Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And the Winner Is...


Congratulations, Eva! Please send me an email with your address so I can send your goodies to you. :-)

FH and I had a lovely time tonight. My parents drove the 200+ miles up here and we all went to dinner. Technically we looked at new washing machines first since ours has decided to not function anymore. Then we went to dinner.

Now we're all heading towards bed. FH has to work in the morning and my folks will be driving back to their home.

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes.

I've got some progress on the lighthouse cross stitch to show and some adventures with squash to share. Hopefully I can get back to a somewhat regular blogging schedule soon. :-)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Birthday Giveaway!

On Monday I mentioned a "fun post" so here it is!

I decided to have a giveaway for my birthday next week. It's much more fun to celebrate with good friends and you all fit the bill. :-)

Here are the miniatures that I've got: A pumpkin bird house, a Halloween cat pull toy, and a mini autumn wreath.
The rules are simple. Anyone who wants to have a chance at winning these autumn minis need only leave a comment on this post. You have until this Saturday night at midnight CST to leave your comment. I'll write everyone's names down and put them in FH's hat. You do not have to be a follower to play, but if you are I will put your name in twice.

On Monday the 28th, my actual birthday, FH will draw a name out of his hat. I will announce the winner after gets home from work to draw the name.

Sound like fun? I thought so. :-)

** I'm going to try and get a better picture to replace this one in the daylight. ;-)


Hello and welcome to more new followers!

First is Muriel from "Le Coffre d'Emilie." It appears Muriel has recently started her miniatures blog, but she has made a gorgeous start of it.

Next is Sonia of "Mini Tink" Sonia has several beautiful miniature scenes on her blog. My favorite is her flower shop.

Please stop by and visit their blogs when you get a chance. :-)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lighthouse Progress and Other Stuff

I am still not feeling 100% but I was able to get quite a bit of stitching done this weekend. Of course it helps that the design calls for a lot of half cross stitches in the background.There will be a rock in the lower right corner, a tree next to the keeper's house, steps going up to the house, blue sky with puffy clouds, and a sail on the little, red boat. Then comes the back stitching.

I'm hoping to have this piece finished, blocked, and framed by the end of the week. Then I can wrap it and stash it away until Holly's birthday. For those of you who follow me on Facebook, I will not be posting this until after her birthday, as she doesn't read this blog but checks Facebook daily. ;-)

FH and I went to see "Inglourious Basterds" today. It wasn't as gory as I had expected and was amusing. We had a nice time... until we came home and discovered the shelving in our coat closet had collapsed. Time to call the maintenance crew and let them mess with it.

After picking up all the coats, hats, and other winter errata I was too tired to do much else. Infections are less than pleasant. We did go up to our favorite bookstore and browsed for a bit. I worked on the lighthouse in the cafe. The only odd thing that happened there was some guy randomly started flirting with me. Apparently he didn't notice my wedding ring. When I told FH he said, "Eh. The man has good taste." ;-)

If things go well in the morning I should have a fun post up in the afternoon sometime. Failing that, there will be a fun post Tuesday.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Crafty Ramblings

At least that's what my mind seems to be doing. The brain waves keep flitting from one idea to another right now. Being sick right now isn't helping me stay focused on anything at all.

One minute I'm gathering images and making sketches for Ara's swap, the next I'm stitching a gift for Holly's upcoming birthday. For those of you who just recently started following, Holly is one of my dearest friends. I tend to stitch gifts for her when I find something that fits her taste. Last year I made her a patriotic themed sampler with teddy bears on it. This year it's something a bit more nautical and will fit the decor of her bedroom.
As you can see I've got the main body of the lighthouse done along with the roof of the keeper's house. I've been working on this at night when I need to relax. Fortunately I have a true color lamp that can still next to me while I'm on the couch or move into my room if I need to stitch in bed.

The Rendezvous sewing is still lurking throughout the house. I'm maybe a quarter of the way through it. But I haven't touched it in a few weeks. My mental reset button with quilting started with this purple and blue quilt top. I am waiting for a chance to take it, the batting, and its backing to my friend, Donna's, house so she can help me get it layered and basted. Currently I'm fiddling with making appliques to go on this wall quilt.

