Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stash Busting Part I

Ok, it's started. I've finished my first stash-busting project and I think I hate it, oh well.

I thrifted this Liz Claiborne fabric AGES ago. I love the fabric and decided to make a purse. The handles are way too short for my liking and I think I made the gusset (is that what you call the strip of fabric joining the front and the back together???) too wide so I had to make a tuck.

I should have added some kind of closure. I didn't.

I imagine using it when we go geocaching (or camping this weekend) to throw my GPS and granola bars, camera and an embroidery project or two in.

Please excuse the crappy pictures, the sun was setting very fast. I really didn't have enough light.

And a picture of the "tuck".

We are leaving early Saturday morning to go camping which means I'll have to pack up tomorrow night and we won't be home until late Sunday I imagine. I have no idea when I'll get to sew again!!!!! Yikes!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm On a Diet

Not a food diet (although I desperately need to do that too). A fabric diet.

I went to Joann's on the weekend and spent 40 dollars on a HUGE bag of fabric. I got home and I have no where to put it. NO WHERE. I have decided it's time to seriously use up my stash. Excluded from the fabric diet is thread/interfacing/muslin or anything that I need to assist in the fabric stash reduction.

So, that is going to mean many totes and purses and whatever else I can think of to make my heaping pile of fabric shrink.

OH, that also includes Value Village. I'm drowning in sheets and pillowcases. Yikes, did I just say no more VV???? MAYBE if I see something REALLY good it doesn't count. We'll see.

I know I'll feel so much better when I have a reasonable size stash.

Just thinking about all the fabric I have is making me woozy.

More Totes

I didn't expect to have any sewing time yesterday but I did manage to squeeze in a couple of quick totes.

I've been using this tote ever since it was finished and I'm so loving it!

I still haven't gone back to the flower yo-yos. I haven't forgotten the horror yet. I'll be sure to post about it when I do.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


I haven't been in my sewing room for days. I am starting to go through withdrawal. I'm hoping to do some serious sewing this week but I'm not sure that's going to happen.

Next weekend we are most likely going camping (in a tent!!!!!!) so no craftiness will be happening then either.

On Friday night we did some geocaching. This is the view from one of the caches we visited.

I hope all my American friends have a great holiday Monday!!! I'm jealous :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm Yo-Yo Challenged

Today was the first real hot and muggy day so far this year. The temperature in the computer lab I'm working in soared to 86 degrees. It was HOT. I ended up with a bit of a headache and opted for take-out for dinner so I could just come home, nap, and not heat up the kitchen by cooking.

When I got home I was excited to see that my Clover Yo-Yo Flower Maker had arrived. I ordered mine from Etsy and it came from Japan. The packaging AND the instructions are all in Japanese. There are TWENTY-ONE steps in the instructions!!!!!!!!!!! I had no idea there was an English version. I just found that link. *sigh*

Anyways...since it's so hot out and I don't feel like doing anything I thought I'd try my new toy.

An HOUR AND A HALF LATER this is what I have:

One teeny tiny flower shaped yo-yo.

This is what it's supposed to look like:

I didn't even realize until I uploaded the picture that the little belly-button-like poof that the instructions bullied me into making was supposed to fill the hole and act like the centre of the flower. *sigh again*

I can't face attempting another yo-yo tonight.

I'm sure if the instructions had been in English and I wasn't hot and cranky it may have been more fun.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Busy Weekend

Boy that long weekend went FAST!!! I had such sewing plans but it just didn't seem to happen. I did start making a purse, not a tote, just a plain old purse and I didn't get it done. I finished it up tonight after work.

The fabric is Alexander Henry Juicy Limes and Pears and the more I see it the more I love it. I may need more.

We had to go to Woodstock yesterday (about 2 hours away) so I brought another embroidery project with me figuring I could work on it in the car on the way there and I anticipated a bit of "waiting around" time. Well, I almost had it done before we even got there. I was wishing I had brought more to work on. Hopefully I get that done this week although looking at our schedule I don't see much time being spent in my sewing room.

Tonight we're off for ice cream with some geocaching friends. Yum!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy Victoria Day!

Well, thank goodness for long weekends. Today is a Canadian holiday. I am still not sure what to do today, Joe is heading to Woodstock to do a little geocaching training. I'm still undecided as to what I'm going to do. I better decide soon!!

Anyways, while I procrastinate making a decision I thought I'd admit that I've caught the embroidery bug. I keep thinking of things I could embroider and how I can embellish my sewing projects. Consider yourself warned.

My second embroidery project was to make a new banner for my blog (look up). It was a easy-peasy to do and although I'm not thrilled with my photography skills I am thrilled with the banner. Now I have a cute little embroidered Trail Mix Designs thing that I have no idea what to do with though! I was thinking about making it into a little pouch and using it as a pencil case???

I also made a tote yesterday before we headed out geocaching.

It's a denim tote with a pocket on the outside lined with white cotton. Simple.

I'm so happy today's a holiday :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Embroidered Tote

And here's the final result of my first embroidery attempt.

