Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Knittin' mittens

We're still at the cottage, and I can't believe the week is half over!
We went geocaching the past two days and have found 21 caches and lots of really neat places.
Today is the first day we seem to be just relaxing and hanging around the cottage. It's cooool here! The forcast low for tonight is 3 degrees celcius. Looks like there may be a fire in the fireplace tonight.
On the crafty side, I've been knitting mittens.
I knit these with Noro Kureyon and I love the way they turned out. The mitts aren't identical, but that's fine with me.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The end of summer vacation!

Boy, the summer sure does go FAST, especially when having as much fun as I did!

Joe and I and the dogs are headed up to the cottage tomorrow for a week. We get back either Labour Day or the day before, we are still undecided. After that, it's back to work for me. The first few weeks back to school are crazy, it takes me a while to get back to work mode. At this point, I still hate to even think of school!

This is a picture of the view off the deck of the cottage that I took early in the morning in July. This is where I sit and sip my morning coffee. I can't wait!

We do have internet access at the cottage so I will be able to get my daily fix of blog surfing. And of course, I've already packed my crafty bag full of books and knitting. I will post should I stumble across anything post-worthy.

Have a great week!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


We went hiking tonight and one of our dogs got skunked. They have both been bathed. Yuck.

Playing with cards

Using this wonderful tutorial and these wonderful instructions (scroll down), I made these this morning:

I'm feeling much better today, but I think that cards were about all I could handle. Boy, these are a lot of fun to make. Talk about instant gratification! I am still in the experimental stage with these. Some I like much better than others.

I'm afraid that I now have to stop all this craftiness and get down to some serious packing/cleaning/organizing. We leave for the cottage on Sunday and don't get back until Labour Day. I have to be all ready to start work the next day, so it's really important that I have everything in order before we leave! Ahhh!

Here's a picture of one of our cats, Jake. I was in the bedroom earlier today with the camera and decided to take a picture of where she spends most of her days.

I'm off to go and get myself ready, I'm meeting Joe to go and do some geocaching this afternoon.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hurry up and wait

Well, for the past couple of days, I've had a little bump on the back of my head behind my ear. At first I thought it was a bug bite of some sorts, that's what it felt like. I asked Joe to do the inspection and he said it was a bit red, but no sign of a bite.

Last night I noticed that the achy/warm feeling was speading to my ear and jaw a little bit. At 8:00 I decided to try to get into a walk-in clinic, assuming it was a swollen gland or something. Well, the doctor looked at it, felt it and his response was "I'm concerned." Not exactly what I wanted to hear. He told me to get my butt over to the hospital, he thinks I have a bone infection that needs IV antibiotics. He had a fancy name for what he thought it could be, but I don't remember what it was. Great.

So...I came home and Joe hustled me over to the "Prompt Care" hospital. After 4 hours of waiting, we finally saw a doctor. He did the examination and asked me a ton of questions. He thinks it could be the beginning of what the walk-in clinic doctor thought it was, but he thinks it can be treated with oral antibiotics.

So...this morning I dashed over to my favourite place in the world, Walmart (sad, I know) and filled my presciption for antibiotics.

I feel like crap and I seriously need to start thinking about packing for the cottage and getting ready for back-to-school.

To make myself feel better, I bought the latest Martha Stewart magazine and Real Simple magazines. I feel too crappy to read them right now. Back to bed I go.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pink Flamingos for Annie!

Annie is a geo-friend of ours who we/Joe frequently go geocaching with. Annie loves flamingos. I decided to make her a flamingo tote bag that she can thow her geo-gear into when she goes geocaching. After 10 minutes of shopping on Ebay for pink flamingo fabric (boy there was a lot of choices!) and a few hours worth of sewing, here is Annie's new bag:

And here's a view of the inside so that my mother can see the zipper:

Now, I'm not sure when we'll see Annie again. Let's see how long it takes before I e-mail her the link to this blog page. I'm not very good at keeping secrets. I'm terrible at Christmas/Birthdays. Not only do I want to know what I'm getting, but even more, I want to tell people what I got for them. My mother tells stories of how I got so excited every year at Christmas that I made myself sick.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Cottage bound tote

We are going up to the cottage next week. Believe it or not, it will be the first time Joe and I have been there alone together. We are always up there with friends and family, but this time, we told everyone we needed the week alone to relax. Joe and I have both said that we may be home by Tuesday or that we may be calling people to come up and join us because we can't stand how quiet it is, but I highly doubt either of those things will happen :)
I made a floppy tote bag out of two thrifted pillowcases. I wanted a bag that I could throw a book and a drink and some suntan lotion in and take down to the dock with me.
This bag is bare bones. No interfacing, no pockets (although now I'm thinking maybe there should have been, oh well), no closure of any kind. I did add decorative buttons inside the pleats.

