Wednesday, June 24, 2009

in the process

I'm still here, I swear. I don't like to go more than a week without a post but it appears as though that has happened. I am tending to many irons on my fire these days and I am in that stage where it feels like I am working working working on things but nothing is getting done. But it's getting to the point where I can see the end of a few projects and am starting to think about new ones and I love that point :). Here's a small roundup:

Mini Calendars - yea! I am finishing up a sample but haven't decided whether it will go in the shop or not. I might just use it as an example of a finished calendar, I don't know. These are such a cute size - good for a cubicle or little office area.

Wedding invitations :). These are for my twin sister who is getting married in September. I was really hoping she would let me help out with the invitations and she was nice enough to humor me and throw me that bone. They are having an outdoor wedding in a nature preserve so I thought trees would be fitting. Oh, and also I love trees so then there's that as well :). I made this stamp and had a blast with it. I can't wait to make another one. Carving through that rubber is so much fun and I have to shoo away all the other family members who want to get their hands on my tools and try it out as well. I think I might have to make myself a little set of notecards with this stamp too - I am a little in love with these trees.

Then there is the "beast in the basement". (sorry for the awful photo - can anyone take a good photo in their unfinished basement??) . This gigantic project is a 2 x 16 (yes, 16) foot sign for my in-laws. It's for the outside of their business. I have never made anything like this before and frankly, it's kind of the opposite of the kind of work I usually do. I like small. Anything larger than a sheet of paper intimidates me. But this is good for me and is forcing me to try something new. It's not exactly the most creative thing I have ever taken on but I hope they like it and that they will be proud to hang it on their building.
I also had a bid accepted through alchemy on Etsy so I am finishing that up. I don't check alchemy that often but there are some fun opportunities out there. This one is just a wee little quilt label (a project that's just my size you know) but it's been really fun to work on. I'll have to post that when it's all done.

Now I'm off to check up on everyone else's projects!

Monday, June 15, 2009

a little something to share

This is either a really good or really bad idea but I'm going to just go for it. I have a little goodie that I made for myself and decided why not make it available here too for other people who might need something like this as well?

There have been so many times when I have been at the fabric store, known I needed something for my machine, but just can't remember the specifications so that I could buy the correct item. This usually means I either come home with the wrong thing or come home empty handed. So, I made this handy dandy credit-card sized booklet to bring along with me to the fabric store. There's also room for info about your machine's maintenance and for measurements. Originally it was just going to be the card but then I thought it would be so easy to turn it into a tiny booklet and I could keep other notes or shopping lists in there as well. Since it's credit card sized it will tuck right into a pocketbook or wallet.

I do feel a little weird exposing the fact that I cannot remember my own sewing machine model number. That is why I say this might be a bad idea. Part of me feels like I could just be making a fool out of myself here. I suppose that is a risk I am willing to take.

Here's the link for the file.

You will need Adobe Acrobat reader which you can get for free if you do not already have it installed.

You'll find this is a two page file. Go ahead and print out both pages. I recommend printing page one onto cardstock and page two onto regular paper. After you print page two turn it over and print it again on the other side - that way your pages will be two sided.

Next cut out your pieces. Fold each piece in half like this:

stack up your folded pages and place them inside the card. Staple along the spine and your booklet is almost complete. Just fill out the specifications for your machine then tuck into your pocketbook for your next trip to the fabric store.

I know this is going to help me out and I hope it helps you out too. If you are someone who has purchased supplies for your machine so many times that you know your model number like you know your address then you are probably laughing right now.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

did you guess correctly?

Well, there were some great guesses about this mystery substance and now it's time for the big reveal:
It's a bar of soap that has been cut into pieces and then microwaved. It was part of a project we found here called "soap moon rocks". Because there were not any photos posted on the site I was never 100% sure we were doing it right but it all turned out in the end. The resulting 'moon rock' looked something like a big marble and both boys had a blast with it. Strangely it would make colored foam when you lathered it up but it didn't stain skin or anything. So you can imagine the fun to be had with that. I would have taken a photo of said 'rock' but it was played with so immediately and vigorously that it was gone before I had a chance.

