Sunday, April 29, 2012

raise your HAND if you think this is nutty


How the debacle looks to me:

Potential Etsy customer: "So, Etsy, I really love this item on your site -  the seller says it's handmade but can I trust that is really is handmade (since it's on Etsy)?"

Etsy: "Well... that depends on what your definition of 'is' is"

*Sigh* I love you Etsy but I think you are heading down the wrong path here. You can choose whatever path you like of course - it's your journey - but I personally think you took a wrong turn. Just my opinion...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

problem solvy-d

Psssssttttttt! Hey, come here....ya wanna see something really cool? Check this out....
Have you tried this?:
I did and let me tell you about it. It's kind of a dream come true for embroiderists if you ask me. I have used a similar product in the past but this one is a step up from that in my opinion and you'll see why.

Here is how to use it:
The package I bought came in one large sheet so the first thing I had to do was cut it down to a size that would fit in my printer. The surface is kind of rough - almost like a paper towel - and the back is very slick.

Next I chose a pattern (I picked a little piece from my Stitches Del Sol pattern set). I pulled it up in my computer and lightened it a bit (they suggest in the instructions to print on a 'draft' setting from your printer). It went through just fine. My printer - even though it's nothing fancy by any means - is a real trooper so it had no trouble with this at all.
Next I cut out my design (saved the scraps of course!) and peeled off the backing.
I used a turquoise linen for this project. After ironing it I was ready to stick this baby on.
Ready to stitch!
Way too many hours/days later....
Okay here was the moment of truth. Was I nervous and skeptical? Yes.
There is my hard hard work underwater. The stabilizer sort of just turns to bits then disappears...much like magic.
I could still see bits here and there in those areas that had a lot of stitches so I went in with a paintbrush and swished it a bit to loosen it and that really seemed to help.
Finally I pulled it out and set in on a towel to dry
Once it was dry I went over it with an iron on the backside and I was done!
So...here is what I loved about this product:

It was easy to use, there is no tracing since I can print right from my computer, it also acts as a stabilizer as I stitch so I don't need to use a hoop (I don't usually use hoops anyway actually), no picking and tugging stabilizer out after I'm done stitching.

The only downsides in my opinion are: 1. it's a bit pricey BUT! I got mine on the JoAnn's website where they were having a sale AND offering free shipping so it wasn't too bad, 2. you could not use this on fabrics that cannot be immersed in water. I'm actually not all that crazy about immersing projects in water generally. I always feel like the stitches are never as nice as they were before they were wet. But I think that might be one of those things that only I really notice. And lastly, 3. the backing paper is pretty think so if you did want to trace a pattern rather than print it you might have a hard time seeing through it.

So overall, I recommend this product enthusiastically. It can be a real timesaver which means of course that you have more time for more embroidery projects and that, my friends, is what we're are all looking for, am I right?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

spring transformations

Don't you just love this time of year? When the days become longer...
 and the pants become shorter?
My machine is buzzing these days and Peter's dresser is fully stocked with shorts...but completely depleted of pants. It seems they all suffer that same fate - a hole in the right knee - within about 2 months time * sigh * But I'm not one to let a little thing like that make me toss them away.
Let's just hope we are spared any of those nasty surprise spring snowstorms here in Minnesota!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

miracles do happen

They're done!
I managed to finish the first one a few weeks ago but wanted to keep my word and not make a peep about it here until they were both complete. A few more weeks of procrastinating and distraction followed. Then, bound and determined, I got myself back in gear last week and stitched my last stitch yesterday afternoon!
What a relief!! I seriously thought that this might be a project that I never finished but would haunt me with guilt for the rest of my days. I actually have a project like that buried deep in a closet that will probably never get done yet I will continue to keep it with me (I started it about 10 years ago!). I'll no doubt be bringing it with me to the nursing home one day. Gladly - these will not be going along!

How do the boys feel about them? Well, Adam still wants he way-too-small fleece blanket and doesn't have too much interest yet in this. Also, even though I made the green for Adam and the blue for Peter, they both have their eyes on the blue one. Personally I like the blue one better too - there is more contrast in the colors so it's more eye catching.

Yes, this project caused me a lot of grief but seeing them cuddled up in these quilts does make it seem worthwhile. I am able to look past all the puckers, tucks, bad fabric choices and crooked stitches that this novice quilter was unable to avoid and see the bigger picture.

So, what's next? I have another catch-up project for the boys that I will have to share in another post but that will be getting the green light now. I am stepping back from SeptemberHouse just  a bit as well to do some re-assessing there and to finally get some things done that have been pushed aside for so long. (like say a pair of quilts or maybe that letter to my friend Glenda that I started months and months ago - it's coming Glenda I SWEAR!).

I'm trying out a new embroidery product too and will be sharing my experience here at SoSeptember so stop back for that. If it works well I am going to be soooo happy!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

a bit of pruning

Just doing some more spring cleaning today. It's time to let some patterns go and make room for new ideas and projects. So...the Seedling Trio Set will be retiring on May 1st. It's a set that is so dear to me and holds so much sentimental value and I like to think it has become special to others who have stitched up. If you want to try your hand at it please stop by the shop for a last chance to pick it up!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

4.5

Adam: "I wish I was some birdseed so that you could plant me and I would grow into a bird."

Age 4 1/2 is so fun!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

spring break



I've been on Spring Break, can you tell? Seems I have been doing everything BUT crafting lately. Spring does that to a person I think. I'm sharing a little something from my seasonal soundtrack. It's an oldie but a goodie! Surely I'm not the only one with season-song associations, right? What is your Spring song?
Remind me to share my summer song with you in a few months - I move all the way up to the nineties with that one!

Spring cleaning fever has hit HARD lately and I am doing my best to go with that flow before it fizzles out. I started using an online 'guide' so to speak and I have to say I love it! Yes, it is embarrassing to me that someone has to tell me how and what to clean in order for me to get it done but, hey, it's working so who cares? All the daily tasks are very manageable and it really does help to keep things under control. It also prompts you to tackle those icky jobs that I for one would probably never do until I had to, say, sell a house or something like that. My goal of course with this house is to be ready to sell it at any moment. I'm kidding of course but I have lived through two unexpected and rushed moves so I tend to keep these things in the back of my mind.

One other thing I crossed off the perpetual 'to-do' list this Spring sounds pretty boring but I am actually pretty darn happy about it. We finally managed to make the tedious and daunting task of switching from our megabank to a kinder gentler credit union! It was not unlike trying to move an entire household using only a Volkswagen beetle. Slow and a little scary - but so worth it. Yea!

I realize I could hardly be any more boring these days so perhaps I should stay away from the blogging but I miss you guys and wanted to at least stop on and say 'hello'.

I promise to get back to making after I work through some roadblocks there - hopefully soon!