Thursday, December 07, 2006

Almost craft show time...

New booth courtesy of freecycle and DH's construction abilities- check
Inventory and price tags/signage - check
Seed money for cash box - check

Projects that did not make it from the cutting table to the inventory box - check

Seems like there are always some of those- the UFO's (unfinished objects) that get a good start with the best of intentions and somehow just never get to the finish. There are 2 nights left before Saturday morning dawns early - but I am not going to fry myself trying to get them done. When I do my quality suffers -and so do my nerves - and it is not worth it.

They will be waiting when the show is over - and will make nice gifts for someone, or a start on next year's inventory.

Then it is on to finishing the Christmas UFO's - 20 - no 19 - no 18 more days!!! Wow - December is moving a little too fast for me!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The problem with Christmas shopping/crafting all year long... that you need to remember where you have hidden/stashed/stored everything you have done. I usually am good about keeping a written list but not this year. And it is getting near the time to ship everything south to my folks to get there in time. Oh well - if all else fails, at least I have some pictures of things I have made - I can always send those and then find the real items later!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The best of intentions...

The best of intentions - often get waylaid by my toddler! A day of crafting, of prepping for the craft show, was running fine until nap time - or should I say "lack of nap" time. He just did not want to sleep - until I brought him back downstairs next to where I had the sewing machine, and he promptly fell asleep on the sofa, putting a damper on my sewing for the next several hours, and actually the rest of the day.

I did get 14 items completed - out of my stack of about 30 items I had cut out and prepped, so it was not all bad. Evenings over the next week should finish them up - and the craft show is on the 9th.

Will need to get photos of the booth that DH has constructed out of a pair of old bifold doors. It is so handy to be married to someone who is so handy!!

Monday, November 20, 2006


That is what life feels like of late - a HodgePodge. One day I am designing and printing a matched set of invitations and reply cards for a Sports Banquet, and the next I am teaching the nicest woman how to make beaded barrettes and hair combs in a continuing education class. My preparation for the craft show is progressing slowly - too many ideas and not enough time so I am having to focus down to a key few items. That is tough. My current motivation is to make jewelery, but there were too many people registering before me selling it, so I am confining my "beads and glitz" to some beaded Christmas ornaments, along with some origami ornaments, some mini-tote bags, and some stationery holders to go with my cards...I think ...

That is today's plan anyway!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It's in the Bag

Finally finished my MIL's birthday present (her birthday was in June!) - did not quite turn out as I liked, but I hope she likes it. I have been working with fused materials for a while with my other bags, and this one was quilted, and the fabric does not have the same stiffness, so the bag is very slouchy. The photo shows it stuffed with a tablecloth, so perhaps when she fills it it will be better.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Making a Committment

OK - I have done it - the registration form is filled out, the envelope is addressed, the check is written - now I just need to stamp it and drop it in the mail -

"IT" is my committment to have a booth at the Spencerport Lions Club Craft Show on December 9th. I have a large selection of my silkscreened cards, and am working on some embellished boxes to hold them (idea from my tiara box), as well as some other holiday related odds and ends.

All this along with my other holiday projects - I must be crazy!!! At least I already have the card inventory - that saves a lot of work...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

2 Out of 3 Ain't Bad

So impatience got the better of me -I have been "production line" sewing 3 bags, and have finished 2 of the 3. I "was" going to wait and post all 3 photos at the same time -but I can't wait to share these.

The Mickey one is "almost" done - I just need to add some velcro to the outer pockets, and I have big white round buttons like the ones on Mickey's shorts to cover the velcro spots. Then I need a zipper pull - but I have not found the right Mickey charm yet.

The oriental blue one was officially pressed into service today. I added the zipper pull after this photo was taken - it is a silver rectangular charm with a laser cut out of a Japanese character that means peace. I added a lobster claw clasp and a few beads, and think it looks really nice.

