Bringing the outside in

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Those of you who know me very well, know that I don’t “do” outside. No garden, no flowerbeds, nothing that gets me outside in the heat and sun. I think it dates back to when I was a teenager and was living without sunscreen and sunglasses. Too many major sunburns and too much bright sun headaches contributed to an aversion to the sun and outside.

But, I have always loved plants. So at times I am able to have indoor plants. Only right now we happen to have a cat that loves indoor plants as well. Except, he loves to eat them. As a result,  I have to be very careful about where I put plants and what kind of plants I bring into the house.

For the longest time we just did not have any plants inside. Then at Christmas time I was given a terrarium and the rest just fell into place. The first terrarium did not do too well cause of lack of sunshine, or lack of proper maintenance or something. So I confiscated an aquarium my hubsband had in the storage unit and built my own. It is not a sealed system, it has a lid that allows the moisture to escape. It also has a light that allows me to put it basically anywhere I want. With the lid, the cat can’t get to the plants so all is set.

Well, all is set for a while and then some plants die and I have to replace them and get to reorganize the plants and so on. This last time I put the plants in there with their pots. So the plants that do not need much water are not affected by the water that the plants that need lots of water. Maybe now they will last longer. I put some succulents in with air ferns and there is even a small lucky bamboo in the back corner. I am having mixed results with the succulents. One just immediately dropped all its fat leaves while another is thriving. The plant that looks like stones grew an inch and a half in one month and no longer looks like stones. But over all it looks good.

The fairies have a little house in there along with a bridge over the stines/creek. There is a bench for them as well as a lantern. I gave them a pet hedgehog which requires no feeding or upkeep. Overall they have a great place to live.

IMG_20160423_142501web

 

We can be such funny creatures now and then. Having a bit of green stuff growing in my house makes a lot of difference to me. Now, in addition to the terrarium I have some stuff in my kitchen window. What I really want to do is start growing African Violets again. But, it’s not to be with this silly cat we have. I love him though and will pamper him and keep him sweet without giving him plants to chew on.

We all make compromises for the people and things we love. At least we should. Its goes with being part of a family and group of people. Very few people would fit into our world without some sort of compromise. Though, at first glance cats may seem to have the better end of the bargain, one has to look at what they have given up to be a part of our family. Dayton gave up his front claws, his freedom and his manhood. Though, I don’t think he misses any of it, who knows?

It has been a long time!

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Almost a year has gone by since I have worked and posted on my blog, wow!

A lot has happened. I no longer teach sew and quilt classes and find the freedom to be awesome. Now I can concentrate on getting my UFO’s done. I have added a few other crafts to what I do on a regular basis such as rubber stamping and Bible journaling. Also, I have made an effort to get back to my crocheting and knitting.

I finally taught myself how to knit a pair of socks and have a few pairs for hubby and me to wear. They sure are warm and nice in the winter time. I am confused as to why I could not figure it all out before. Now I have the hang of it, I find it easy. I guess that is how it goes.

As far as crocheting goes, I am in the process of crocheting a bag with pull tabs from coke cans. No, I did not drink a bunch of coke, I bought the tabs from ebay. It is rough going though as my teeth complain about the metal scraping on metal when crocheting with the tabs and even afterwards the teeth do not settle down.

Around last October, I began going to a neighbor’s for a Stampin Up workshop each month. I used to be into rubber stamping big time and even was a demonstrator Stampin Up and also Close to My Heart at different times. I really am enjoying getting back into it. When I gave up scrapbooking, I kinda gave up the rubber stamping too. But, now that I am doing it again, I am making cards instead of scrapbook pages. (I already have way too many scrapbooks collecting dust!)

Bible Journaling is an extension of the rubber stamping, but I find it much more fufilling. If you haven’t heard about it, look it up on Google and you will be amazed.

Thats just a little bit about this past year. I will be uploading pics and all. More to come later.

Sue Spargo Butterflies

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Previously I have shown you my butterflies that I am or was doing from Sue Spargo’s Craftsy class. It is now a finished project and I love how it came out. I really love her style and techniques and hope to take a class from her soon. In fact I am signed up to take a class from her next year, but I really would like for it to be sooner!

To me it is like making a crazy quilt but with wool applique instead of the fancy brocades and silks. You wrack your brain to figure out what to do next to decorate what you have in front of you and then you start to work. Only, as you work, you make changes in the planned stitches so you never know what you may end up with.

Here are some pics from the completed butterfly project.

The completed project

The completed project

 

My favorite butterfly

My favorite butterfly

several more butterflies

several more butterflies

Milford Retreat

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At the end of this month I will be teaching at Our House In Milford. I would like to invite you to join us. More info about the retreat center can be found at

http://www.ourhouseinmilford.com/

The dates are April 23 – 27, I am listed on the calendar as Organizing with Options. Fees include everything from patterns to meals and are $190 for arrival on Friday and $240 for arrival on Thursday. You just need to bring your sewing materials and supplies for making the items I am teaching. OR you can bring work of your own and choose to just listen in and take the pattern home with you to make at a later date. The supply list is on the right column of this blog.

It is a great retreat center that treats you like royalty. Meals are served three times a day in a separate dining room and these are cooked meals with great service. You are not allowed to carry your dishes to the sink even!

Each bedroom can hold up to three ladies, though usually there are only two assigned. Each pair of rooms shares a bathroom so that means generally there are four people sharing each bathroom. The craft room is huge with at least two four foot tables for each crafter if not more. There is a little kitchen area in the craft room with refrigerator, ice machine and sink and more. (Though you don’t need to use it much as the meals provided keep you full and happy.)