And what do I need to go with my new flopsy tote bag? A quilted card, of course, made of of the scraps. I have enough scraps left over to make a few more cards, but I need to purchase more blank cards first.

I'm serious when I say that everyone I know will be getting quilted cards on every card giving occasion. I just think that they are adorable! I am hoping that the more I make, the better I will get at them. They are still far from the way I would like them to be. Note the oopsies on the right side of the card.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Zippers, cards and buttony goodness!

Yesterday Joe took me to a liquidation type store. I had quickly decided there was nothing there for me when Joe (who actually takes the time to look around) pointed out a recycling box full of brand new (but older) zippers. The sign on the box said $.25 each. I started to pick out a few that I could use now that I've mastered zippered pockets on bags when he suggests I offer $5.00 for the whole box. I would have never thought to do that, but I did, and I think the store owner was very happy to unload her box of zippers and I was very happy to receive them. I bet there are 200 zippers in the lot. 75% are brown (that's ok, I like brown) and the rest are mostly cream coloured and pink, again, both usable colours.

Today's been a lazy Sunday. Most are around here. I felt like making something, but I didn't want to start a project that would take forever. After thinking about it for most of the day, I decided to try making a quilted card from Denyse Schmid's book. It was a friend's birthday last week although I have the gift ready to give, I needed a card to go with it. Ok, if you are reading this and I know can expect one of these cards for every card-giving occasion for the rest of your life!

Here are some close-ups. Please keep in mind, the blue one was the first I made. All have oopsies in them, but the beauty of the quilted card is that it doesn't matter. In fact, I like the fact that they look very home-made.

I can't wait to get some Christmasy fabric and start making Christmas cards!

Finally, when I was going through the one pound of buttons that I recently got for $1.99 at Value Village, I stumbled across this little gem! I'd love suggestions for what to do with her. It has to be something very special.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

This is the bag I spoke of yesterday. I am really happy with the way it turned out, but it sure did give me a fight until the very end. I am completely a copy cat. There is nothing original about this bag. I copied the bag from this tutorial and I copied the flower from this tutorial.

My mother has been pestering me to start putting zippers in my bags. I've been hesitant to try it because it just seemed scary. The other night she was on the phone trying to tell me how to do it (bless her motherly soul). So...for my mother's sake, I put a zippered pocket in this bag. I don't think I did it the way my mother suggested (I'll be sure to hear about that), but here's a picture of my very first zippered pocket.
This morning, I decided I also needed a small zippered pouch to go with the bag. Here it is, complete with beaded zipper pull thingy.

Well, we are off to a geocaching event today. It's called Dairy Daze. A dairy farmer has opened up his farm today to geocachers. He has hidden 12 caches on the farm as well as several in the area. He also promises a tour of the farm. I'm pretty excited about it!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Has this ever happened to you?

My sewing machine and I did not have a good day today. I was making another one of these (scroll up a bit to the patchwork bag) and even though I was taking my time, I just kept making mistakes. I wanted to try inserting a zippered pocket. That was no problem, in fact it was so much simplier than I thought! But right near the end, everything went wrong. I had troubles finishing the top of the bag, I noticed the stitching on my tag was coming out so I had to re-sew it by hand (not easy through the lining and behind the pocket) and I had somehow managed to sew one of the handles in so that there was a twist in it. I couldn't find my stitch ripper, which is strange because I use it all the time. So Joe kindly drove me to the store to buy another.

What started out so smoothly, ended up taking forever!

I'm very happy with the way it turned out after all that. I'll post pictures tomorrow.

With only two weeks to go of summer holidays, one of which we will be spending at the cottage, I'm starting to stress about going back to work. I love my job, but I've had such a fun crafty summer that I don't want it to be over! Ahhhhhhhhhh!

Posts with pictures are more fun to read. Here's a great picture I took of one of our cats (we had three, but now have two AND two dogs). This is Maia.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Black and white and stripey's my lastest and greatest. I think I say that about every bag I made, but seriously, I think this one rocks!

I finally found a tutorial that I like for for fabric flowers . It can be found here.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Simple sturdy tote

This is my back to school tote bag. I find that I'm constantly lugging books back and forth from school and I wanted a new book/tote bag.
I had it 99% finished the other day, but I ran out of thread to finish it off. I got the thread I needed yesterday, and here it is in all it's glory.

I had such a fun day yesterday with my mother. She lives about 1.5 hours away so I don't get to see her as often as I like. It was her birthday last week so we got together yesterday for a day of shopping and bingo. I won, she didn't, but I shared.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Agenda Cover

rohanknitter asked how I made the cover for my agenda. I'll do my best to try to explain how I did it.

