Tuesday, June 30, 2015

It's Camp Nanowrimo Time!

Now that Ragnarok is over, I've been trying to decide how best to spend my time. I feel like I need to narrow my field of view and stop trying to do so many different things. I am flirting with many projects and ideas but mastering none. This leads me to .... drum roll please....

I have decided that this will be my focus project for July. Well, that and cleaning up after Ragnarok.

For those unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month and takes place every November. A few years ago, someone decided that once a year wasn't enough and now they run two summer camp writing months. Because I didn't get very far last November, I'm going to jump in feet first and get things rolling on a new Urban Fantasy novel idea that has been knocking around in my brain for a while.

IF I cross stitch this month, it will be on Butterfly Profusion and if I quilt, I will be trying to get my Kona Sunset quilt bordered and quilted. But other than those four items (Camp Nano, House, Butterflies, Sunset) I'm going to attempt to push everything else out of my brain and play with things I really would love to finish.

It's time to let July hit the fan!

What are your plans for July? Any other Nano's out there?

Sunday, June 28, 2015


This year's Ragnarok earned itself many nicknames. I've heard everything from Flood Ragnarok, Rain-narok, and Swamp-narok.

It rained on First Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday a windstorm blew through and took out three of our pop-up canopies. By Monday morning, camps at the bottom of the hill were relocating up to any available space at the top. Monday was mostly clear. Tuesday flooded.

I am talking epic proportions flooding. We camp on top of the hill and by 1 pm Tuesday afternoon when the rain finally stopped, we were under ankle deep water. The ground was so saturated that the water had nowhere to go.

Our neighbors had a verifiable lake in the middle of their campsite.

All this was at the top of the hill. At the bottom of the hill, the road next to the river was knee deep in water and flowing into the flooded river.

This is my friend Larry on the road with the river behind him.
The camps next to the river had tents waist deep in water. The portapottys were four feet under and the ground water had to be checked for safety. We were initially told not to use it and then that was revoked a few hours later.

Wednesday was shiny, so we made it out to the animal park while we could. I really do love Living Treasures Animal Park. They make everything as hands on as possible. You are allowed to pet the goats, ponies, baby zebras, kangaroos, giraffes, and the birds (and there are several more that I can't remember). In addition, you can feed just about anything in the park.

June is a great time to go because there are a lot of little baby animals being born. There were itty bitty goats that were born while we were at the park, adorable little black twins. I couldn't get a good picture because they were tucked behind a rock.

After Wednesday we had rain on and off for the rest of the week and finally gave in and packed up yesterday. Many of the camps packed up and left on Friday.  It took most of the day to pack up and Cynar braved the rain for the third year in a row to cook us steak.

I took my cross stitch projects but because of all the rain I couldn't really work on them. I did make a little progress on Butterfly Profusion, which I will post later.

This was also the first year to memory that there were days without fighting. There were no battles hosted on Tuesday or Saturday due to the weather.

We have decided to make new Ragnarok belt flags with a different symbol for every year. I will have some serious embroidery sessions up and coming.

Now it is time to rest and recover before work tomorrow. I have some serious laundry to do, as everything is covered with mud and the camp washers just didn't get things clean. I expect I will be spending most of this week cleaning up from Ragnarok because I am hosting a July 4th/Father's Day BBQ at my house this Saturday.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Countdown To Ragnarok

...and scrambling like mad to Get All The Things Done.

Yesterday I did some quick (not so quick, actually) camping shopping, and I came home with a storage unit for kitchen camping stuff. It's all dedicated, now all I have to do is throw it on the trailer. Wash it at the end of the year and pack it back up and next time we camp, it is ready to go.

Today I stayed home from practice to finish my Ranger dress.

I had many crazy ideas for the trim on this, but opted for the simplest, reasoning that I can add more later if I deem wise. Right now, I'm leaning towards trimming the splits and the bottom, confessor style.

One of these days, I'll cosplay that dress :)

It was quite a struggle to get the collar trim to lay flat-ish. It's still not fabulous, but it is much better than it was. I found this tutorial by an SCA'er that helped immensely.

Next in the works is my Akron uniform. Same pattern as the ranger dress but with a couple small changes (also, not pink, despite the picture. Dear Camera, please stop turning my reds into pinks.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Water Bottle Carrier

Several years ago, my friend's mother made me a water bottle carrier for my birthday (might have been Christmas, it's a little fuzzy.)

I LOVE it, especially for camping. I've been taking it to Ragnarok every year and it is wonderful for carrying around a bottle of water. I attempted to acquire the pattern, but it had been out of print for so long that I couldn't even find it.

Last year at Ragnarok, Jack borrowed it and liked it enough that it was a bit difficult getting it back. I hand stitched him one with the supplies that I had at Rag. It took me the better part of a day to do so, but I wasn't willing to part with mine again.

