April 23, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Do you ever just have days that floor you before you've even gotten out of bed?  Well, that's been my day today and it's still going (evil, I tell you).  So, I'm going to keep this short and simple.

Having run out of thread, I wasn't able to sew up my next two blocks for the layer cake sampler quilt-along.  Major pout.  However, here is a little preview of the 16 blocks so far:


I still need to do some playing around with block placement but you get the idea.  And, I've finally bought more thread so hopefully I can find time to work on those two blocks soon(ish).

Linking up to Freshly Pieced.

http://www.freshlypieced.com/2014/04/wip-wednesday-crazy-good.html?showComment=1398282248036#c8690345800450114069

April 19, 2014

WIP Saturday

Since I was sitting on a train enjoying the Irish countryside between Dublin and Belfast on Wednesday, I didn't get around to sharing my most recent two layer cake sampler QAL blocks with you so here we go:

 Block #13

Not much to say about this one; bit of text and floral print paired together.

Block #14

This one is another of my favourites.  When I was a child, my mum told me I could decorate my room in whatever colours I wanted.  I chose pink and orange - together.  My mum refused, saying that those colours don't work together.  Clearly I was well ahead of my time because as we know today, pink and orange most certainly do live happily together and here's further proof.  So Mum, can we revisit that conversation, please?

Sewing these two blocks was something of a nail-biting experience, as I've been running out of my standard ecru Aurifil at an alarming rate.  I just barely made it:


Going to have to wait until next week when the quilt shop is open again before starting my next two blocks, which is thoroughly disappointing as I was really hoping to spend the afternoon sewing today.  But then again, I get to enjoy this instead:


So I really can't (and won't) complain.

April 18, 2014

Back on the Horse

Well, you've probably assumed I've fallen off the face of the planet or something, eh?  Rightly so - I realised last weekend just before going on holiday for the Easter break that I'd forgotten to post my WIP Wednesday - or anything else, for that matter.

Enjoying some tall, dark and handsome...
So where did I go, you ask?  Why, Ireland!  Dublin mostly but I also did a day trip up to Belfast; a great holiday and very relaxing.  Among the highlights included:
  • official certification for whiskey tasting at the Jameson distillery (yum!)
  • a pint of Guinness atop the Gravity Bar
  • a private canal boat tour along the Liffey
  • Irish music/dancing dinner & show
  • Irish fairies and folklore dinner & storytelling
  • touring the Titanic museum
Okay, I won't bore you with further holiday gushing (that's for subjecting to Facebook friends - mwhahahahaa!).

Now since having set up my adorable little sewing corner, I've been totally infatuated with getting back in touch with sewing and quilting - which is good and no complaints there.  However, it has meant that I've not done any scrapbooking or papercrafting for a whole two months!  Can you believe it?

Two months!

To say that I'm a wee bit behind in card-making is something of an understatement.  (I'm never behind in scrapbooking; I refuse to look at it that way.  Or you could argue that I'm always behind in scrapbooking and that's okay with me.)  So since I need to wait until the shops are open to buy more Aurifil thread to continue sewing, I decided today would be a card-making catch-up day.  I made a list and realised I have at least six cards that need making - mostly birthdays (some now much belated - eek!), some thank yous and a wedding (!) card.


First off the press was this thank you card for my friend who came around while I was on holiday to take care of Oskar for me (even though she's allergic to cats - now that's a true friend!).  I'm still crushing on using Pebbles' From Me to You for card-making; it's just so versatile and has beautiful colours.  I paired it with some Dear Lizzy anchor paper and layered up different elements until it felt balanced.  I really liked the little pops of yellow that worked their way in, too.


Next I worked on a belated birthday card for a friend's daughter who turned 4 end of March (yes, I know, don't judge me).  I decided to go with super girlie and thus the copious amounts of pink, the Dear Lizzy horses paper, the puffy hearts and silver glitter, etc.  Incidentally, I liked how this card still conveys the 'happy birthday' idea without using that exact phrase.  I even finally boxed up the card and gift and packaged them all up for posting tomorrow - go me!

Thank You

And finally for today, a super quick and dirty thank you card made with some free gifts from Papercraft Inspirations - the card base was pre-printed and came with these pretty coloured and 3D acetate butterfly embellishments.  A quick stamped sentiment and some rhinestones finishes it off.  This is going to the gal who runs the Stash Busters challenges over on 2Peas, along with a ziplock bag of goodies for all her hard work, time and money she spends on making the challenges and providing prizes and postage costs, etc.  Another item I've been meaning to post for ages and that will finally be going out tomorrow - whew!