I sewed together a bunch of strips and then trimmed them a little taller and quite a bit wider than the agenda (wider so that it could attach midway through the front of the book). I used fusible fleece on the outer fabric.

Here's a picture of the outside:

I then cut a piece of fabric for the inside. I sat the opened agenda on top of it and measured where the holders would go for it. The holders are simply the two beige strips of fabric that you see. I sewed on a pocket so that I could keep loose pieces of paper and a pen.

Once that was all done, I sewed the outer fabric to the inner fabric with right sides together, leaving a hole so that I could turn it inside out. I ironed it and sewed the hole shut.

Then I attached two snaps. You can kind of see them on the right side of this picture.

Here's a picture of the inside:

I'm almost embarassed to show this! I didn't realize how wonky my sewing was! In my defence, I whipped it up pretty quickly and I knew (or at least I thought) I was going to be the only person looking at this!

I sewed an AWESOME new tote bag for when I go back to work. I can't believe the summer is almost over! Anyways, it's raining outside, so I can't get a good picture of it tonight, I'll try tomorrow.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I am a Bagaholic!

I'm so excited, I was invited to post my bags on the Bagaholics Anonymous blog. I frequently visit the blog and admire all the beautiful bags. It's a great source of inspiration. Take a peek.

Joe was out Geocaching yesterday which gave me some uninterrupted crafty time. I made two bags while he and the dogs were gone. Both from the same pattern. It's a pattern that I've almost perfected which is basically a combination of tutorials and tips that I've found posted online.

I'm still not happy with the angle of the handles, and unfortunatley, it wasn't until they were all done that I realized how I could have made them time.

The first bag is made from an embroidered fabric (it feels kind of lineny) with a plain black lining. In the past I've used heavy duty interfacing on the outside of the bag only (don't forget, I'm still a newbie at this). This is the first bag I've made using the interfacing on the lining and pocket as well. What a difference!! I love the sturdiness!

I ordered this Amy Butler fabric on Ebay and it arrived on Friday. I wish there was a Canadian source for Amy Butler stuff. Anyhoo...I needed a "back to school" bag, so this is it!

This is my third attempt at fabric flowers. I've almost got the hang of it.

I've hot glued a pinback to the flower so that it's removeable.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Today is my Mother's birthday.

She is awesome, she is my hero, she is probably the funniest lady I know. She is also a bingo addict and a casino junkie (not that those are bad things).
She has finally gotten a computer and is checking this blog daily. Thanks to Joe, she has also discovered online slots.....the Internet will never be the same!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Personalized Labels

Debbie at In the bag, a blog that I frequent, asked me about the personalized labels that I use for my bags. I use a tutorial that I found on Craftster. It can be found here.

I follow the tutorial's directions exactly. I have two different size ribbons that I use. A smaller one for smaller items, and the wider one for bags.
The first time I tried this I used a fancy background for the label, but it really didn't look very good and it didn't match all the fabrics that I use. So..I decided on just a plain white background with fancy text.
I use fray check on the cut ribbons and they really don't fray at all.

Also check out her latest post about lining/interfacing bags. I asked her how she does it and this is her amazing reply!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

To cut or not to cut?

I washed the fabric and duvet cover that I picked up at Value Village and I just couldn't wait to make something out of it! I ironed it all up and took it over to the cutting table (aka dining room table) and I just looked at it. I loved it so much, but it was a twin size duvet. I have absolutely no use for it, but I still HATED to cut it. I had to tell myself that I'd never use it as a duvet and I had to think about how much I would love it as a bag. I'm so glad I was brave, here is the result:

My latest bag

I think this is my favourite bag yet. It's a combination of several different tutorials.
It's not quite perfect, but I can see making many more of these!

I used heavy interfacing on the outer fabric and it's lined with black cotton.

My lucky day!

I just got back from Value Village. It was a very successful trip as you can see. I'm so in love with green and orange. I found a piece of green and orange fabric (on left), a Vegas mug (oh how I love Vegas!) and a twin size duvet cover. The duvet cover has this amazing green border.

Joe is working today and has a Board meeting tonight. I'll be busy while he's gone!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Old fashioned PDA cover

I have never had any desire to carry around a PDA. I am huge on lists and I carry around a Mead yearly organizer. I decided today it needed a cover.

I completely "winged it". I didn't realize until it was too late that my stripes were slightly crooked. Oh well, it gives it personality!

There is a pocket behind the book where I can stick little pieces of paper that I tend to collect and there is a place to put a couple of pens.

Monday, August 07, 2006

My new blog header

Thanks Joe for making me a new header!

