Monday, January 30, 2012

New items in the shop, and this thing called "Pinterest"...

Holy crow, Pinterest...Seriously...
For the uninitiated, Pinterest is a virtual "pin board" where you can pin images from the web that you want to remember. I usually save things like craft ideas and recipe ideas in my favorites list, but it's getting unmanagble, and I really have no idea what half the sites refer to. Enter Pinterst. Now I just "pin" an image to my board, and I have a visual reminder and a link to the site to go back to.
So, tonight I made a "Etsy Shop" board, and pinned my personal shop items...which were then almost instantly "repinned" by several strangers and the traffic on my etsy shop increased! People like my items enough to want to remember them/be inspired by them, so maybe I'll get some more sales. One can hope!
Speaking of new items...I have 7 pairs of baby shoes done and in the shop, with 20 more cut and ready to sew. I had SCADS of leftover fabric chunks that weren't large enough for clothes projects, but I just couldn't bring myself to throw them away. I found a number of "scrap fabric" brojects, and so far these cute little shoes are one of my favorite!
I've always loved little Maryjanes on little girls, but the "Kimono" style that I also made with the ribbon ankle ties are to die for they are so cute! I want Delilah to stay little as long as possible...but I also can't wait for her to fit into these cuties!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Update on "So Excited!"'s been about a year since the last post on my crafty blog, and so much has happened! The aforementioned baby #2 did in fact come along, and I want to share her bedding project, but first, Oliver's QUILT OF INSANITY!!!

We did in fact find a "Captain's Bed" style bedframe for Oliver. Imagine me, 7 months pregnant, 75 degrees out, with a hand sander sanding an entire bed frame, 4 drawers, 1 cupboard door, and a headboard. Then, the insane crazy pregnant woman (ICPW) then applied 3 layers of black stain, sanding between layers. ICPW hated the look of the stain, not very dark even though it was supposed to be "ebony". ICPW then found a product that had pigment and polyurethane in one product, reapplied 2 coats (again sanding between coats). Finally! A cool black bed for Oliver. And one sore, tired, but oh so proud of herself ICPW.

THEN IT WOULDN'T FIT UP THE @#%$ STAIRS!!!!!!!!! ICPW lost her marbles. I cried, I yelled. We resigned ourselves to putting it back on Craig's List, but Shawn's "nephew in-law" came over and helped Shawn put it through the upstairs window a couple of days later. PHEW! If we ever sell or rent this condo, I hope they realize that the small bedroom will come already furnished. But I digress.

The quilt of insanity. Cool pattern. I should have known what I was getting myself into when I had to photocopy the cut list and construction pattern so I could highlight as I went so I wouldn't loose my place. It's called a "pixelated" quilt, based on 1 1/2 inch strips, ranging in length from 1 1/2 inches to 18 1/2 inches. The basic idea is that it goes together somewhat like the old 8-bit Nintendo graphics. A series of 1 inch squares and rectangles go together to form the pattern. Sounds easy, right? Easy, sure, time consuming...YES!!! All told, there were over 2,400 pieces.

Starting with white. You can see my stack of completed strips at the top of the photo. Did I mention that I started this quilt in February?
Stacks of completed colors.
I put the colors in numerical order on the counter (orange post its kept me organized), then started putting the pieces to form the horizontal strips. I about lost my mind, and I'm sure Shawn thought I was nuts as I muttered "A 1 1/2, E 4 1/2, G 2 1/2" etc as I put the strips together.
Piles of the strips, ready to be sewn together. The rows were grouped in sets of ten, so you'd put together the individual row, then put the 10 rows together to form a big chunk. There were 11 of these...
Individual pieces going together. They looked kind of like Tibetan prayer flags to me...
Rows made chunks, then all the chunks went together into the full top. Whew! That was a lot of work. Little did I realize...
I made a quick back with some of the leftover strips and some larger chunks. I chose to quilt it myself, it was just straight lines, so piece of cake, right? NOT!!!
Imagine taking 15 lbs of fabric and batting, trying to roll it up or yank it through an area the size of the end of a standard shoe box, all the while trying to keep the fabric flat and sew straight lines as you follow a maze pattern that you are stitching at a density of a line every 1/2 inch...Add to it the ICPW hormones and you get my August. It took me probably a full 40-50 hours to quilt the d#$@ thing, but let me tell you, it turned out GREAT! I can now forget my sore neck, shoulders and strained eyes every time I tuck Oliver into his bed! The finished pictures below are off of my iPhone, so they aren't the greatest, but you get the idea.

A shot of the back-the stitching lines you see are the 1/2 inch quilting lines. IN. SANE. CRAZY. PREGNANT. WOMAN.
Now that it's done, I LOVE it, but I will NEVER NEVER NEVER quilt another quilt myself. I'll make tops all day long (when you see Delilah's quilt and how perfect it turned out when I DIDN'T quilt it myself, you'll understand), but I will never do the final quilting myself again. There are just too many talented long arm quilters out there who like to do it for a reasonable price!

