Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sew & Tell: More Keyka Lou City Totes

I found Sew & Tell over at Amylouwho (she's the one with the awesome bunting quilt block!) a few weeks ago now, but haven't been able to get anything finished up to share. And when she announced last week that Sew & Tell will be taking a holiday break, I was bummed because I wouldn't be able to share anything until after the first of the year. Of course, the majority of my projects right now are gift-related & can't be shared anyways, but I was bummed all the same.

I've had pieces cut out for this new City Tote for a couple weeks now, but haven't been able to find much time to sew, so I was pretty happy to get some work done on it when we got home from our Thanksgiving trip Sunday night. I was even happier when I was able to get it finished up!

It's hard to get decent pictures when I'm never home in daylight hours during the week, so please excuse the picture quality. :)

The outside of this one is made with corduroy & is super soft. I absolutely love it.

I didn't want to use the cord on the inside, so I used this fun fabric instead. I know it's not exactly matchy-matchy, but it looks pretty darn cute. The flower shape are similar to those on the outside & the blues match, so it pulls it together pretty well. I also use this fabric on the underside of the strap (you can kind of see it in the top picture) so it doesn't hang all wonky when carried.

Here's a better shot of all three fabrics. I promise the browns match better than what it looks like here.

And here's another City Tote that's been done for a couple weeks, but I wanted to share quick as well.

My friend is a huge Kansas City Chiefs fan, so she absolutely loves the inside of the purse (inside of the outside pocket is Chiefs too). The day she got it, she had to show everyone in the office the inside of her purse. It was so funny, the Chiefs had just had a pretty bad loss the day before, so one of the ladies asked if it was on the inside because she was ashamed of the Chiefs.

Head on over to Amylouwho to check out the rest of the Sew & Tell items!

(Oh, and a quick update on the hand warmers - I'm about 1/2 inch from the thumb hole on the first one, so it's 7.5 inches long! Woo-hoo! I promise I'll try to get a picture of it this weekend to share.)

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Say hello to America's next top model...

Isn't she beautiful! :)

Nick wasn't willing to model the scarf, and we all know what happens when I take pictures on the surface of the sun...er...in the bathroom. Besides, she's a much cuter model than me.

I finished up this scarf (knit) over the weekend. It's one I started last winter, but it got put aside for other projects. The yarn is Caron Simply Soft Eco, I love this stuff & picked up a ton of it on clearance at one point last year. You can't tell from the picture, but it's got this kind of blueish-purple sheen to it, odd, but really pretty. It was knitted really loose (US 16 needles), so it's fairly light, but still plenty warm. I absolutely love it!

No pictures, but I'm making progress on the hand warmers too. Up to about three inches, and getting much easier & quicker the more I work on it. I'm almost half way to the thumb holes! I'll be bringing it with me when we visit family this weekend, so hopefully I can get quite a bit done in the car & evenings. Who knows, maybe I'll have a completed pair by the time we get back!

I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving! I know we have a lot to be thankful for this year, I hope you do as well!

Until next time...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

TWT: Raw(e) - One(5)

The Raw(e) challenge from Sailor & Company is a little different this week: One(5) - go to your first photo folder, then post the fifth picture in that folder.

As usual no editing is allowed, although if the picture is already edited, I'm not sure if it qualifies. And I have a big, huge, fat disclaimer - I DID NOT take this photo. Umm...when you see it, it's going to be pretty obvious, but still, I gotta add that. It was taken by the amazing guys at Lemonlime Photo (seriously, if you need a photographer in the KC area, go with these guys!), and I'm pretty sure it was Neal who actually took the picture, although I can't say for sure.

So here's my One(5) photo:

This is my sister & I from my wedding. I promise I'm not naked. :)

Can I just say that I'm ready for spring after looking at this? The bright green grass & lovely redbud trees... Spring, please come quickly this year.

Oh, and I'm not officially entering this in the Raw(e) contest this week since I didn't take the photo, but I still thought it was fun & would share anyways. All the same, make sure you go check out the rest of the pictures!