It may not seem like much....

They are done! I started these in May and I got 99% finished them in a week or two but I got completely stalled on the toe of the second sock. Does that ever happen to you? Do you just completely stall on a project? The problem was, I didn't want to cast on another project until these were done, yet I had no desire to finish the second sock! *sigh*

Well, they were my first socks knit on two circular needles. I liked knitting them, but I think I'll go back to the dpn's for my next pair.

Weekend - Show and Tell

On Friday night, oh about midnight or so, my sewing machine got stupid. Both the machine and I had tension issues. I was trying to sew a purse for a friend's birthday (the first one I made for her I ended up giving away to someone else who admired it) and the stitches got very ugly. I spent two and a half hours trying all the obvious fixes, nothing worked. Joe remained very calm and understanding through the whole thing, even offering to take a look at it for me (he can fix radio transmitters, but stay away from my sewing machine!!). I could hardly sleep that night, I was convinced that the sewing machine doctor would diagnose my machine as terminal.

So....bright and early on Saturday morning me, Joe and the stupid machine jumped in the truck and off we went to the doctor (aka Singer repair man). The repair man's name is Mike. We love love love Mike. He agreed with me that my stitches were a bit off, but made a few very small adjustments and quickly had them looking better. I was fully prepared for him to try to upsell me on one of the beautiful machines he had sitting there, but he did no such thing. In fact, he showed me a side by side comparison of the stitches on my machine with the stitches on the newer fancy models, and mine actually looked better! He did recommend that I get a new machine (to use side by side with the one I have), but his recommendation was an old black Singer. He gets them frequently and although he didn't have one in at the time, he took my name and number and will call me when he does get one.

Thanks Joe for being so awesome during that whole ordeal and Mike for convincing me there is nothing wrong with my machine.

We were a smidge late for the geocaching lunch we were going to. Here's a group shot of all the geo-geeks. :)

Yesterday I finished up the birthday gift bag. Here it is.

I decided to try a Craftster tutorial I've been drooling over for fabric flowers.
Here's my flower:

It's a bit wonky, but not bad for a trial run. I can see more of these in my near future.

Here's a picture of it on the bag:

Friday, August 04, 2006

You get what you pay for!

It hasn't been a very good crafty morning. I have been trying to get more neck coolies done today so that I can wrap that project up. I also made a new tote bag using fabric I picked up super duper cheap at Walmart yesterday because I liked the pattern so much.

How often have you heard the phrase "you get what you pay for"? I've heard it a zillion times and I completely agree with it. I tend to not purchase items that are cheap, simply because I know they are of lesser quality and I will not be satisfied in the end with my purchase. But every now and then common sense doesn't prevail and you make a purchase and hope. Well...I should have known the minute I tried to cut the fabric that this was not going to work, but at this point I was still hoping (apparently I'm an optimist). It was the flimsiest cotton I've ever felt before in my life. I swear, the bolt said 100% cotton, but I find it hard to believe. I used heavy duty interfacing which certainly helped a lot, but I'm still very disappointed in the outcome. I did not even finish it and have thrown it in a box for now and it will most likely end up in the garbage the next time I sort through that box.

So what can I post since I feel the need to post something?

I've always had an interest in beading and every now and then I pull out my box of beads and make earrings or a bracelet. In July we were at the cottage we rent near Huntsville and of course I had to go to the combination bead/yarn store (heavenly combination). I purchased some sock yarn and was admiring the necklaces that the store owner had made up. I inquired about how one was made and she quickly gathered up all the supplies I would need to make it.

Here's my version:

I have yet to wear it but I plan on wearing it tomorrow to a Geocaching event we are going to.

I also made a bracelet using the same supplies:

I actually wear this quite a bit. I love the colours and they match almost everything I wear!

Well, off to get the oil changed in my car.

I am thinking about the next bag I'm going to try sewing AFTER I throw extra-super-cheapo Walmart fabric in the garbage!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Waiting for Joe

What does Chinook do all day while Joe's at work?


What doI do all day while Joe's at work?


This was my first attempt at a bag with a flap. No pattern. Just kind of winged it. I forgot to sew the pocket in before I sewed the lining, so a bit of ripping had to occur before the pocket could be sewn in place. The result of my oopsie is a wonky inner pocket. From the outside it looks ok :)

I also got a package from eBay containing this:

Joe was home for lunch when it arrived and he wasn't nearly as excited about it as I am. When he asked what I was going to do with it I told him I had "secret plans" for it. He just rolled his eyes. I do have plans for this fabric. You'll have to wait and see what they are.

OGA coolie sales are going well in fact that I'm going to make some more this evening using these fabrics: