Friday, August 30, 2013

Aromatherapy. Seamus Heaney. Friday giveaway.

Something that you don't know about me is that I love fragrance. I love perfume and candles and aromatherapy. I used to work at Pier 1 Imports. I would start my shift by putting a few votives in my pocket that I liked the smell of. When customers would walk in, I would greet them and ask them to smell the candles. I used to sell so many candles that way. I think we forget about fragrance and how important the sense of smell is to us. Did you know that in your brain, the place that registers memories is in the closest proximity to the place where we process our sense of smell. That is why smells are so powerful to us. Marcel Proust tastes (I'm going to use smell and taste interchangeably here, because to me, they are the same) the petite Madeline and is taken back to a time when he was a young man and we get Swann's Way (the first book in Remembrances of Things Past, anyone?)... I'm feeling a little bit literary today.

I mentioned that my mother-in-law is going to have hip replacement surgery next week. I wanted to make her some aromatherapy bags that could be used as hot/cold packs for her hip. Once I started, I couldn't stop:

aromatherapy hot/cold bags and pocket sachets

The large bag is for my MIL. The small, purple bag is for my daughter because she loved it. The small bags are something that I love - pocket sachets. They are a little pick-me-up that you can also use as a hand warmer - just pop it in the microwave for 30 sec. They also work well in your drawers or in your purse.

A few years ago, I was obsessed with the scent of eucalyptus. I used to put drops of eucalyptus oil onto a tissue and walk around smelling it. The scent was uplifting and relaxing and just wonderful. I'm going to be making up a whole mess of these pocket sachets in different scents. But before I do, I'm giving away a larger hand warmer/sachet in your choice of: peppermint, spearmint, lavender or eucalyptus (eucalyptus mint is also nice). Just leave a comment on this post and you will be entered to win. I'll choose a winner with help from Mr. Random next Wednesday, September 3. May the odds be ever in your favor.

In other news, Seamus Heaney died. He was an Irish poet - the poet of Soil and Strife. Some girl in my post-grad Chaucer class would just use his name to answer questions. I hadn't thought of him in a long time. I remember coming home and asking my husband if he knew the name since I had never heard of him before that and it was pre-google - I actually had to go to the library to find out who Seamus Haney was. Crazy. I'm old. Anyway. Happy Friday. Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday - work day

So... I'm still reeling from the dog bed I made last week. I put it on the floor and Lulu, The Golden Menace, ate the zipper right off - just destroyed the zipper pull and started ripping the teeth off the zipper as well. She hasn't destroyed it any further, but it doesn't zip up any more so I will have to replace the zipper - I guess I should only use metal zips for the goat dog.

I got my beautiful jelly rolls from The Fat Quarter Shop and started working on some more tablet covers. They are really such a great size project and I have been able to work on my free-motion quilting.

strip sets in action

quilted tablet covers

Simply Style tablet cover

Road 15 tablet cover

Geekly Chic tablet cover

back of Simply Style

back of Road 15

back of Geekly Chic
I received my labels in the mail yesterday from Ananemone so I'm all set to add that lovely little detail to my works.  I wanted to talk about Ananemone, too.  I ordered my labels on Monday afternoon and they arrived on Wednesday morning. I was so pleased to get them so quickly. They look fabulous, too. I can't wait to use them. A wonderful shop that I highly recommend.

My mother-in-law has hip replacement surgery next week, so I want to make her a little relaxation gift of a flax sleep eye pillow, a reusable, aromatherapy hot pack and a reusable, aromatherapy cold pack. I will also put a few other goodies in the box. I was planning to go and help take care of her, but she has so many lovely friends that have volunteered their time to help her that I know she will be in good hands. I just have to teach her to Skype before next Wednesday so that we'll be able to talk face-to-face.

My daughter asked me to make her a crown for her to wear for ballet and some fairy wings. I will work on that in the next few days, too.

I've also been contemplating what type of schedule we need to have to facilitate some preschool type learning at home. I don't want her to go to school right now, but I feel like we could benefit from some more structured learning at home. If ya'll know of any resources for that online, I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Happy Thursday!!! Linking up to Needle & Thread Thursday.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

I made a dog bed

Lulu chewing her bone on her dog bed.
Okay, so I didn't really make a dog bed - I made a dog bed cover.  The old cover looked like this:

Benjamin's dog bed cover/case - he ripped it a little.
I had a dog for a long time - he was a little dog - he had two feather beds. When I had to put him to sleep in January I promptly removed the dog beds from the house because I couldn't look at them. They were Benjamin's and the covers were his as well. I knew that I would use the beds again, but I would have to make new covers for them.When we got Lulu, I was still feeling lazy and I didn't know how to put in a zipper. Today was my second time installing a zipper and it was pretty easy - I don't know what I was so worried about. Anyway, my brain is a little confused from all the new hormones and stuff I'm taking, so I cut into my four yards of flannel and cut it wrong - I had to piece together the pieces with some strips on either side to make the cover fit over the pillow/bed, but it fits - the zipper is perfect. And Lulu seems to like it. So, yay!!! I made a useful something for my dog. Maybe she will be nice to me today.