I will be teaching several things that weekend. One is an organizer bag that you customize to fit your needs. It basically is a “book” with pockets for pages. I blogged about it here:

http://scrappycats.com/blog/?p=1030

Also I will be teaching how to make some cute selvage ditties as I call them. They are little bags that are made out of selvages cut off your fabric.

Dittie Bags made with Selvage

Dittie Bags made with Selvage

In addition to the above,  I will also be teaching how to sew a cute turtle pincushion. I made one of these using crazy quilting to decorate it, but for the retreat we are just going to decorate it with a little applique. I call her Dottie.

Turtle Pincushion named Dottie

Turtle Pincushion named Dottie

You can choose to do all three projects, only one or none it is up to you.

Swappin’

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I am an avid lurker and sometimes poster on a forum called Quilting Haven. There have been some retreats where I have met some of the ladies in person. It is a cool place to hangout while eating breakfast and to check in on the friends I have made in the quilt world who do not live close.

One of the things I love to do is join swaps. This year there have been several pincushion swaps so far and I have really enjoyed them. The pincushions I sent were crazy quilt items and it really gave me impetus to get those done. In return I got some nice items.

Today, I got an awesome set that totally blew me away. It is one of those little circle bags with the edges gathered on strings and pockets on the inside. BUT, in the middle of the bottom is a pincushion! PLUS included was a ring pincushion and a cool handmade threader. (That threader is made with beads and such and gives me some ideas for the next retreat gifties)

Already I have my current project loaded into the purse with the thread/floss in the pockets. The needles and pins I am using are in the pincushion and now I am ready to roll.

fromtheoutside

From the outside -love those rings on the ribbons

the inside - look at all those pockets

the inside – look at all those pockets

ring pincushion and threader

Perfection

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I have always been haunted by the need for perfection in my crafting. If it is not perfect, then it is not good has been my attitude. Not such a good attitude but it does not apply to other people’s work just mine. Strange that I am just fine with other people’s work not being perfect and will even purchase work by other people that is not perfect yet I am unhappy with imperfection in my own work.

This does not mean I have achieved perfection in my work, just that I get very unhappy with my work if it is not perfect.

So when I found this tutorial about making the perfect loop in beading I just had to try it out.Here is the link:

How to Make a Perfect Simple Loop

I decided to practice by making knitting stitch markers. It has been on my mind to make some for a while now so combining the two goals was a great idea. I loved how the tutorial broke it down into very simple  steps and it really helped. I found I had been making my loops in a different way – making them this way increased the number of perfect loops I was able to make.

Of course not all the loops came out perfect and I had to make a bunch over but overall I was please with the outcome.

But now I have too many stitch markers. I might just make some more for retreat goodies. . . .

Here is what I made:

workarea

My favorites were the orange ones and the clay bead ones.

orangemarkers

claymarkers

Quickie Tissue Holder

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For the retreat I went to the last weekend of January and for the ladies in the Sew and Quilt club I made some tissue holders with pockets. They are such a fun thing to do and were so easy to make. It took me less than two hours to make about 26 of them. I impressed myself with this little giftie. It has a flap that folds over and covers the tissue and has an inside pocket behind the tissues. For mine, I inserted a zipper to hold the pocket closed and sewed a buttonhole and button to hold the flap closed. My purse can do a lot of damage to an open packet of tissues.

If you want the pattern the download link is below the picture.

Tissue Holders with Pockets

Tissue Holders with Pockets

Tissue Holder with Pocket (47 downloads)

 

PS please don’t share my patterns or download. Send your friends here to get their own. That way I know if they are useful to you and and will continue to make them available.

 

February’s Sew and Quilt Club

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We had an awesome time at the Sew and Quilt club this past week. A few ladies were missing but with good reason so we forgave them – LOL

For those who did miss, the handout may be downloaded by clicking below.

Feb2015SewQuiltClub.pdf (66 downloads)

 

One of the things we did was make a sweeties a mug warmer for Valentine’s Day. I sewed tubes of red and white fabric at home. During the club we ladies turned the tubes right out and filled them partially with rice. Then we rolled up the tubes and hand stitched the back, attached a felt circle to the back with glue, added a ribbon and bow embellishment and ended up with a microwavable mug warmer.

We all had a good time making mug rugs for our sweeties.

We all had a good time making mug rugs for our sweeties.

An Organizer Book with options

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For Christmas I made my daughters some bags with pockets inside to use for first aid kits. But these are really too much work to make a bunch or to teach. So I made a different pattern that is more like a book instead of a bag. Of course, I had to make it fancy cause I just don’t know how to do it easy.

Organizer Book Front

The front of the book, notice the fancy tassels on the binding side.

Organizer Book back pocket

Organizer Book back pocket

Organizer book inside

Organizer Book with center screen pockets and front inside pocket

Meet Millie

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Just recently I got back into embroidery. Are you like me and have periods of time when you concentrate on one skill or another? Well for me right now it is crewel embroidery and other fancy embroidery work. I am loving it, sitting in my chair and working away.

For a pincushion swap I made two pears made up in crazy quilting style. I have another one ready for the embroidery work. Here are some pics of those.

pearcushionall

Then, I got an idea of how to make the embroidery work easier on myself. You see, to do the embroidery work on the pears, I sewed it all together except for the last seam. Then I had to struggle with the needle to get the knots and all hidden. I made a circle of pie shapes and embroidered that then all I had to do was gather the edges and pull them in to make a ball. It made a nice turtle shell for Millie. I think she came out so pretty. She sits on the arm of my chair and holds my pins. Her head and legs make a good place for my needles so they don’t get lost.

 

Millie the Pincushion

I love how she came out.

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