Friday, July 31, 2015

July WIPocalypse

 Well it is WIPocalypse time, hosted by Measi@Measi'sMusings. The question of the month is:


What makes you pick up a long-abandoned UFO rather than beginning a new piece?

Well, first I must admit that I have no self control when it comes to starting new pieces. The more time I spend rolling in my stash, the more likely I am to start a new kit. So the first step is to stay out of my stash and off the internet, because there's always something new to buy and work on. Budgeting crafty money also helps prevent new starts. The second is that I drop a project when it gets boring or frustrating - and so I typically pick it back up a few months later when it is no longer boring. (I have a friend who is disciplined enough to finish each project before she starts another one. Extra brownie points to her!) If it is still frustrating when I get back to it, it will probably never get completed because I believe that working on projects I don't like is a waste of valuable crafty time. I have no set rotation and work on what I am interested in at the time. I've heard some people refer to this as a "Screaming Rotation" - whichever project screams the loudest gets worked on.

I do have a couple small updates. I finally took Library Kittens back to work with me and was able to get a little done this week on my lunch breaks. Most of the progress you see happened a few months ago but some tiny bits happened this week.

Before

As of 07/31/2015
Rather than carry Library Kittens back and forth, I'm just going to leave it in my desk so that it is handy when I have time at lunch (i.e., not using my lunch break to run errands).

Although I haven't touched Fall Fairy since last weekend, here she is again. I was able to get quite a bit done over the weekend. Page one is filling in nicely and starting to bleed over into the other pages.

Before

As of 7/31/2015
 On my way home today, I stopped to buy a frame for Butterfly Profusion, which is at an awkward 11x11 finished size. There are no mass manufactured frames in 14 x 14. The best option was 12 x 12 but there aren't any mats to fit. I asked the lady there how much it would cost to just have a custom built frame and I would do the stretching and framing myself and it was MORE expensive to frame it myself than pay them for the framing also.

Long story short, I walked out without a frame and with no intention of paying ten times (and that's at 65% off!!!!) what the kit initially cost. My next option is to call some local needlework shops and see if they can recommend a good framer in the area. I would rather have some someone who specializes in stitchery do the framing or do it myself if I can purchase an affordable frame.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Here Be Dragons

Today was Fairy Garden making day. Astrid and I started with a pile of dollar store finds (marbles, rocks, moss), four plants she picked out at the garden center, and a selection of her own little miniatures and trinkets.



By the time she finished, she had created a beautiful and very personalized fairy garden. I was also told that this was "the best craft idea you've had yet Auntie 'Nay" so I'm going to count that as a win.



There is a fairy cottage, a wishing well, a river and a pond complete with ducklings, a dragon with his treasure horde, cats, lizards, a mushroom, butterflies, and various other "easter egg" type surprises, including a small packet of saltine crackers "in case the fairies get hungry" and a bottle of bubbles for them to play with.



She even made a sign for the dragon (I think this is her favorite feature of the garden.)


But I think my favorite is the little cottage we made. Its constructed of a plastic container, covered in fabric, with a moss roof, bark door, and decorated with flowers. She also asked me to paint a cobweb on it with the hot glue gun.



The whole thing is quite delicate and I will have to figure out a way to get it home safely. Most items are just placed in the garden and a light breeze would knock them sideways. There really isn't a way to hot glue gun the cottage to the dirt.

There might be more of these in the future, as my own interest is piqued and I have spent some time browsing this adorable book on how to build fairy furniture from found objects.

"Fairy House" by Mike & Debbie Schramer
It is chock full of creative ideas and a really interesting read.

It's a Finish!

My second turtle trot project is completed!

"Butterfly Profusion" by Dimensions. Completed on 07/24/2015
I was very excited to finish and didn't put it down until completed. I was up late last night finishing. I am really looking forward to getting it framed and hung up.

Rather than start a new one, I was good and pulled Fall Fairy back out for my nice quiet Saturday morning stitching. I'd like to keep this one out until I finish the page.


My niece and I are supposed to make fairy gardens this weekend. I've never made one before and so I am not quite sure how it is going to work out but I guarantee it will be an adventure.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

From Waffle Fry to Medic Flag

Its been a little quiet on the crafty front due to issues with both of my machines. Ms. Parker's tension issues have finally been resolved tonight by installing a new bobbin case, so I was able to *gasp* Finish a Project! Remember the belt flag that started as a waffle fry? I may not have posted a picture of it, so here is Gen 1 of Baline Medic belt flag.


After several iterations and some fussing with the pattern, I have a final draft. Let's call this Gen 3, shall we?


I consider it a vast improvement over the original.

Kaylee is also having tension issues, so I ordered a new bobbin case for her as well. I also may have resolved my freestanding lace issue by purchasing heavy duty water soluble stabilizer, but it hasn't been tested yet because I promptly misplaced it as soon as I got home yesterday. The lack of organization in my sewing room is driving me up a wall, which brings us to what I was fiddling around with while my sewing machines were out of commission.

I have drafted this at least twice in the past couple of weeks during meetings at work and last night I was able to put it on graphing paper. It is wall hanging stabilizer storage for my embroidery stabilizers, because as I have unfortunately discovered, every project needs a new type of stabilizer. 



It is a rough draft but now I have some idea where to start. I think I will make it out of duck cloth, so I should have enough on hand. I would like to reinforce the back with cardboard, which will be an adventure, and use grommets and command hooks to hang it under my embroidery shelf. It is designed to hold three types of precuts and six rolls of stabilizer. I am considering adding a third rod if it will fit to hold the heat and bond lite that I keep misplacing.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Advice Needed!

I have been attempting to get this project stitched out on my embroidery machine for about a week now.

Fierce Dragon (Lace) by Urban Threads
It is still missing one of the wings because every time I try to stitch it, I get a birds nest underneath the stitching, my embroidery machine jams up, and then there is crying and screaming (from both me and the machine).

I have tried everything from a new needle to fresh wound bobbin, two layers of stabilizer instead of one, rethreading, adjusting the tension, and cleaning the machine of all lint particles. Last night and tonight I decided that I just wasn't going to deal with it and I didn't even bother. Any other ideas that my brilliant readers have that could help would be most welcome. I have an embroidery project for someone else that has been sitting for seven months because I can't count on my machine to be reliable enough to attempt to stitch it.