self-improvement…

Here’s what I’m working on…I finished a quilt, but it’s in the wash. I’ll post pictures when it’s dry and snuggly. Cross your fingers for me that all the batiks don’t bleed into the white parts! One day I’ll learn my lesson and stop being so lazy about pre-washing.

Anyway, I’m working on some new skills…trying to advance myself or something. Namely, embroidery, paper-piecing and hopefully applique. I haven’t started applique yet, but I got some supplies (steam-a-seam 2 and a pressing sheet.)

embroidery book paper piecingpaper pieced birds

I got this pattern at Road 2 California from ABC Patterns. I’m really enjoying how easily the little birds come together. I wish I had gotten other patterns! They gave us a crazy patch for free…I’m excited to try that one with different types of fabrics (old ties, silks, corduroy…).

Also, I’m working on this…my absentee ballot.

ballotI guess I better get my booty off the fence!

Holy Page Rank!

Somehow, my page rank has jumped up to 5! Who knows if these blessing will persist, but in the mean time, I’ve got to jump over to PayPerPost and see what treasure awaits me. In other news, my Alexa ranking went up. In case you didn’t know, that’s bad. Alexa goes down: good. Up: bad. So it was in the mid 700,000. Now it’s 800,977. Weird.

I also sold a rotating ad on here, but I can’t figure the code out for the life of me. I even got myself into an internal server error situation the other day, which practically gave me a heart attack.

denyse schmidt single girl patternIn non-tech related news, I’m super excited because I just bought a new pattern from PurlSoho. Denyse Schmidt’s Single Girl pattern! Love it…I’ve been saving all my Katie Jump Rope fat quarters for something special, and this is it!

I also joined about 100 new groups on Flickr…trying to be more social or whatever. There are so many awesome crafters out there…I just love these sites like flickr and etsy. More ideas than I could ever use!

I’m happily sewing the binding on a quilt…pics coming soon. One down, a billion to go! Hooray for bins full of fabric :)

Road to CA

I’m headed to theĀ Road to California quilt show tomorrow. I’m super excited…my husband is meeting me to take the baby, and I get the whole day to wander around the Ontario Convention Center, surrounded by all things quilting! I’m really hoping to get a ticket to Mark Lipinski’s lecture – which I didn’t know about until two days ago, when we figured out I’d be able to go to the show. So wish me luck getting a last minute ticket. I promise to post pictures!

So Cool!

cut-away sweatshirtI love DIY’s Creative Juice. I’ve made a few projects from their show – namely using the cutaway sewing technique to alter clothes. And guess who left a comment on my blog?! Cathie Filian! The co-host of Creative Juice!

Now, I’ve had a famous, fabulously-gifted author and a super-creative tv personality comment on my blog.

How cool is the internet?

my birthday gift

I haven’t been the greatest blogger lately. First, we were vacating. Then, I was unpacking/doing laundry/forcing my kid to return to Pacific Standard Time. Then I was cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner ever. (Thanks, Martha, for the great recipes! Pictures coming soon.) Then I was shopping.

Today, for the first time in my life, I partook of the great American tradition of stampeding poorly prepared cashiers and customer service people in retails shops of all kinds. My birthday is next week (31!), and I was on a mission to find my perfect gift.

Did I buy perfume or diamond rings? No. Of course not. What I did buy was a new Singer Confidence sewing machine. YAHOO! It is awesome! I got it for $399, normal retail is $599, and it kicks my old Singer’s booty. I also got a new Rowenta iron, normally $80, for only $30.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some sewing to do.

More crafts

I’m officially in the mad rush of sewing for Christmas. Here are a couple projects – the purse and zipper pouch are from Bend-The-Rules Sewing, and the sweatshirt is my own creation. My friend Sara has a question mark tattoo on her leg, and we decided it would make a good logo for her sweatshirt. She got the sweatshirt at WalMart for $10, and I added some cute Denyse Schmidt fabric and blue thread. My first foray into customizing clothing, I think it came out pretty cool. I got the instructions from DIY’s Creative Juice tv show. You can see better pictures (and more projects) on my flickr page. Thanks for checking out my crafts!

bend-the-rules handbag

zipper pouch

sara's sweatshirt

Stephanie’s gifts

So here are the gifts I sent my good friend Stephanie-doo-dah. She’s my crafting guinea pig – she gets all the prototypes. The little bird (filled with catnip and bells) and coasters are from the book Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson (awesome book – you can find my review here.) The apron is from an Indygo Junction pattern, and the slippers were made from a pattern on crochetme.com. You can just search for “mary janes” – there are lots of patterns available online.

coaster bag

coasters with bag

little catnip bird

retro reversable apron

crocheted mary janes

vertical blinds

I’m really not crazy about vertical blinds. It seems like every house and apartment I’ve lived in has had either vertical blinds or the regular skinny little horizontal plastic blinds. I hate all of these. I want curtains. I want plantation shutters. I want a home of my own that I can decorate.

There are so many cool options these days. Not just for blinds, but for cool drapery poles with fun finials. As I get better at sewing, I hope I’m acquiring the skills needed to create some custom draperies for our home. One day we’ll have our own, and I’m going to make it nice. With no vertical blinds.