New Stuff, Cool Stuff

Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:54 am in Favorite Finds, Quilting, WIP | 1 Comment

Things I’ve found of interest out on the interwebs lately:

  • Victoria Gertenbach of Silly BooDilly (one of my favorite quilters) is being creative again, this time stitching on handmade paper.
  • I’ve often thought it was nearly criminal that the tech industry ignores the incredible achievement of Ravelry and its rabid community of supporters just because it’s technology focused on yarn. This article on Slate doesn’t, at least.
  • I loved Columbo.  Totally wish I’d though of making Columbo and Dog out of yarn, but I wouldn’t have done as good a job as June.
  • Design*Sponge did a Visitor’s Guide to Oakland, and it’s pretty good! I can tell the author has never lived in Temescal, though, she missed a lot of great stuff! She also forgot the town of Montclair in the hills, and didn’t include my favorite pub Cato’s in Piedmont. She did get the vibe of Oakland right – sure, it can be gritty, but most of it isn’t, and it’s full of a wide mix of interesting people doing a lot of interesting things.

In other news, I seem to have recovered from my vacation. I also had a birthday. Those birthdays really are relentless in their yearly appearance, aren’t they? I’m now thirty-six. In honor of that I’ve created a list of 40 things I want to do before I’m 40. If I accomplish them, it’s going to be a busy and fun four years!

In contrast to last time’s “I-can’t-think-of-a-project” mentality, I have actually begun work on not 1, not 2, but 3 new quilts. This first one will be around 2′ x 3′. You may be able to guess the inspiration for the quilt these fabrics represent (I posted it recently), but I doubt you’ll guess the new technique I’m trying out. I’m not even sure I can technically call this a quilt! But I will anyway.

Upcoming Project (with "helper")

As you can see, Wesley is intensely curious about what I’m doing, as usual. This next quilt was inspired by a pair of earrings I saw my boss wearing. It’s going to be the smallest one of this group at maybe a little larger than a foot square, but it will be oval or round, depending on how my sketches turn out. It will be constructed out of some of my newest kimono silks.

Upcoming Project

The last quilt that I’m going to start on, for which I have no photo, is theoretically going to be bed-sized. I say theoretically because I have to overcome the terror induced by my last large quilt effort. I remember vividly how much work that took and how much swearing. But it is a request of long standing, and will be a gift to my brother. Jeremy, YOU know which design I’m talking about!

It feels nice to have projects to get into again!

February: Kitchen

Tue Feb 1, 2011 at 11:11 am in Finished Projects, WIP | No Comments

fis for February, which appears to have arrived in due course after January. Typically this is the coldest, most miserable, grayish month of the year. However. I expect this February to be different, because I now live in a place that is nearly always between 48 and 68 degrees and at least somewhat sunny. I read about the snow in other parts of the US, and the freezing temperatures, but it seems I have found a way to avoid all that entirely. I now have just two seasons to deal with (onshore Pacific flow and offshore Pacific flow). While some of the trees here have no leaves (but others do), flowers bloom and vegetables ripen no matter what season it is. I cannot say that I mind this new experience of winter at all.

In 2011 I’ve decided to a thematic goal for each month instead of just doing whatever, or nothing at all. My overall goal is to keep me producing and learning new things the entire year.

February’s Goals

I’d like to do something art-y this month but I need to work on my house and specifically, my kitchen. You’re all welcome for dinner at the end of the month, if you can make it, to see how I did.

  • Get a kitchen table (not crafting, but it really needs to happen!);
  • Make two benches for the kitchen. Yes, make them somehow. How hard can it be? (don’t answer that!);
  • Make removable zippered covers and bench cushions, thick enough for happy tookuses;
  • Make hidden zipper accent pillows for the benches. I’m dreading these zippers;
  • Make cafe curtains for two windows in the eating nook;
  • Make an appliance cover;
  • Make a terry-cloth oven mitt;
  • Make bath and laundry room curtains from material I already have.
  • Optional: a couple Hanging Dishtowels, and two fabric flower bouquets.

The fabric for the soft goods will be the Moda Central Park line with an undetermined neutral. I’d like to see if I can work in a favorite thread crochet edging also. I wish I had time to make up some new table linens as well, but I would have to be unemployed for that, and I really think this will be quite enough, don’t you? Unrelatedly, I’d also like to make

What I Finished in January

January was my month to wrap up and get prepared for new projects, and I succeeded! It’s amazing I got this much done considering I was horribly sick for two weeks. To recap:

  • Finished/frogged all crochet projects: finished my red sweater and my shawl, frogged an ancient blanket I knew I’d never complete and a pair of icky fingerless gloves.
  • Finished my mending: buttons, hemmed pants, repaired sweater holes, a friend’s Thai purse.
  • Completed fitting alterations to a handmade skirt, a purchased skirt and purchased coat.
  • Finished my two outstanding kimono silk projects (I don’t have pictures yet!)
  • Emptied out 150+ starred craft posts from Google Reader/Instapaper. I star/save things I want to remember so I can go back and retrieve them later, but my list was out of control.
  • Cleaned and oiled my sewing machine.
  • Finished setting up my crafting room.
  • Started redesigning this website (a six-month project).

The only two things still outstanding are the ongoing train blanket and a shirt pattern that I plan to complete in another month, in which it will be my goal to actually make clothing for myself.

The Observer

Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 11:11 am in NaBloPoMo, Pets, Sewing, WIP | No Comments

My demon cat, Callie, doesn’t like anyone but Jeff and me. For whatever reason, she loves me and indeed, will let me flip her over and scratch her tummy (most of the time). In fact, she follows me around watching me when I do things. I don’t know what I did right with her (aside from eternal benevolent patience), but this is a frequent sight when I’m doing things. I was just looking through my most recent batch of Ah Kimono fabrics from my fabric club, and I looked down and there she was.


And the fabrics are rather amazing too, right?

Can I tell you how FRUSTRATING it is to be literally a week away from finishing two big projects using my kimono silks, and yet be unable to finish because I cannot get out my sewing equipment yet? GARGGHHHHHH. For real.