I don't know about you all but here at my house we are huge fuse bead fans. We only get them out once in awhile though. It helps preserve what little sanity I have left if I don't have to pick up those teeny beads from the all over the floor ever single day. This is an activity that Peter will sit and work on for sometimes up to an hour. He has inherited both his father's and his mother's attraction to precision work so this suits him just fine.

and I usually get a little trinket out of the deal as well.
We also tried this activity which turned out to be a dud. I think it was due to poor planning on my part but I ended up doing most of it and as soon as we hung it up it became a tangled mess.
One afternoon we made paper airplanes with a neighborhood friend and that turned out to be a smashing success. Who knew a folded piece of printer paper could turn me into supermom? not me! They loved it. I suggested at one point that they decorate their planes (because that is what I would do of course) and off they scurried to Peter's room. After 30 minutes of silence I started sniffing around for smoke but to my surprise I found them happily coloring away on their planes. Again, who knew? Here is the site we used for some easy beginner-style paper airplanes.
So by now you are probably thinking, "that's all you've got for us, Corinne? fuse beads and paper airplanes??" Patience everyone, I'm just getting warmed up. I have to save my big guns for mid Summer when the boredom really kicks in, right?
I'll leave you with some more children's book illustration love:
These are from an amazing book called Ten Mice for Tet. The illustrations are embroidered by Pham Viet Dinh and are they ever gorgeous! They will kind of blow your mind a little if you are a fan of needlework.

What amazing things have you stumbled upon recently?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I ♥ my postal carrier

Since our local mayoral election concluded in early May my mailbox has sat pretty much empty for the past few weeks. Don't get me wrong, I don't miss all those cheesy campaign postcards. This past week I was the happy recipient of some little delights. First and foremost was the little village hoop from little pink house. Melissa and I worked out a little swap and I have to say I'm sure I got the better end of that deal. (shhhh! don't tell Melissa!) Please excuse my photograph as it does not even come close to capturing the wonder of this piece. I've determined that there is a sort of magical quality of felt that refuses to be captured in pixels.

Next I received my first installment of "ReadyMade" magazine. I figured I deserved a new magazine since Wondertime broke up with me, right? It looks like it will be a fun one to flip through and there was a nice article about patchwork and applique in this issue. I do think, however, that I have to pass on the chandelier made of plastic umbrellas featured on page 48. You could say there's something for everyone in that magazine I suppose.

A few days later this arrived in my mailbox....
Oh what could it be?? what could it be??

Sorry! nothing exciting this time but this is still a really good reference to have on hand. I did recently order some mini calendar panels through Spoonflower and I will have those in the shop this Summer. The full sized panels are nice but if someone is looking for a slightly smaller/faster project the mini calendars might be better.

I will have to post again soon to update on some pint sized craft projects that Peter and I have done recently. Here's a clue about one of them:

Any guesses about what that is??

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

the seedlings have sprouted

I'm getting ready to list this pattern trio in the shop and I'm excited but maybe a little nervous about it. This design is so special to me and I feel a wee bit weird about sharing it with the rest of the world. These designs originated from artwork I made for Peter's nursery. I knew as I was sweating away in my third trimester in the middle of a Nebraska Summer in 2003, that I wanted to make something myself for the nursery. We didn't have a theme chosen for the room so I had a lot of artistic license. I didn't really want something that was "cute" exactly or anything that was gender specific (we didn't find out what we were having ahead of time). So, I came up with this.

The original artwork was done in colored pencil and watercolor so these patterns have a slightly different look. The monogram pattern I added into the set just because I love embroidered monograms!

This small tree was part of a piece I made for the nursery that featured a poem I originally found on a greeting card of all things but LOVED it. I have tried to find out who wrote it but haven't had any luck so I can't give proper credit unfortunately. It goes like this:

A child who's taught to smile at life is one who laughs and sings

A child who lives with patience learns a way to wait for things

A child who lives with gentleness will touch with gentle hands

A child who is understood becomes someone who understands

When children find acceptance that's another trait they learn

And children who are loved a lot will give love in return

a photo of the artwork that inspired these patterns

So that's that. I'll be posting again soon. I've had lots of 'blog fodder' buzzing around in my head lately and I need to sit down and turn it into some real posts. Until then I'm off to see what everyone else is up to in blogland!