Until next time...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Progress: knitted hand warmers

I didn't get terribly far on the hand warmers this weekend, only about 1.5 inches done on the first one, but it's progress! I'm much slower with knit than crochet, and even slower working with such small needles (US size 3), not to mention four of them!

I did finally get a handle on holding everything while I was working. It's still awkward, but not impossible. Thanks to those of you who let me know it would get easier to handle the further along I got. It's definitely true!

You can see the ribbing better here, and the color is a little more true.

(Our table sure is shiny!)

I'm loving this green & wish the scarf I'm working on were the same color. Maybe I'll have to pick up some more when I get these finished up so I can make a scarf to match. I'll definitely use much bigger needles if I decide to do that!

I think one of the hardest things about these is knowing that even when I get one finished up, I'll still have to do another before I can actually use them! But I'm excited to get them finished, so hopefully it'll continue to be a good motivator.

Until next time...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday: November 14

Yes, you read that correctly, I'm finally participating in a Sunday Scavenger hunt again! I've been trying every single week, but it just hasn't happened for one reason or another. Make sure you head over to Ramblings & Photos to check out the rest of the pictures.

1. Self-Portorait - I actually took this one for the October Photo Hunt Challenge, which I ended up not being able to complete. We dressed up at work the Thursday before Halloween, so while this is pretty much regular clothes for me, it was also my Halloween Costume.

2. Handmade - This is the bag my swap partner made for me for the Sew, Mama, Sew bag swap. I've been meaning to share pictures of it, so this seemed like a perfect time. I thought it was funny that we ended up making a fairly similar shaped bag, especially after all the issues I had with that darn gusset. The gusset & straps are made with a sort of leather fabric, Sharon said she thought it was a very thin piece of leather attached to fabric, but beyond that I don't know anything about it, except that it's awesome. Sharon did an absolutely fantastic job with this! I just LOVE it.

3. Orange

4. Candle - Ummm...yes, my birthday cupcake is still sitting out on our table. I can't bring myself to put it away. So, now it's a happy Thanksgiving cupcake. Or something.

5. Traffic sign or signal

Until next time...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Can someone please tell me...

How in the world am I supposed to hold four needles at once?!

It seems like I just start to get it handled, and then I'm at the end of the needle I'm working off & it gets awkward again.

Yes, I really should be working on Christmas gifts, but I decided to go ahead & get started on the hand warmers instead. Hopefully I'll have some good progress to report by the end of the day!

Until next time...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Knitted hand warmers

Since I shared my project list the other day, I've gotten a pretty good response that a few of you have found projects you'd like to share as well. I did end up adding a few things to it since then, but am trying to decide if going forward I'll keep adding to the same list (it is nice to keep them all in one central list), or just tag everything the same so it'll so up on that handy Project List link at the top of the blog. My thought is that many posts with individual links end up being similar to all the individual e-mails I used to send myself, which is how I used to end up losing track of stuff I wanted to make. Maybe I'll just do a weekly list...

Anyways, today I found a pattern for knitted hand warmers, and I'm sure there are plenty of other similar patterns out there, but this is something I really want to make this year. I was just telling Nick last week that I want to get/make some for when we go skiing, since I always struggle with trying to keep my gloves tucked into my jacket, and this would help solve the problem of cold wrists. So maybe it's one of my to-do projects that I'll actually get around to working on sooner, rather than later. Maybe. Hopefully.

The thought of working on multiple double-ended needles scares me, but I'm willing to pick some up & give it a try. I guess I'll have a need for the next Michael's coupon that comes my way.

Until next time...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I could have kissed the mailman yesterday

Not a single bill, and two very good packages for me!

First was a Nicole Mallalieu Belle bag sewing pattern that I was lucky enough to win from Sara over at Sew Sweetness. And speaking of sweet, Sara is giving away one pattern every Friday from now until Christmas! Make sure you check it out tomorrow to find out the winner from last week & enter to win this week's pattern. I can't wait to see what she's got in store for the coming weeks! I'm just bummed I won't be able to win any of the upcoming giveaways, because I just know they'll be good!