Penn and Lulu testing out the pillow case.

Mrs. Cat wondering when I will get around to covering her bed.


So, get going and make something new today. Linking up with Kelly@ Needle and Thread Thursdays  on My Quilt Infatuation.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Going Through Some Stuff

I started a new health regime last week and I've had to be monitoring my body. I'm playing around with my hormones and I haven't felt like doing much this last week. If all goes well, I will get my sleep figured out and my thyroid levels will be stable and good - along with my lady hormones all balanced. I'm looking forward to feeling better, younger and hopefully looking better, too. My lipids came back bad, too and I'm having to figure out a plan for better cholesterol. I don't want to think about having a heart attack and not being alive, so that is pretty important to get straight.

I need to get back to the sewing plan and make some stuff and I should have some things to show you tomorrow for WIP Wednesday.

My daughter started ballet yesterday and I was working on that, too. Yesterday seemed like too much for me to handle and I kinda thought I was losing my mind. But that's what happens when you play with your hormones - you feel weird, different, strange. I just hope it levels out, soon.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Some stuff I made and who wants to link up on Mondays?

I made a few things that I wanted to show off and I went looking for a Monday link-up and couldn't find one, so I'm thinking about starting my own.

First, the completed thingys:

a tablet cover - even better than the first

different fmq in each strip of Glimma


This one even stands up.

Star Trek communicator cell phone holster for my mum.

up close of holster
I just had to make another tablet case. This one is much sturdier and just better. I think that the first one will have to go in a box of stuff that I've made and my MIL will get the good, Glimma tablet cover. I will make another for me and am going to be making more in different sizes for my etsy shop. They are so fun to make.

The second thingy is a holster for my mum's cell phone. She complained to me that she doesn't always have pockets in her pants, or she doesn't like to use pockets - I'm not sure, now. but she definitely wanted some sort of carrier that she could wear that would hold just her cell phone. I made this one out of star trek fabric with a navy blue/gold sparkle dot on the inside. The strap is long enough to wear cross-body and she can also tie up the end and wear it over her shoulder. I'm rather pleased with the result.

I was wondering if anyone would like to post here on Mondays? I was thinking about hosting a "look what I made" link-up for things that you've stitched up over the weekend. Please let me know if you are interested.

Linking up with Lee@Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fabric coming to my house

I just ordered some sweet fabrics from the Fat Quarter Shop. I will soon receive:

fat quarter bundle

Classic Colors Kona Jelly Roll

Road 15 Jelly Roll

Simply Style Jelly Roll
So often I'm making something and I automatically cut 2.5" strips when designing/creating. I have only purchased one Jelly Roll in the past, so I'm looking forward to these three. That solid color one will help tremendously for binding.

Make something!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Tablet protection

I made a cool thing this afternoon. I like it so much that I'm gonna make one for myself tonight with a few tweeks. I made a tablet case for my MIL's Samsung Galaxy 2!

the back
The front

The inside

Inside under the tablet
I used this tutorial from Clover & Violet and just sized it for the Galaxy 2.

The outside is a block that I made from Pile 'o' Fabric's Modern BOM. I had sized it down and didn't make anymore, so I just had this random block lying around.  My MIL really likes the color green, so I thought that would be a great block to use.

I'm planning to use some Glimma fat eighths for mine. I'll have pictures for you soon. I'm going to add an extra flap and some stiffer cardboard to mine so that it will function as a stand, also. I can't wait.

Gonna get started.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

So, you wanted to see my stash...

Okay. I'm not really happy with these photos. But here it is. Where the magic happens.

my stuff

a box with scissors and cheap, fat quarters

this is a box full of kona solids that I use for the simply solids bee

this is one of the many scrap bags that I have. When I start a new project, I put all of the featured fabrics into a plastic bag so that I have all of the fabrics together.

this is a box of fat quarters (there are also a few fat eighths of Glimma). I have some Geekly Chic  mustaches and Riley Blake Chevrons and some other stuff in there. It's all in a jumble, but I know where it is.

close up of the fat quarter box. I can see some Architextures hiding in there...

this is an important bag - this is my stash of charm squares - I have some solids and some Oh Deer and Bungle Jungle and Mod Century and Simply Color and some batiks, too.

this is a box that holds project/scrap bags and the little yardage that I have.  You can see some Star Trek fabric there in the center.
And that's it. I don't really have that much. I usually end up buying material for each project, and until I have more space (any space) to store my materials they will just end up here in my kitchen/dining room corner. All of it has to go into boxes, now, too because my dog is a goat and will eat fabric if/when she finds it.