Of course I had to incorporate it into a tote and I love it! Well, I'm not that much in love with the cat but rather I'm in love with the possibilites of embroidering stuff and sticking it on a tote bag.

I used my friend Heat'N'Bond to attach the embroidered cat to a piece of polka dot cotton and then used Heat'N'Bond to attach it to the tote front. I did a running stitch around both and then proceeded to make the bag.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Lunchtime Thrifting

It's been a while since I've bought anything at Value Village. I was starting to get depressed.

I zipped in today at lunch and had myself quite a successful little shop.

I bought this quilt, it's nothing special really. It's lap-size and I plan on throwing it on the couch to snuggle up in when watching TV. I'm getting picky now when I'm buying buttons (believe it or not). At a quick glance I knew there were some nice buttons in this especially huge bag. Bought that too.

I found a couple of pillowcases and a couple of magazines.

I found some Christmas fabric samples. Sold (to me).

And lastly, I grabbed this little piggy bank on the way out because it said "Lego, Japan" on the bottom. A little eBay surfing confirmed that it was indeed made by the Lego people in Japan in the 50's. It seems to be worth about 10 dollars. I paid $1.49. I like it.

All that for just under 20 dollars. Not bad.

Have a great weekend! And to all my Canadian friends, have a great LONG weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Embroidery Take II

First of all I want to thank everyone for you amazing embroidery tips/suggestions. Taking all of your advice into consideration I tried it again and it's much better than my first attempt although I know I still have LOTS of room for improvement.

I used a plain white cotton fabric this time and it turned out so much nicer than that other stuff I was using. I also reduced the number of strands I was using from 6 (as the booklet suggested) to 4. I think next time I'll try it with just 3 and see what happens.

I have a plan for my little cat and I'm hoping to get to it tonight. I'll post pictures IF it turns out the way I hope.

A while back I made a little mp3 player cozy. There's nothing much to it. I just sewed a button on one side and sewed a piece of ric rac into the seam on the opposite side for a closure. The ric rac just winds around the button. It's secure enough for the mp3 player mostly because it doesn't get much use anyway.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Something New

A while back I bought the Stitch-It Kit by Jenny Hart. I've never done any kind of embroidery before and I had no idea where to start. After a quick glance through the directions I set it down. I had no idea where to begin. The booklet that comes with the kit CLEARLY shows how to do the stitches but how do you know what stitch to do where? I consulted with the expert, Lera, who said she uses the split stitch and that's what I did.

I did this last night while watching 24. I used all six threads of the embroidery floss and split stitched my way through it. The only time I changed was when I did the satin stitch for the eyes. It's almost, but not quite finished.

Here are my issues. Firstly, I think I chose an inappropriate fabric to work on. It was a bit of stuff I recently got at VV. It came in a bag of other crafty stuff. I held on to it knowing I wanted to try embroidery. What fabric should I have used????

Secondly, the back is covered in ugly knots. Is that just the way it goes??

Thirdly, should I have used all six strands of floss? The lines are pretty thick.

I really liked doing it and I'd like to practice and get better at it.

Any suggestions? Tips? Constructive criticism?

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

A little Sunday geocaching

I did a little bit of sewing this weekend but since I've yet to get photos of it, I thought I'd post a few pictures from our geocaching trip yesterday. We were somewhere between Port Dalhousie and Niagara-On-The-Lake on Lake Ontario. It was a perfect day. No heat & no bugs, perfect geocaching weather!

We had some trouble finding the cache so we took the dogs down to the lake to play.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

As much as I would love to post a great big photo of my Mother I know I would get a phone call faster than the speed of light complaining that I posted her picture. So Mom, instead, here are some pictures of my sister Lisa and I when we were little.

Who crocheted this hat that I'm wearing?


Me with one of my many broken bones.


Mom I hope you have a great day, we'll do our thing soon.

To all the Moms out there, Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Is it summer yet???

I'm in the middle of packing up the library, all 10,000+ books to prepare for some major renovations that will be taking place this summer. I should clarify that...I'm in the middle of supervising many wonderful students who are packing the 10,000+ books. I think I've packed 6 boxes so far.

Anyways, I'm a wee bit stressed out at school these days. Today I had an incident that was the straw that broke the camel's back that made me totally grumpy.

To add to my grumpiness it's hot and HUMID here today. Apparently yesterday was a record-breaking temperature day and today we have a smog alert. If it's like this already I'm very afraid of what the summer has in store!

I came home and went through my pillocase stash, because of course, I NEEDED to make some tote bags. One very broken sewing machine needle later and I have these:

On a happier note, yesterday these arrived in the mail:

A couple of weeks back I was the VERY lucky winner of a contest at Sew, Mama, Sew! Thank you so much Kristen for my amazing prize! I'm going to have to think about the best way to use it. I've already placed my first of what I'm sure will be many orders at her store.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I've done something I NEVER thought I'd do.

Sew a skirt.

I hate skirts. I own a couple because I have to, but I hate them. I hate shopping for skirts. I hate wearing skirts. But every now and then an occasion FORCES me to succumb to peer pressure and look like a girl.