The other was a fantastic bag of scraps I won in an ebay auction last week. I'm totally in love with the Heather Ross Lightning Bug fabric, so I was really excited to get this.

My favorite are the goldfish at the top & the little toadstools towards the bottom. At first I was disappointed when I opened it because I thought it was supposed to include some of the bags of fish, but when I double-checked the listing, I realized it wasn't supposed to be included after all, so I was back to just being excited. These are all some pretty good sized scraps too, so I'll need to decide what I want to do with them.

Now, if I could just get my hands on some gnomes & bags of fish...I guess Christmas is coming...too bad they cost an arm and a leg, each!

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Project List

I've been e-mailing random projects & tutorials to myself on a regular basis for...oh...months & months, but I realized they just get lost in my e-mail & I have a tendency to never look at them again. So I thought that maybe if I keep them nice & organized here, I might actually remember to do some of the projects. Plus, maybe you'll find some fun projects you'd like to try, and maybe some you've seen before & have forgotten about too. I mean, come on, I can't be the only one who has this problem! :)

I'll keep updating this list with new projects & hopefully as I complete them, I can also include links to my finished projects. Lofty goals, me thinks. For now I'll try to keep the commentary to a minimum, but if you know me at all (or have been a reader for, oh, say a day!) you'll know I'm a bit of a rambler. See, here I go again...

So, let's get this party started:

Fat Quarter Handbag from Sew, Mama, Sew!

Zipper Bag from Everywhere Orange

Printed Key Fobs from Create & Delegate

Modge Podge Screen Printing from Craftgrrl (and about a hundred other places, but this is the link I kept)

Milkmaid Skirt from Crafterhours

Ruby Lou Doll from Sew Much Ado

Circle Skirt from Made

Penelope Pleated Purse from I Still Love You

Cute Boxy Pouch from A New Creation

Gathered Clutch from Noodlehead

Candy Corn Bracelet from Epbot

Crochet Yoda from Happy Together

Triangular Pouch from Innocentia

Easy Bias Tape Cutting Method from Stop Staring and Start Sewing

Crazy Nine-Patch Quilt from Oh, Fransson!

Hexie Caddy from Penny's Hands

Sweater Sling Purse from Make It and Love It

Reversible Bag from Very Purple Person

Pleated Tote from Artsy Crafty Babe

Mug Rug from That Girl...That Quilt (guesting at Stash Manicure)

Phoebe Bag from Artsy Crafty Babe

Hmmm...now that I compile the list, it doesn't seem nearly as long as I remember, surely I'm missing a few! I need to skim through my patterns too & add these to the list since I think seeing everything listed out may just be the kick in the pants I need to get in gear.

If you got a favorite pattern or tutorial or want to share your crafting to do list, feel free to leave a comment & share! I'd love to see your ideas!

Oh, and you can easily find this list again if you visit the blog & click on the "Project List" at the top of the page!

Until next time...

String Me Along - Quilting Bee

Well, I suppose it was bound to happen - I've signed up for my first online quilting bee. It doesn't start until January, and runs for 17 months, skipping December for the holidays, so 16 blocks total. Having to make a different block each month doesn't sound like too much to handle, so I'm really looking forward to this. It'll be fun to work with different fabrics & patterns as well, so less of the boredom I sometimes face when I work on the same sort of project or fabric for too long.

I think the hard part will be deciding what fabric I want to use & what sort of block I would like made. Fortunately (and unfortunately!) I have plenty of time to decide since my month isn't until February 2012. Yes, that's right, over a year from now! Who know's what I might want by then! I've been thinking that maybe I'll start picking up fat quarter & scrap fabrics here & there, and cutting them into different size/shape "scraps" to put into separate baggies. Then when my time comes around, hopefully I'll have enough fabric for each block without having to think about it too much at the last minute. We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, I'll also be working on finding & saving all kinds of inspiration so I can get an idea of what sort of block I'd like to ask for. My first thought is to ask for any kind of a wonky block, since I prefer the look over some more "traditional" quilt patterns, but we'll see what else I think of over the next year. I have considered asking each person to make their favorite pattern, but that may be a little too random (and not the good kind!) to work.