Thanks to Sarah at Sarah Quilts for letting me come clean about my little stash - it's not the size of the boat, but the motion of the ocean (I think I've heard that before...) Link up if you want to show off your fabric hording skills.

My dog is a goat

I have a new puppy. She has been with us since April. She is  a beautiful German Shepherd/Golden Retriever cross. Her name is Lulu. She eats everything. She has eaten three pairs of flip flops, slippers, lots and lots of wood, blankets, any toys that she gets and now she has started eating my knitting. She ate the gorgeous, hand-dyed wool tablet sleeve I made for my mother in law. She ate three hand-knit socks. She ate the needles from the second attempt at a tablet sleeve. She ate the cable from the 40" circulars I bought to knit toe-up, two-at-a-time socks (the sock made it out in tact).  I don't know what to do? So far, the only toy that seems (mostly) indestructible is a felted wool mat that I made. Originally, it was part of a blanket I knit for my daughter when I was pregnant. I washed it and the two sides didn't fit anymore. I took it apart and  gave the felted half to the cat as a kind of cat nip, relaxing mat. Once Lulu saw this mat, she wanted it. I ended up giving it to her because I didn't want to knit a new one and the cat doesn't care about stuff like that. Lulu has eaten the edges off of it a little, but it seems to be holding up pretty well. Being smart, like I am, I decided to knit her a bone shaped toy the same way that I made the mat - three strands of wool yarn - but this time, I knit it in the round and sewed it up when it was finished - this will make a thicker felted shape. I really think this is the toy that she won't destroy immediately. There is no stuffing in it because she loves to find a vulnerable place on the toy and pull the stuffing out. Here's hoping she won't eat it right away.

I also made a cute little pincushion yesterday using this tutorial.

knit dog toy before felting.

cute cathedral window pincushion before adding button center.

my cute, mostly finished projects.
Now, go make some stuff and hopefully, your dog won't eat it.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Decisions, decisions

While reading some blogs the other day, I discovered a QAL that I thought I might like to participate in: The Star Surround QAL hosted by Melissa Corry at Happy Quilting. I would be getting a little bit of a late start, but if I chose to make the 40" blocks and make four of them, there's not too much cutting or piecing and at the end I'm eligible for lots of sweet prizes and I have a really decent sized quilt to keep or sell or whatever. Now, I'm having a dilemma of what fabrics to use. I would love if I had some yardage hanging around of some of my favorites, but I usually don't buy yards at a time. Lately I have been rethinking my fabric buying strategy. I've been thinking about moving to buying half yard cuts instead of just fat quarters.  But I can see now that it would benefit me to buy whole yards of some of my favorites. I wish I had some Madrona Road hanging around - that morning glory print KILLS me (in a good way). So... I have to decide what colors/fabrics to use. I think I've decided on a color palette - I was madly posting design seeds palettes to my pinterest yesterday. I also want to use a color for the background instead of white. I think it would be fun to use some of the Michael Miller Couture Cottons as background in some really saturated  color, like orange or lime. I need seven yards of fabric total for the top.

I'm really thinking about doing it. I like the pattern and I was checking out Melissa's tutorial on making no-waste flying geese units. It is truly inspired. If I only learn that method by doing this QAL, it would be so worth it.

So, try something new today. Commit yourself to doing something you've wanted to try for a while.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I made some stuff today

I finally got over to the sewing machine today and made some stuff.

Simply Solids Puce Group August block

Thank you block

 The Thank you block is supposed to be snail trail, but I messed up. I was trying to make a 6" block and there weren't directions for a 6" block, so I tried to make my own. In doing so, I didn't line up the final triangles where they were supposed to go - but I think it looks fine - just lacking the spiraling effect that you get when you do it right. No big. Whatevs.

The bee block was time consuming and made a lot of green scraps. I hope I can use them in something else - although, that something else will have to be small to use these little green scraps.

I did get a new toy this weekend: a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. I like it. I bought it for the tax-free holiday that we have in New Mexico. It's always fun to get something on the tax-free weekend.

I hope you were productive or had a nice relaxing weekend.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Baby (girl) quilt finish

It's finished! Whoot-Whoot.

Baby (girl) quilt. 30" x 30"

It's not quite as large as I wanted it, but the idea was to make a small baby quilt that could be used  in a car seat or a carrier that wouldn't drag on the ground.

I used a loftier poly batting so the quilt is warm and has a nice, puffy feel. Minimal quilting on the diagonals makes this a light and fluffy, snuggly, baby quilt.

Next week, I'll finish my Baby (boy) quilt. It's about the same size, although seeing this finish makes me want to add a small border to have it finish at about 32" square, but we'll see how it goes.

a quick collage to show the back and close-up of the quilting
 Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and any other Friday finish blogs I can find.

Have a great weekend!


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