April 06, 2014

Pinspiration Sunday

Hello again!  Yes, I know - I've slacked off on Pinspiration Sunday the last two weeks.  Sorry about that - just busy, tired and up to other stuff.  But I'm back on track today so I'm going to dive in so as not to distract myself.  Go grab your cup of hot beverage and enjoy the photo love.

Currently:

* listening - radio
* reading - going to start Attachments soon for holiday reading
* making - layer cake sampler quilt-along (just finished block #14)
* eating - dried fruit & nuts mix
* drinking - water
* wearing - jeans & new sequins anchor t-shirt *giddy*
* weather - cloudy, 10C
* feeling - hungry
* wanting - to play Sims
* needing - to make a tonne of cards
* planning - Easter trip to Ireland
* thinking - what to snack on next...
* loving - quiet Sunday 'hermit'ing
* enjoying - discovered I'm getting more tax money back than expected *whoot!*

On to the pins!

So gorgeous!  I love everything about this modern style quilt - the design, the colours, the shape - yup, it's all there.  And the tutorial is free.

Hmm, more triangles - are you sensing a theme?  Clearly I need to get them out of my system and this could help.  I could see this in really pretty melon yellows and oranges with grapefruit pinks.

Super cute tote bag.  I bet if you swapped out the insulation for a thin batting and increased the size a wee bit, it would also make a super cute gym bag, too.

A little something for the kitchen - leaf-shaped trivets or oven grips.  You could even have a whole slew of them in different autumnal colours, too.

I love subway graffiti print papers but their bold design can make them tricky to work with.  That being said, I think Tanya did a fab job of using this as her background paper.  The bold colours in the embellishments really help to lift them off the text.  Awesome.

I'm a bit of a sucker for clustered frames - so many little possibilities for photos, titles, journaling and embellishment.

I know I'm not the only person who has a strange fascination for paint chips.  I love how this simplistic design is lifted by the bold, dynamic rainbow colours used here with a few button accents for extra fun and texture.

Okay, now this is just crazy cute and creative!  I love all of the coloured twine and the little button for the stone.  Great birthday card for a child.

Fancy a little 3D paper play?  These paper balls are perfect and make awesome decorations for any celebration or party.

And speaking of celebrations and parties, perhaps you want to do something a bit different with your Easter eggs this year.  Well, this site will give you plenty of inspiration.

And here's a truly yummy colour palette to tempt you with - those dark fuscia tones are lush!

April 02, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Another two blocks finished for my layer cake sampler quilt-along:

 Block #11

I really like this one - who doesn't feel happy looking at cheery pink, yellow and orange daisies?  And I was so thrilled to get all of the stripes matching.

Block #12

And a nice, sunny yellow and green print (with super cute sunflower print).

Linking up to Freshly Pieced:

http://www.freshlypieced.com/2014/04/wip-wednesday-with-guest-host-sarah.html

March 29, 2014

Kiva - March 2014

March is quickly drawing to to a close and that means keeping up my New Year's resolution to support a micro-loan on Kiva.  Over the last two months I've discovered I'm typically drawn to many loans that not only support the lender (obviously) but have a positive environmental impact and this month's loan follows a similar approach.

Matay (Tanzania)

A loan of $1,875 helps Matay to purchase biodigesters for resale.

Matay lives in Gongali Village, Arusha, Tanzania. His main activities are agriculture and animal husbandry. Matay is among several people in Gongali who are really excited with the TAHUDE Foundation's biodigester initiative to provide renewable energy to the rural Tanzanian community.

This loan will help Matay to realize his dream. The biodigester will help Matay to cut down his family expenditure on energy for cooking and lighting. It will also be a blessing to the whole community because a few more trees will NOT be cut for cooking as a result of Matay's biodigester. Moreover, his family health will also improve after they stop cooking with poisonous trees that produce harmful smoke. They will enormously benefit because the biodigester also produces low-cost lighting at night.

At the time of this blog entry, Matay's loan has been 30% supported and has $1300 USD funds to raise to completion.

If you would like to read the full details of Matay's story and perhaps even add your support, you can read his Kiva loan request here.

I also have an exciting update on Sreyleang's loan from January 2014 - she's started the process of paying back her loan (a month earlier than expected, even)!  I did go into a state of giddiness when I saw her first repayment (and incidentally my first received repayment) drop into my Kiva portfolio.  That money has already been put back into good use supporting Matay.  How cool is that?