Now to finish the third - it just lacks the zipper and the side seams. Perhaps tonight.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

This was a project for a friend who was getting married. She needed some repair work (regluing of beads, cleaning, etc...) done on her tiara, which was in a plastic "blister pack." I decided after all the repair work that it needed a new home, and 2 evenings and lots of Mod-Podge later, this is the result.

The box was a recycled cookie box that originally came from Japan and was sent to my former employer and shared among my coworkers. I of course kept the empty box. It was then used as a shipping box back and forth between South Carolina and New York a few times for small items, and ended up in my closet holding pins, mysterious keys, and a few other odds and ends.

Add to it some paper from a stash I have had for about 8 years (reduce), and the leftover pearls and some other beads leftover from another project (reuse) - and viola. And now her friends all want boxes of their own...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It's All in the Timing...and mine was off

A friend was headed to Bar Harbor for a vacation - and I thought this tote would make a great travel bag for her - too bad I had my dates and months mixed up and she was actually ON the trip as I was planning and making the bag...oops! Kind of a let down when you plan what you think is the "perfect" surprise and the details don't work out the way you planned (someday I will tell the cross stitch story...)

I finished the bag anyway and gave it to her when she got back...and she loved it just the same. The disappointment was all in my head - and I know she will get great use out of it no matter where she goes!

(note -this was a Summer Tote pattern by Lazy Girl Designs - they are the best!!! -look for more "Summer" Tote photos coming soon - I am currently working on 3 more!)

Friday, September 01, 2006

It's in the Genes

After weeks of playing with his "poon" (spoon) my 18 month old finally made the connection between food, spoon and mouth - until now it had been stir the food in a bowl, or move it from one place to another on the tray, or put the empty spoon in his mouth - but never the full food-spoon-mouth connection...

That is until I gave him some Ice Cream! I guess you just need the proper motivation!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

the true source of inspiration

The other day I asked where your inspriation came from - and mentioned how I got inspired at a craft show - but thinking about it more I realize the inspration to do what I do goes even deeper than seeing all kinds of projects and wanting to do them - it comes from having good teachers to get me started...

From my oldest sister teaching me sewing at age - oh - probably about 6 and then teaching me quilting at age - oh - probably about 36 (give or take a few years) - we have come a loong way since that purple apron made from a pattern traced on newspaper...

From my oldest brother... oh all sorts of things although he mainly teaches by example - fine woodworking, fine photography, fine cooking, fine kitemaking... he does not do anything halfway...

From my next sister (get comfortable - there are a lot of us!) - rubber stamps and more rubber stamps and more rubber stamps - and more recently beading... and the attention to the tiny tiny details - she helped me conquer my fear of coloring and let me think outside the lines!

From my 3rd sister - papercrafts, more beading but different, and very very cool lettering which I have never had the patience to master - and you gotta see her ceramics and ArtClay Silver - things I wish I had the equipment to try... She has been great about giving me lessons on the fly during all too short visits -and making me stretch outside my comfort zone in colors and combinations.

From my other brother... lots about music and theater, and now some cooking, too... And how to write letters at certain times that are real "keepers"...

And lets not forget Mom and Dad - cake decorating (and frosting sampling!), cooking, gardening, basic carpentry (experience with aluminum siding and roof shingles!) - and more...

I could go on and on but lets just say they all have taught me in one way or another that the best tools in my toolbox are the ones at the ends of my arms combined with the one between my ears.

Thanks for the inspiration! I am working on passing it down to the next generation!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Inspiring Creativity

Our Lions Club just had our 2 day Country Fair, complete with antique tractor pulls, craft fair, the best Chicken BBQ in the world, live entertainment and lots of other fun. The first year I lived here I was actually an exhibitor in the craft fair, but since then Lions Club duties, and this year motherhood duties, have kept me from the ranks of the crafters...

But that doesn't mean I don't come away from browsing their booths with lots of new ideas - which is easy for me since I love to do so many different crafts. This year it was a fun folded photo album - great for a grandparent's brag book, or in my case, a thank you to the friend who showed me the booth knowing that I would figure out how these things were made and soon be making my own. I found a website with easy directions - so you can see what I am talking about, and make your own.