One block that has been stuck in my head since I first saw it is this one from Amy at amylouwho. How stinkin' adorable is this?

Seriously, I had to scour every sewing/quilting/crafting blog I had in my reader this morning so I could find this again. I just simply couldn't remember where I'd seen it & knew I just had to find it again to be able to share it. I absolutely adore this block. I also really like her Drunk Love in a Log Cabin blocks, which are definitely high of my list of the sort of blocks I would like.

While you're checking those out, make sure you take a look around, Amy has so many other great projects. I'm hoping to be able to share something for her weekly Sew & Tell sometime soon.

I plan on sharing the entire 17 month process & all the blocks I get to sew, so stay tuned for all that! In some ways I wish it would go ahead & start right now, but I also know how far behind I already am on Christmas stuff (have I mentioned I've barely started my holiday sewing? Oops...). Even Nick commented the other day that we need to start thinking about Christmas stuff, and when I'm not leaps and bounds ahead of him on something like this, we're in trouble.

Until next time...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

TWT - another bee picture

I took this one towards the end of this summer when I was trying to use up a roll of film. Yes, a ROLL of film. Old-school, I know.

I think my eyes need to be checked though, most of the rest of the pictures on the roll were a little on the blurry side. I do really like how the sun is shining off his (her?) little wings here though, so I'm pretty fond of this shot.

I'm sharing this picture over at Sailor & Company for the Raw(e) "little" challenge. Go check out the rest of the "little" pictures!

Until next time...


We often talk about wanting to be able to ride our bikes, but to do so would mean we have to leave Raven at home or find a way for her to tag along without getting all tangled up in the bikes while we ride. Nick usually says he thinks he could handle her leash while he rides (after the Biking Incident of 2006, I'm not even close to comfortable with that), but I always talk him out of it. It's just too dangerous. I also worry about her being able to keep up for the entire ride. Sure, she can walk the five miles, but I'm not certain she could run it all now since she's not used to it. So let me tell you, if I thought she would actually be able to sit still, this little bad boy would be right up my alley:

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

How totally awesome is that? Yes, so awesome, that I just actually uttered the words "totally awesome." :) And the best part is, if you head over to Madsen & share a link, you too can be entered to win one. I know I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My latest obsession

I think I've mentioned before that I go in spurts with different projects, so even though I've got a growing list of bags/purses to make for Christmas gift requests, I'm going to take a break from making bags. I'll probably put it off just long enough to be totally stressed about getting them all done in time for the holidays, but that's just how I work, so I'll deal with it.

Anyways, back to my newest obsession - quilting, or at the very least, patchwork. It's been on my mind for a bit lately, since I've got a handful of fabrics to use for a Christmas gift for a particular person. I was originally trying to plan on making multiple items so I could use all the fabrics, but then decided it would be fun to incorporate them all into one patchwork item.

I've also had my eyes open for an I-spy swap after seeing tons of great fabrics at the little quilt shop I found in my town (did I mention they've been there three years & I just found then about a month or two ago?!). Imagine my delight when Care at Obsessively Stitching announced a new swap last week! Of course I jumped on the opportunity & finished cutting my squares last night. I absolutely can't wait to get my swap fabrics back in the mail! Thankfully I'm a little ahead of the game this time (unlike the bag swap when my partner & I both mailed our bags a day late), squares aren't due to Care until November 10th, but I didn't want to waste any time.

Seriously, how cute are these?! Please excuse the less-than-perfect photos, it was dark last night when I finished cutting.

I think the elephants playing croquet (top left in the bottom photo) are my favorite, but I'm pretty partial to all these "vintage" fabrics the quilt shop is carrying lately. And can you see the little sewing machine "button" in the one on the lower right? Adorable! That fabric was fun because most of the squares ended up with different "buttons" on them.

I won't be able to share the other patchwork/quilting project until after Christmas, but I'll definitely share the other I-spy swap squares I get!

Until next time...