Please join me on Kiva!

March 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday

It's WIP Wednesday today!

Last Saturday I worked more on my layer cake sampler quilt-along and got another two blocks made up so I'm now 'caught up'.

 Block #9
This orange stripe fabric is some of my favourite.  Love the buttery yellow, too.

 Block #10


Half way done and this little quilt is shaping up quite nicely.  So enjoying this quilt-along!

Linking up to Freshly Pieced.

http://feedly.com/#subscription/feed/http://freshlypieced.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

March 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Hello, hello!

I have more photo goodness to share with you today from my on-going layer cake sampler quilt-along.

 Block #5

This yellow fabric was one of a batch of new fabrics in the shop that I just had to have!  So glad I did - it looks fab paired with the white on red polka dot.

 Block #6

 Block #7

Block #8

And this turquoise feather print belongs to that same collection as the yellow above and as you can see, it also came home with me.  The bright yellow matched up well with the yellow in the feathers.  So cheerful.

I can't say how much I've been enjoying this quilt-along.  I look forward to the new block releases each Friday and can't wait to get sewing once Saturday rolls around.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced...

http://www.freshlypieced.com/2014/03/wip-wednesday-stacking-cutting-stitching.html

March 16, 2014

Pinspiration Sunday

Post #100!

Wow, I nearly missed noticing it but this is officially the 100th post!  Furthermore, I've ticked over 9000 page views since this little blog started last summer.  Not too shabby, if I dare say so myself.  And of course, a big thank you to all of you who pop by to read, comment and share in my hobbies and snippets of life.  Now, go grab your hot beverage of choice and we'll get the day officially started with some photo love.

Currently:

* listening - radio
* reading - catching myself up on quilting & papercrafting magazines
* making - layer cake sampler quilt-along
* eating - nothing yet; brunch soon
* drinking - water
* wearing - PJs & cardie
* weather - rainy, 8C
* feeling - hungry
* wanting - to sew, sew, sew!
* needing - to book tickets to Ireland & hostel
* planning - belated Shrove Tuesday (AKA Pancake Day) supper with friends
* thinking - what to do today...
* loving - new fabrics
* enjoying -  lazy Sunday morning in bed

And now on to the pins:

It's chevron, it's turquoise and it's ombre - swoon!  No actual pattern (just HST, after all) but great inspiration and some tips for best effect.

Remember that circle of flying geese pattern I mentioned for my Persian Pickle Project?  Well, take the same paper piecing pattern and make pompoms!

Here's another handy guide for starting free motion quilting, focusing on steps to prepare your machine for the project.

I've been meaning to make a small one of these for ages to put cutlery into when going to quilt guild.  Don't limit yourself just to cutlery, though - you could use these for many different items and adjust the pocket sizes as needed.

I always love Jill's work and these artsy pie charts are such fun!  A nice way to break out of the traditional scrapbooking format and have some fun with scraps, too.

Here's another interesting idea for those of you who want more inspiration for using photo enlargements.  Sandy has cut large slits into her background paper and adhered the photo to the back so that sections peek through to the front - neat visual interest.  I also really like the black doodle lines around each window.

Okay, let me preface this by saying that green is my least favourite colour.  However, this colour palette is just gorgeous!  The mix of limes, turquoise and an unexpected lavender is very refreshing and spring-like.  Love it.

And finally, I stumbled over this adorable quilter's rendition of the 'Soft Kitty' song from Big Band Theory (total fangirl).  Yup, just awesome.

March 15, 2014

Basket Weaving

Today I'm sharing a 'new' creation.  Last Sunday I took a course in how to use old milk cartons (or juice, yoghurt or Swedish 'fil' milk - basically, any Tetrapack brand 1 litre or larger cartons) to weave into a basket.  I made a bread basket but the lady who taught the class regularly makes handbags and totes in all sorts of sizes and patterns.

Side View

For this basket I used 1.5 litre milk cartons and it's a 4x3 base size.  The technique is reasonably easy to get started with, although joining up the corners and finishing the round is a bit trickier.  I reckon total construction time for a first time go was about 4 hours.

Top View

We're going to teach our grade two students how to make smaller versions of these for a fun spring project next month, complete with wrapped string eggs to place inside.  We're a bit mad for it, I'm sure - if only for the sheer volume of cartons we're asking families to bring in, which then need to be cut down to into stripes.  Eek!  I'm guessing I'll be mad as a hatter by the end of it all.  Wish us luck!