, eh? And I'm sure you could figure it out yourself without any help from me but I had fun working through it. I hope it was fun for you too.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Creative Space and Tutorial

This morning, in addition to a picture of my creative space...where I am finishing up my summer banner using the awesome embroidery patterns of Wild Olive--I have a "as promised" tutorial on how I made my Glen Village doll. This is part one of the tutorial.

You will need white fabric, crayons (not the washable kind), and a pattern. I made this bear pattern to show you. Feel free to use it or you could use coloring book pages, etc.

Place white fabric on pattern and trace over it using your crayons and not your normal transfer pen etc. It should be fairly simple to see the pattern through the cloth, but, if not, use a lamp, light box, window, etc. Turn your paper pattern over, trace over the lines in black pen. Now trace with crayon this image to the white fabric next to your first image. Place it a few inches apart so you can cut out the two pieces later. This will give you a front and back piece.

Color in the patterns on your fabric. Be careful not to use too much crayon. Light and easy seems to work best.

Here is the crucial step: place the fabric in the dryer and dry on high for about 15 minutes. I tried using an iron to set the crayon but it didn't fully set it. Using my dryer I've gotten much better results. This will set the colour you have just added so the design does not smear.

In the next post I will tell you how I embroidered it and then turned it into a little doll.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ya Never Knew Me New

Playing along with the weekly blog hop, today I feature three things you never knew about me:

A couple of weeks ago I got a tat:

It washed off a few days later.

My favourite holiday in all the world is:

Groundhog Day--no presents, no stress, no fuss....just fun and a really cute furry creature.

I have been to all fifty states except: Hawaii, Alaska, S. Carolina, Georgia, and New Jersey. I've lived in the states of: California, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Michigan, Disillusion, Denial, and Chaos.

Click on some other links to find some other cool blogs.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Glen Village Stitches

Think about embroidery for a minute. Really. Okay, so there's embroidered tea towels, napkins, tablecloths, wall hangings and pillowcases. You could embroider a shirt, a tote bag, a tea cosy or a hot pad.

My problem with embroidery is I can only use so many tea towels and pillow cases. It's hard to think of new embroidered projects. Mollie at WildOlive has had some great ideas: bracelets, bookmarks and even cupcake toppers. But still I ponder: what can I embroider?

So the problem of what to embroider intersected with the fact that I'm a softie maker. Some might call it a collision. And this is what I got:

Meet the members of Glen Village. These are the prototypes. I've got loads of other ideas. What I love about these is: they're small and kids love small. They fit easily into a pocket. They're washable. And they don't take too long to make.

Tomorrow I'll tell you how I made them and provide the patterns in case you think these are as fun as I do.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Translation: a missing in action work in progress is all done. Okay, so it still needs to be pressed...and quilted...and binding adding...oh and I think I might add a blue strip down each length to make it more standard twin bed size. But.....other than that it's finished. :-D

The thing I love about this project the most is that I found fabric which matched the embroidery perfectly in my fabric stash. How often does that happen? Score!

This project had been languishing in my work basket...work barrel? for at least a year. Whew! Onward and upward.

Check out other awesome creative spaces, works in progress and other scrumptious projects here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This is Real

Mostly on this blog I do fun, cute, crafts chatter. But the truth of my life is that I'm living with four adopted children, three with special needs, one of whom has attachment disorder and the baby who has brain damage. I never say that because it sounds so final but yes, she has brain damage.

Want to know what life is really like? Read this real post by my friend Leslie. And then say a prayer for her. And then think about whether you might know a family like this in your real life--and whether you could help. Because that would be real wonderful!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blog Hop--Are you Chicken?

Bird Brains in Conversation

This is Huckleberry, my sock dog, at the Farm Museum in Coopersville, MI. Why do I love this picture? It makes me smile.

MckLinky Blog Hop

It Stays Clean!

Some of you understand the life of a mum....sweep, mop, clean, sort, put away, wipe, scrub, vacuum, wash, scour...repeat....repeat... repeat....

That's why my newest obsession and love is...Pet Society. Have you heard of it? It's an online game on facebook and myspace. You create a cute pet. Then, the fun begins. Dress her. Take her to her friends'. Enter her in a race. Play games with her. Buy her clothes and furniture and toys. Feed her. Take her to the cafe.

This is an embroidery of my bear Bubbles. Isn't she sweet?

But the best part, for this mum, is creating Bubble's home. Each pet starts out with two rooms. As you earn more points your pet gets more rooms plus a garden. At this point Bubbles has five rooms and two gardens. Did I mention this is uber fun?

Okay, but get this...get....this: the whole place stays clean! Stays clean! I kid you not. There's no scrubbing, no sorting, no putting away, no picking up after, no washing crayon off the wall, no chipping petrified cheese off the floor, no throwing rocks back outside, no finding bagels under the couch....NO.....Cleaning!!!! Are you hearing me?

That must be just about as close to heaven on earth as possible. Ahhhhhhh....

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Independence Day!!!!

Just in time for your 4th of July celebrations: Miss Liberty Kitty....also known at the Catue of Liberty. This is a free pattern for your use. Please don't sell the pattern nor anything you make with it.

If embroidery is not your thing, print these, let the kids color them, glue them to a popsicle stick and voila! a puppet.

(I'm working on my embroidery version and hope to add the photo later today.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Illustration Friday: Worn

This weeks topic: worn

Last week it was hot, hot, hot and humid so my mind went naturally to being worn out from the heat.