Monday, February 14, 2011

So excited!!!

OK, SHHHH!!! Don't tell Shawn...but I've got a master plan for Oliver's room. Right now, it's pretty blah. Still the taupe/blue it was when it was our bedroom, and he's still sleeping in his crib converted to a toddler bed. Little man isn't so "little" as another 3 inches and he will be as long as his current bed!!! The room has no set "theme" or any cohesion. I'd like to make it a place where he could hang out and play if I was upstairs in my craft haven. :-)

Here's where I need some help (opinions please!). My idea for the bedding is this quilt design that I bought off of Etsy, and I pretty much love it just the way it is. The only change I might make is changing the light orange/mango color to a more vibrant orange, and the banana yellow to a sunnier one. If baby #2 ever decides to join us, I would also use the pattern for the crib bedding. If it's a girl, I'd play with the colors (take out some of the blues and greens, replace with pinks, reds, and oranges). For bumpers? Probably just some coordinating minke in dot and stripe textures, blocks and strips like the quilt pattern.

The quilt pattern is from Carolina Patchworks, an Etsy seller who makes the most unusual blocked quilts. While I love the look of quilts with curves, I'm still a "can only piece squares and rectangles" kinda girl! Funny thing, the shop owner just moved from Carolina to...Seattle!
Since Oliver has the room to himself right now, it's working fine. But...if baby number two is ever a reality, we have to do some shifting. I'm going to beg my Papa, who is pretty good with a table saw, to help create a big boy bed with storage drawers. So here's what I'm thinking: The crib, dresser, and Oliver's bed will fit in the bedroom. It will be tight, but it will work!

Now, wall colors. I'm thinking a soft, warm yellow? Not lemon (too cool), not bright (too neon), but a soft yellow that is obviously yellow (not ivory or cream), brighter than a buttery yellow, but not "you can see in the dark" yellow. OK, that was a seriously annoying sentence about yellow. Sheesh.

His room is the one room in the house where I could conceivably strip everything out and start from scratch. The rest of the house is seriously PACKED. I'm feeling the need to create a fun room for Oliver with bedding and furniture that doesn't put him forever in pre-school land.

So, what do you think? Black furniture, bedding in soft primary tones for "happy colors", black wall name art, yellow walls. Curtains? Art work for the walls or just family pictures? Black and whites in colored frames to match the bedding? HELP!!!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Coming back!

It's been a while, but I am making a commitment to growing my Etsy site and my creative endeavors, so here I am!

My Etsy site has been pretty slow, mostly due to the fact I haven't posted any new items lately. I did sell two over Christmas (a number purse to a math teacher of all people, LOL!). I have a couple of spring dresses ready to list in March, and I'm currently working on some cute faux-chenille blankets, as well as a billion other projects (our Feb break will be an Etsy "work" week for me!).

I also recently got to scrapbook for a whole day and finished several layouts. During the winter break, several of Oliver's adventures as an infant were also memorialized in paper! I'll be posting those bit by bit over the next couple of weeks.

My guess is that NO one will read these, but I'm still going to post because I want have a record of the fun, creative, and nutty hobbys I have! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Baby's Firsts Scrapbook Mini-Album

These were a lot of fun to make! I've actually made several for friends, and had four of the books left. So, why not put them on Etsy! They haven't sold yet, but I'm hoping that some Etsy traffic this week along with free shipping will send these delightful little books to a new home!

Phew! Finally DONE!

11 outfits. Count it, that's:

11 Bloomers: 33 pieces of pain in the pa-tooskie elastic

11 Tops: 22 pieces of pain in the pa-tooskie elastic hand gathered and stitched onto some pain in my finger shoulder straps and ties

8 Hats: 8 ruffles that just about did me in...

But...This is the result! AMAZINGLY CUTE!!!!

Posting on Etsy took the better part of a day, but I'm really excited to see what happens with some giveaway traffic this week! BJ_Mama of the "For What It's Worth...or Not" blog is having a giveaway week and my camera straps are one of the giveaways! I'm offering free shipping Thursday June 10-Weds June 16, so let's see what I sell! Yea Bloggin Mamas!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Launch (FINALLY!) of my Etsy shop!

After several weekends of work, I've finally finished my first Etsy shop project! Shawn and I love our DSLR camera, but I hated the way the strap pulled at the hair on my neck. Many folks on my Clickin Moms forum suggested purchasing the camera strap covers to be found on, but why buy one when you can make one, right?

Also, I didn't like the quality of some that I found to purchase, so I set out to make a strap I would (and DO!) use. The picture above shows the patterns of fabric I've made so far, and the shots below show some of the detail of my covers. Please go visit my Etsy shop and check them out!

I plan to eventually have some "Baby's Firsts" books as well as some other scrapbooking mini-albums listed as well.