Here is my bag of templates:I had tried to avoid it, but I believe I have to put up the sewing accouterments this week so I can use the kitchen table to work on the swap. My work room (read: glorified closet) is in too bad of a shape for me to try and work in there, not to mention I need as much natural light as I can get for this project. [Are you curious yet, San? ;- ) ] So the fabric gets to be piled neatly against the wall and in plastic boxes while I get the swap item under way.

Obviously I won't blog about that until Ara posts on her blog about all the pieces.

Since autumn is right around the corner I decided our spring-themed wreath needed to get changed out for something more appropriate. So I reclaimed a chunk of kitchen counter and set to work.I'm quite happy with it and the Fuzzy Husband was pleasantly surprised when he came home to it. Autumn is his favorite time of the year.

Last week also found me at a gathering of the quilters from the Peoria Stitcher's Guild. We were helping another member baste a quilt top. I didn't think to take my camera with me. Perhaps the artist will allow me to get a picture of it at the next guild meeting in October. The most amazing thing about the completely hand stitched quilt top was that she used only the leftovers from other projects to piece it. The colors all blended perfectly and it truly looked like she had purposely selected the fabrics to match. Other than the batting, she just had to buy fabric for the backing.

Next week the "surface stitchers" from the guild are having their meeting. I'm driving Donna and myself there, as our other friend who usually drives has a work obligation out of town. I may pack the blue and purple quilt in the car in case we have time to play with it after the meeting. As far as a project to work on at the meeting goes I will most likely take the lighthouse if I haven't finished it this weekend. I still need to sit down and finish that baby layette too.

I got the jacket finished, minus trim and buttons, moved on to the second bootie and started swearing under my breath. Apparently I discovered during the first bootie 5 years ago that there is a mistake in the pattern instructions. Of course something happened back then so I didn't work the second one while the changes I made were fresh in my mind. So now I have to sit down and count out how I did the first one so they will match.

Did I mention my nephew and his wife are expecting their third child next month? Yes I said nephew... I'm all of two months older than him. Gotta love huge families. I have fabric for a crib quilt to throw together but I haven't touched it since I washed the sizing out of the fabric.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention the new blog background. I love purple! Even better with a touch of black and grey.

So that's it for the moment. Once projects start getting done I will blog more about them. Hopefully I will start feeling better soon.


Hello and welcome to three new followers!

First is Victoria of "Little Boxes". Currently she is building a pre-revolution Russian village house. It's fantastic so far! I highly recommend a visit to see her work.

Next is Maite of "miniaturista-minisypx". She has many lovely pictures of miniatures posted on her blog. My favorite has to be the garage with a classic VW Bug in the scene.

Last but certainly not least is Alex of "Malice in Underland". I guarantee my friends who love all things gothic, the macabre, Steampunk, fantasy, and fairytales will spend as much time looking at her artwork as I have. Wow.

Welcome aboard, ladies. Hope you enjoy your visits. :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thank You, Katie!

When I went out to fetch the mail today I was surprised to find a package from Katie in the box.

Look at the neat treasures she sent me!
I'm in love with the spinning wheel. It's a pencil sharpener that she found on her trip to drop the kids at camp. The buffalo and bead will go great int eh Trading Post. :-)

And check out the nursery goodies!

I had the Little Bear book when I was a kid! Thanks so much, Katie!! :-)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Giveaway at Marigold Manor

Teresa over at Marigold Manor (formerly known as "Inside the Mind of a Mini Mad Woman) is having a lovely giveaway to celebrate her impending 100th follower. Here's the goodie basket! :-)

Here is a link directly to the post regarding the giveaway, but it's worth your time to follow the original link to the main blog and see the neat stuff she's got going on.

OMG a Mini!

The wellspring of miniature work hasn't completely run dry in my corner of the world. Last Thursday was the local mini group meeting. Our project was hosted by the same gal who did the jewelry display project back in June.

This time we made a Halloween decoration and gourd birdhouse.

