Saturday, March 19, 2011

Oh technology

How did we ever get along with computers, iPod, cell phones and the lot?

Our computer situation is going to get tricky for at least the next week...but hopefully at the end of it all I will have a new laptop - yay!

Just wanted to let you know that I'm not sure if I will have access to post for a week or so.  I might be able to from the iPod, not sure...I will still get e-mails for sure, so if you'd like to say "hi", drop me a note!

Just means more time to actually get stuff done....right?  
Like these flower rings.

Thanks and Blessings to you -

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Crafty goings-on and their inspirations...

Just a few of the things I've found my crafty-self engrossed in these last few weeks:

Alabama Stitch Book and Alabama Studio Style.
To say that Natalie Chanin is an inspiration to me is a gross understatement.   These books and her work are all about hand stitching, using local products and workmanship, slowing life down....serious wonderfulness here folks.  If you've never seen her work, check out the website here.  

This is a spin on one of the projects from the Alabama Stitch Book.  A notebook cover!  My friend Brian was cleaning out his closets and was kind enough to let me pick through what he was going to take to the thrift store so I could get first dibs!!!  I used parts of two knit jersey shirts to make this super easy cover.

I apologize for the lighting...night photos are not the best option, but sometimes they are THE option, if you know what I mean...

Anywho - this shirt had awesome pockets that I was able to use, so now my cover has a handy dandy pocket to hold my phone or pens or whatever!

Obviously this one was for me to keep as I don't have the kinks quite worked out...and it would have helped if I had followed the directions, of course, but who has time for directions when you want to get started now?!  

I do love Natalie's style of imperfection and unfinished edges and will most likely be incorporating some of that 'feel' into my work.

This guide to crazy quilting along with a few blogs have been what I have spent quite a bit of my time on the last few days.  (this blog, and this one, in particular!) 

All this crazy quilting excitement got started when I finally figured out what to do with some very special scraps of fabric. 

When my Grandmother passed away, I got some of her clothing, some of the things I remember her wearing.  I wanted to make something special with them, something for her children (my Dad and Aunt) and the grandkids (myself and two cousins) (it's a small family!).  It has been several years now that these have been patiently waiting in a project bag, and the other week it hit me - crazy quilt pillows!  Which was great, except I'd never done a crazy quilt in my life!  Thank goodness for crafty blogs and helpful books!

Here is the first "naked" block (see, I'm already learning the terminology!) - it's naked because it doesn't have any embroidery/embellishment yet.  I have seen some beautiful examples of heavily embellished crazy quilts.  For these pillows though, since they are the first adventure of this sane girl into crazy quilting and because I want them to be used and loved, I think we'll keep it simple as far as embellishing goes.  More soon!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Statement of Faith: Bus Stories - Part 3

On the bus the other day, I sat across from a gentleman.  (That's a pretty good opener, huh?).  So, this gentleman... was around my age (mid-late twenties), he had a buzz cut, mustache and looked like some sketchiness could be in his past and/or his future.  That image is where my "judging a book by it's cover" self might have left things, if the bus wasn't warm that morning, and he hadn't taken off his hoodie.  (*note, I am not usually a judge a book by its cover person, just so you know.  Maybe it would have been better if I had phrased it, "first impression".  Hmmm.)

The second impression surprised me, and I'm quite glad it did.  On his left forearm the word Mercy was tattooed in simple lettering.  On his right, Grace.  I was studying these words (discretely, of course.  I mean, I've been known to make an awkward sandwich or two, but I try not to do that with public) - so anyway, as I was pondering what surprising choices "Mercy" and "Grace" were to have tattooed on your arms, he reached into his bag to pull out a hardcover book (another surprise).  When he did, I saw another tattoo, a bit further up his right arm that said "To Live is Christ".

To live is Christ.  I kept turning it over in my head.  To live is die is...something.  I couldn't remember what that last bit was.  I knew Paul wrote it and that it was somewhere in the back of the Book, but I couldn't put my finger on it.  So when I got to work, the first thing I did was look it up.  To live is Christ to die is gain.  Philippians 1:21

A complete stranger, with whom I shared no (verbal) words, got me to look in my Bible and made my day.  Thank you tattooed Sir.  Mercy and Grace.  Very fitting words for thought this Lenten season, no?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Mardi Gras!

It was Mardi Gras here in New Orleans today.

That's right, it's a holiday.  No school.  No work.  Yippee!

In fact, I wouldn't have even been able to get to work if I had wanted to.  This was the view from our living room this afternoon:

And from our kitchen:

Parades parades!

So Les le bon temps roule ya'll!
(or "Let the good times roll" for those of you who don't speak Cajun)


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Craft Hope project 11 is on its way!

The title pretty much says it all, but here are some pictures:

The outside...

And the inside with a very soft and snuggly flannel receiving blanket.

It turned out a little smaller than I would have liked, but I think it will be big enough.
I used this tutorial by Skip To My Lou as a guide, but a chunk of it was just seat of the pants sewing.

This softie was all seat of the pants sewing...if you couldn't tell.

It did not work out the way I had envisioned it in my head, but he has his own charm and my son lit up when I showed it to him, so I think that's a good sign.
It was not my intention to have the seams on the outside, but when I tried to turn it I just could not get the loop part to turn.  Any ideas?  Or is it not doable?

I might put together a tutorial for this little guy...we'll see.  He might need another test run.

Andee has sent hers off too - and you can see pictures of it (and her adorable monkey softie here).