I took advantage of my photo editing software on my computer, and actually cropped and printed all the text and photos right onto my base paper, so no additional layers were needed. I just need to finish the front and back cover and then make 2 more for 2 sets of grandparents. What fun!

Thanks Cyndie!

Where does your inspiration come from????

Friday, August 18, 2006

Giving From the Heart

Last night I went to a bridal shower, and it was interesting to see the bride as she reacted to different gifts. Many were items from her registry, and those made her happy. A few were for her honeymoon, and those made her blush. And mine was handmade - and it made her cry.

I think that is why I like giving handmade gifts so much - they touch people in a way that a purchased gift often cannot. They can be so personalized, and not only are you giving the recipient an item, you are giving the gift of your time and your talent, and that is meaningful to most people.

My gift to the bride? A photograph of a rose from my rosebush - she had always wanted to get married in a rose garden in Canada, but logistics prevented that - so I brought a rose garden to her that she and her new husband can have with them always.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Letter "Q"

A game from a friend.

I was told to take my assigned letter and list ten things that begin with that letter and a brief explanation as to why I picked that word. My friend Jacqui gave me the letter Q for QueenBeeCrafts :-) (thanks Jacqui - I think?!)

Time to get out the dictionary and thesaurus!!
Do you want to play, too? Email me for 'your' letter!

1. Queen - For Queen Bee - what else! I have always thought it was cool that my first name means Queen, and that I could see my name on money from Canada, Australia and the UK. Does that mean it belongs to me? If so - send it here!!!

2. Quilts - I enjoy quilts - making them, snuggling under them, sharing the craft with my sister, creating quilts for others. I am not as patient with the actual "quilting" part of it, I enjoy the composition and assembly more.

3. Questions - they should call it "quoogle" instead of "google" because I am always on there trying to find the answers to the 'whys' in my life.

4. Quiet - because everyone needs some quiet time - if only to hear the world around them more clearly.

5. Quarter - I am in yard sale preparation right now so everything is rounded to a quarter.

6. Quotation - I love quotes and am constantly bookmarking collections of them online, and finding ways to use them in my crafts. A current favorite that is posted above my monitor: "A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions and the roots spring up and make new trees - Amelia Earhart"

7. Quick - I admit I am not a patient person - I read fast, craft fast (LOL) and like the instant gratification of many crafts. Perhaps that is why I don't like the "quilting" part of quilting?!

8. Quit - don't like to do it, try not to do it...

9. Quail - My son's godfather is a quail - this is his totem from Scouting and one special quilt I made for him featured 12 different totems all paper pieced block by block. The quail was the most complex and I will probably never ever do it again - but for him I would. He is that kind of person. So now every time I see a quail I think of Bob and how glad I am that he is a special part of our lives.

10. Quest - because everyone needs a quest (and a bit of Monty Python)

What is YOUR quest??

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fireflies and Bubbles of Joy

From a recent discussion with friends about joy and holding on to the small things....

One friend shared how she holds tight to the tiny things - even buried memories - the ones that bring you or brought you a moment of joy - she calls them fireflies. She says they're only bright for half a second but what a brightness they possess! She says the more you hold onto them, the more other fireflies will come to you. Place them in a jar - not a closed jar, as they need air - and that jar will soon shine more brightly than you could ever imagine.

A different friend shared about finding bubbles of joy. The bubble might pop immediately or might float gracefully for a few minutes. It won't last long; but then you must go and look for another bubble. They're there in everyday life; we simply have to look for them.

My son's giggles are today's fireflies -they seem to propogate even more giggles on both sides, and one of today's bubbles is seeing him hug Daddy goodbye as he left for work this morning.

What are your fireflies and bubbles?

Friday, August 11, 2006

No Peeking Allowed

Here is hoping that one of my sisters has not become a regular reader of my posts - not that I have been posting regularly - but this is her Christmas NO PEEKING ALLOWED!!!