I actually kind of like Soulemama's pretty skirts so a week or so ago I picked up the pattern, Simplicity 7229, just in case I ever lost my mind and wanted to make one.

Well, I didn't lose my mind, I lost a friend. A fellow geocacher finally lost her battle with cancer. We will be attending the funeral this weekend. I went into panic mode knowing I don't have a skirt to wear. I dragged out the pattern, read the fabric requirements and remembered that I had a thrifted tablecloth (at least that's what I think it was) that just might do the trick.

Here it is, unhemmed. I plan to use Lera's trick for hemming and use double fold bias tape. I will finish it but I'm not promising to wear it.

Part of my problem is I really don't have anything to wear with it. I'm a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal. I might see if I can find a top to buy to go with it. The good news is I don't need to buy the complete outfit and the better news is if I remember correctly that tablecloth cost $1.99!!

I'm thinking a nice scoopy neck black t-shirt with black sandals.

Monday, May 07, 2007

New Amy Butler Paper

Thank you Amy Butler!!!!

I adore her patterns but it is absolutely impossible to find Amy Butler fabric in Canada. In the past I've ordered it on Ebay and paid dearly for it.

Amy has a new line of scrapbooking paper out that I just HAD to have. I've already started to make some cards using it and I love love love it!!!

Also, thanks for all your kind words regarding my stupid weekend sickness. I'm feeling much better today thank goodness.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Wasn't THAT a fun Saturday????

Can you say stomach flu??? And although I'm feeling like I'm not going to die for the first time since noon on Friday it's not over yet.

I was in bed from noon on Friday until around 7:00 last night. It wasn't even "fun" sick, you know, the kind when you can watch movies and read books and magazines. It was the kind of sick when all you could do is write your will in your head and wish for death.

Around 7:00 last night I got up, had a bubble bath and since Joe wasn't home (he was working all day) I decided to go to VV and Tim Horton's for an Ice Cap. Because that was a smart thing to do, even though I could hardly walk!!!

My VV visit was brief, but rewarding. I picked up two pillowcases (soon to become a tote) and a stack of the best ever quilting magazines!! I know I don't quilt but there are some really neat little projects in them. I saw the magazines from a distance and there was a lady standing right in front of them. As I was heading over to them the whole time I was chanting "Please don't touch those, please don't touch those". I managed to scoop them all without pushing her out of the way.

I've been awake long enough, it's time to go back to bed. But I'm now into the "fun" sick time. I'm too sick to do housework but not sick enough to lounge in bed and flip through awesome magazines.

I hope your weekend was better than mine!!!!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

What Have I Started????

Why do I do this???

I got home from work and decided that it was time to re-arrange my sewing room. Completely inspired by Beki, THE Artsycraftybabe and her new L-shaped sewing set-up.

I have created SUCH a mess!!!!! I had to walk away. I can NOT believe I'm going to post pictures of this but I know that YOU will have so many great ideas, things I haven't thought of. I guess what I'm saying is I'm open for any suggestions.

I think my biggest problem is I need to de-stash. I have nowhere to store my fabric so it is in rubbermaid boxes and Ikea cardboard boxes under my cutting table.

My next issue is these shelves. They are Joe's and there is NO way I can get rid of them and still live, but they need some "prettying" up. I'm thinking a fabric curtain to hide all my crap but I really don't know how to do that. Do I just gather the top of the fabric and attach Velcro to the fabric and the shelf and stick it on???? I'm assuming so, but if I'm wrong and you know I'm wrong, please feel free to advise. Oh, and I had to empty the shelves before moving them. I've just stuck all the crap back on it. It still needs to be organized.

That dresser has nowhere else to go and I have to keep clothes in it due to a small bedroom.

My last issue is this chest. It's piled sky-high with baskets. The baskets store all my bits and pieces of junk. Ric rac, label making stuff, ribbons, fabric, stuff to make cards, you name it.

I feel like I've just revealed my soul to the world. Please believe me, although it was cluttered before 4:00 today when I just HAD to start this HUGE project it was not nearly this messy.

I need help.

Any suggestions???

Edit: the toilet paper roll is sitting there because I was using it when I was gluing the buttons on the cards I just made. The glue bottle was almost empty so I just stood the bottle upside down in the tp roll while I was using it so the glue stayed at the tip. I'm SO embarassed!!! he he he

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

New Planner Cover

I love making lists and being organized. I have found the best system for me is a plain Mead Yearly agenda, the kind that has one day per page. I have been using this cover for far too long. It was time for a change.

It is nothing fancy, I just wanted to hide the boring, black plastic cover. I like having a pocket to keep my pen so I don't have to scramble when I want to write something down. I like this one better than the last one because there is no flap. The last one was a bit of a pain actually.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

More Cards

I have spent the last three days working on a batch of cards for me and my Etsy Shop. I had completely forgotten how absolutely time consuming they are!! I really wanted to make more though because I use them all the time!

At least I have new note cards now. I only had one or two left.

While I've been working on these I have been thinking about other things I want to make. I want to make a new agenda cover for the daybook I use and I want to make a funky camera case for my camera. I hate the one that I'm using now.