The one I made him was a little small, so I wanted to make a new one for Ragnarok this year. Here it is! This is my second attempt. The first one didn't pan out so hot, but I learned a couple of things from it. This one is a little too tall for the half-liter water bottles but it does also fit a Vitamin Water bottle.

It has an adjustable strap, a paracord string and a slide closure, and is insulated with Insulbrite and lined with fleece.

Next up: Two dresses for me, which I would like to complete by the end of the week. (Haha!) The rattail was delivered today courtesy of Amazon, so all supplies are in hand. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

June YOTA & Slow Sunday Stitching

Linking up to YOTA@Pulltheotherthread & Slow Sunday Stitching@Kathy's Quilts

Fall Fairy has been my go-to cross stitch for a few weeks now.

Just for kicks, I thought I'd show you where she was when YOTA and Turtle Trot started.
January 1, 2015
And where she was when I pulled here out of the UFO box a few weeks ago

Here we are today!
I feel like I've made some good solid progress and am going to get back to Butterfly Profusion, a project that is impatiently waiting for the last 1.5 butterflies and a little backstitching.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Belisama - Finished!

This quilt has been gifted, which means I finally get to post the finish!

As a bonus, I made a tote bag for this quilt. My very first tote bag! I used the pattern from Craftsy's free mini class Bag Making Basics: Reversible Tote and Zipper Pouch.

I thought that the pattern was a little boring, so I added the embroidery and some trim. I used leftover backing fabric, a fat quarter I had in stash, and some scraps of bias tape. The bag was very easy to make, but I did have to make the pattern bigger to make sure the quilt could fit.

So what's next? More Dagorhir garb! For the next two weeks, I probably won't be doing much else. I am planning on posting tomorrow for YOTA and Slow Stitching Sunday, so expect another Fall Fairy update.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Crazy Quilting

I picked up my embroidery machine from the repair shop today and took advantage of the opportunity to raid their remnants bin for little bits of trim and ribbon. Happily, when I got home I found that the last of my free samples arrived in the mail today.

Which means that I now had all the stuff to get started on my crazy quilt, so after I finished my work for the evening on Ragnarok projects, I allowed myself a little play time.

I will be doing blocks by color and adding everything from hand embroidery to machine embellishments, buttons, lace, etc. I have trims and embellishments mostly is browns, reds, and golds, so that is where I started.

I do have to confess that out of all the things I thought I might have issues with while learning to crazy quilt, it wasn't getting the invisible thread wound onto the bobbin. It took four tries to get it to wind. That stuff has a mind of its own.

I am hoping to get a few of these blocks done before Ragnarok and take them as my hand stitching project for embellishments. Besides, who knows what little trinkets I may be able to pick up while at rag? The Pillaged Village has an amazing selections of buttons and trims AND a remnants bin.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Share your blessings

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29.2 (NIV)

Last summer my area had one good hour of torrential downpours. The flooding, damage, and clean up lasted weeks. Jack and I were one of the blessed few who escaped without any significant damage.

In comparison, during the month of May, Texas has had enough rain to break a record over a hundred years old by more than three inches.

Source: ABC News
Bridges were washed away as rivers reached unbelievable flood levels.

Source: Austin-American Statesman

Homes were destroyed, people displaced, and some have been killed or are missing.

Source: KLove Radio
I have family in the area (who were doing okay last time I checked in) so this one hits a little closer to home than usual.

My first response as a quilter is "I wish I had some quilts to send."

 I don't have quilts to send because my finished quilts are few and far between and often have a designated home long before they are completed. Which pretty much leaves me in the same boat as with all the other recent disasters. No quilts to send and no time to make a few.

And not a lot of money to donate either. It's been an expensive month with car repairs and doctor visits. I invested a good chunk of our Ragnarok fund into air filters for the house to try to help Jack's asthma attacks and the credit card is starting to travel in the wrong direction again. My embroidery machine is in the shop and will cost buku bucks to reacquire once it is repaired.

I was paying bills yesterday and I realized that I hadn't spent my crafting budget in April or May, and I finally had a glimmer of hope that I could do something positive.

Which brings us to today. This project started out like one my church did for the homeless last winter - make little pockets with wash clothes and stock them with toiletry items.  I armed myself with my crafting budget through the end of June and hit the dollar store for trial size items.

I was originally intending to do the same with washclothes, but I found these little bags and thought they would work wonderfully.

Each bag holds a deodorant, a shampoo, a soap, a comb, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and a packet of kleenex.

I was able to stock 20 bags and have reached out to the Lockhart Church of Christ to figure out where to send them. I am waiting to hear back from them but if I don't hear in a day or two I will be sending them directly to the City of San Marcos.

I am blessed to have a job where I have disposable income and am able to budget for things I want instead just things I need. What are you blessed with? Please consider sharing those blessings with others in some way.

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
- Malachi 3:10 (NIV)

If you are interested in donating or sending supplies, please see this website for more information.