This is my first official TyTote - the dragonfly was stamped with watercolor ink and painted with interference paints, then overstamped with permanant ink, then beaded for a bit of pizzaz. The lining is all tyvek as well, with a quote for something "special" everytime the bag is opened. the fabric was from my scrap stash, and is actually leftovers from a baby quilt made for this same sister's baby (not a baby anymore - he just started 1st grade!!!)

This is a nice size bag I think - I designed it as a cosmetic tote -hence the tyvek lining - and the handle will hang over a hook at the pool or gym.

Lots more ideas -and lots more tyvek! I just got a "free" sample of tyvekk coveralls from DuPont - size XXL so I will have lots of "fabric" to cut apart and use in my projects. It is softer than what I used here, so perhaps some different techniques. Postal envelopes are another source. Fun fun fun!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Playing with Tyvek

After a recent foray into outdoor theater involved the construction of a movie screen out of tyvek house wrap, geek Dad and I were left with a partial roll of the stuff and he says to me (not knowing what he was about to unleash)..."you know if you crumple up Tyvek it gets soft and fabric like"

Oohh the wheels started a-turning, and the fingers started a-surfing and I learned that not only does Tyvek crumple and soften, it can be stamped on, painted on and sewn. What a great addition to the totebag kick I am on now. I am looking at it for external embellishment as well as durable water resistant lining material.

Look for a TyTote design coming to you soon!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Queen's Quilting Bee

Tomorrow night I hope to make a new friend - one of my students from a continuing education course was unable to take a quilting class I was offering because it was cancelled at the last minute due to lack of enrollment.

Unfortunately for her she did not find that out until AFTER she bought her fabric (and AFTER she went to the school for the class that night) - so after many missed emails and delays, we are getting together at my house tomorrow night so I can "show" her how it is done. She is a first time quilter and we are doing a quilt-as-you-go technique. I decided to work on one of my own - a patriotic throw to go on my swing for our July 4th "backyard drive-in" and also decided that this would be a "quilting bee" between (new) friends and not a class - so I am showing and sharing rather than teaching.

Geek Dad and NTG will be home - and Daddy has charge of putting NTG to bed while we cut, sew and chat. Lets hope they both cooperate!

Monday, June 19, 2006

I messed up...

don't know when, where or how - but I messed up! My nice scrapbooking tote that I measured and designed and planned and worked all day on - holds just about anything EXCEPT the scrapbook I designed it to hold.

I was on such a high - right up until I finished the project and tried to slide the book in - and could not get it past the zipper. It SHOULD fit - but somewhere, somehow my math was off - or my seam allowance was too big - or something.

Anyone need a bag??

craftus interruptus

craftus interruptus - definition: trying to do a project with an (almost) 16 month old needing your attention. I have already messed up the "measure twice cut once" on the fabric and will need to piece one side of my new tote - which is not a big deal since I am working with solid colors and hope to hide that seam under the straps and pocket - but it does add an extra step. I also cut things in the wrong order, which will require piecing of the straps.

Oh well - at least I am starting the project - I have only had the fabric stacked up on the table for a little over a week. It's been so muggy that I have not felt like concentrating - and since I am improvising on a pattern I figured I better be in the mood before I started.

(see also bloggus interruptus - getting sidetracked from posting by the same child...)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Starting Over

I started a blog in Yahoo 360 - but was not happy on some of the restrictions on who could leave comments, so decided to start over... so here I am - and don't know what to say... although as my family will say - me at a loss for words is RARE!!!

I thought I would share my latest craft creation - a funky and fun summer tote bag. I am working on another one - similar but sized to carry around the scrapbook that I am trying to work on for NTG. (More on that project another day)

NTG is napping - so his geek parents are sitting here at the dining room table with 2 laptops - setting up blogs!!! What is this world coming to? (oh - and geek daddy just IM'd me - when he is sitting within arms reach!!!)