Silly me forgot to put a scale in the pictures, but if you look closely the birdhouse is hanging on a toothpick.

I forget what the project for October is going to be. November will be some sort of Christmas-y wall-hanging.

I'm heading back to the sewing machine. I've got another non-mini, non-Rendezvous project in the works. All part of the mental reset from earlier in the week. Pics soon!


Hello and welcome to Katie Arthur from Dollhouse Miniatures and Hitty Art by American Folk Artist Katie Arthur!

Kathie has some fantastic minis on her blog. And for anyone who loves Miss Hitty dolls it's a treat. Stop by and say hello.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mental Reset Buttons

Every once in a while I get so bogged down with a project or idea that I have to do something completely different in order to trick myself into caring about the original project. This goes beyond having the attention span of a six year old like my friend, Casey, says she has. This borders on beginning to loathe the project entirely. Sort of how I feel about knitting really. (I think I will always be primarily a crocheter.)

The problem I faced was how to take a break from sewing the Rendezvous clothes, but not have to put away all the sewing errata in the dining room just to dig it out again after I was done playing with something else. I prowled through the room-sized craft closet (my supposed workroom) and found a kit for a quilt that I purchased years ago at a Hancock Fabrics.

The kit contained 13 fat quarters, backing material, and fabric to make the binding. There was also a coupon for free batting that had expired some years ago. To be exact, it expired before I bought the kit on clearance.Wild colors, huh? No wonder not many of them sold. I think people were put off from the fabrics because they couldn't see how fun they could be sewn up. But I kind of like them, in fact I like them more sewn up than I did as fat quarters. [The other choice was a combination of pinks. I prefer to leave all the pinks in the world to Marsha over at Sassy Mini Dolls. ;-)]

The directions called for cutting the fat quarters into 8.5" x 10.5" rectangles.Which I then sewed into rows.I tried following their "suggested patter layout" but it quickly got ignored in favor of just playing around. Ok, the real reason is I got myself mentally turned around while trying to follow their suggested idea and didn't figure out the problem until a couple of rows were sewn. ;-)

Once the top was finished, FH helped me get a picture. I'm behind the fabric. If you look close, you can see my shoes.
I think the brightness of the colors gets toned down a bit once the whole thing it together. It's not nearly as loud as I thought it might be.

I have some batting and the backing fabric together. I will be taking all three layers to a friend's house to get a second pair of hand getting the "quilt sandwich" put together and pinned. Then I will have to find a hoop or frame to use for hand quilting.

Yes, I'm going to quilt this by hand. Three reasons:

1. My current sewing machines are not equipped for machine quilting, nor do their models have walking foot attachments.

2. I need the practice.

3. I'm too cheap to pay someone else to machine quilt it, given most folks charge by the inch and my hands still work just fine.

No clue as to when I will start quilting this one. Probably will know more after I see my friend on Thursday evening. Maybe by then I will have decided whether to quilt in the ditch or stitch contours in the rectangles.

I've got another quilt kit to play with that has been in my stash since the maintenance men brought it over from one of the abandoned houses. [The tenant up and left in the night to avoid back rent.] I will post pictures once I do more that stare at it. ;-)

Belated Welcomes!

Now that we're home and things are calming down I noticed I missed welcoming new followers.

The first are Pamela Terry and Edward of From the House of Edward. Pamela is a wonderful interior designer with the soul of a poet. Edward is her wonderful, big, white dog. One cannot welcome Pamela without including Edward. That just isn't done.

Next is more of a welcome back than a welcome. Lori at Oh Mini Of Mine has returned to blogging. Her projects and company have been sorely missed.

Happy to have you all along for the ride. :-)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

We Have Run Away

FH and I have taken advantage of Tempie's improvements to leave the critters' care in the hands of a friend and run away for the weekend.

Our location is a secret, but this was the view during dinner:
We will return Monday. Have a nice weekend. :-)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Say Goodnight, Gracie

Rest in peace, little sweetness. May your little corner of the Heavens give you unlimited peas, Cheerios, and yogies.

Gracie February ?, 2009-September 2, 2009