12 April 2015

101 Days.

Today is the 101st day of 2015. That's right, we're already that far into the year. I literally have blinked, and here it is, April.

So, I'd like to take this time to reflect and let some thoughts loose. Looking back on my 2015 Goals and 2015 Sewing Goals, I think I'm doing well. Well, well enough.

My problem is time. Yes, there are "24 usable hours in everyday" (name that movie) but somewhere between school, work, and various other life demands, wait. No. Just kidding. My problem is the internet. It is the ultimate time suck for me. I get distracted so easily on it while I'm trying to do just ONE thing. I should probably work on that. Hmm.

Moving along, I'm trying to keep up with my goals. I'm falling a little behind on my book reading, but school is a bit more important than that goal. I am doing well in school. Mostly. I have A's and B's. I really, really wanted a 4.0 this semester, but I'm seeing my dreams being crushed. But, with about a month left, I really have to pull all my shit together and do better.

As for Last Yesterday Designs, it's the thing I'm doing the worst on. I'm failing at deadlines that I promised, and I feel awful for it. I may have to shut it down until I'm out of school. I can't keep up with stuff.

I'm doing okay with sewing. I haven't really bought a lot of fabric this year. Well, besides the GirlCharlee Knit Fixes, but I'm coming to terms with that I don't really like sewing with knit, so I'm probably going to destash a lot of that. I went into the Craft Dungeon™ the other day and laid out all of my fabrics. I looked at some of them and have NO IDEA why I have them or why I even bought them. So, when school's out, I will be going down there and destashing a LOT of stuff. I already started. Went through my patterns and my kits. Got a box full. Then, I realized I was cold, so I went back upstairs. 

But, despite some slacking and on the verge failures, there are two things I am excelling in. Getting off my ass and decrapifying the house. 

I bought a Jawbone Up in January as a birthday present to myself, and I don't regret it. I didn't think it would, but it does inspire me to get off my ass and move more. I enjoy seeing how many steps I walked in a day, and what I can do to improve upon that. I've lost (and kept off) five pounds since January. Lost five inches all over, too. Though, walking around campus to and from classes really helps, too. 

Decrapifying. I had some epiphany around the beginning of the year that I just have too much shit. It's just strewn about everywhere, stuffed in places, and makes me sad when I see it. Solution? Get rid of it. I started with my clothes. Got rid of five 13-gallon trash bags of clothes. FIVE. Though, one bag was actually trash. Socks, underwear, hose, old gross things, etc. Gone. Now I can see everything in my drawers and closet, and I have THREE empty drawers in my bureaus. I'm still working on weeding out my t-shirts. I'm having a hard time parting with some, because "what if" but, it's a work in progress. I flipped all my hangers around, and if I don't wear them all by the time it turns cold again, they disappear. 

Last night, I cleaned out the living room. I had stuff just stuffed in the bookshelves since we moved in back in October. OCTOBER it's just been sitting there. Doing nothing but collecting dust. So, I sorted through it, through out a lot, and relocated things to where they should be. I still have one cluttered spot, which is my school section. It's a stack of stuff I rotate out in my bookbag. I'm trying to find a better place for it, but I think I'm just gonna call it a draw and leave it there. 

Next, is the kitchen. Gonna take a real hard look at everything and see if I need it or not. My kitchen is pretty tidy, but stuff likes to collect on the island, because it's a great place to drop everything when you come in. Following that, in no particular order, are the bathrooms. I have a makeup "collection" that I probably won't ever use before it expires. I also need a better organization system for my "main" drawer in the bathroom. I have little baskets in there, but they slide around and bobby pins just go everywhere. Maybe, I just need less bobby pins? Then, I need to re-do the office. It's technically my husband's office, but I kinda took it over with stuffing Christmas decor in the closet. That needs to be sorted through, and put in the Craft Dungeon™. I also need to go through the files. 
Next is the dining room. It's currently my sewing room until the Craft Dungeon™ gets warmer. Kansas can't make up it's mind right now, and I'm hoping by the time this semester is over, I can relocate everything back down there and have my table back.  

Last is the Craft Dungeon™. It's the worst part of the house. It's where we just stick things that we don't know where to put. Not to mention all the craft barf down there. I need to have a Come to Jesus meeting with myself and go through it. I still have three boxes down there I haven't unpacked. I have no clue what's in them, either. 

With that, I have realized that I have about a million things to go do, and hopefully, I will have some interesting pictures to post soon.   

31 March 2015

March Quilts

Is March over already? I've been so busy, I guess it blew right by me. (Get it? GET IT?!) But, I'm actually pleased that I was able to accomplish FOUR quilts this month. Mind you, they're small but still, FOUR QUILTS.

I bought this one as a quilt kit from a quilt store that was having a retirement sale, Christmas 2013. I may have bought two of them. I also may have given one to my mom. But in a different color scheme. Anywho, I finished one this month:

This one was tedious to make. If you look closely (please don't) you'll see I messed up in a few places. As much as I like how it turned out, I am not a fan of cutting, sewing and ironing all those little squares. But, I do love it, and pleased to have made it. (Finally)

My next one was on a whim. I think I found the pattern on pinterest, thought "Yeah! That's a great idea!" Then went through my fabric stash for fabric. I can't remember where I got the pattern from but I do know I bought the fabric from Little Quilts during last year's Row By Row Experiance. They're Kim Diehl's.

This one's about 12"x12" and very fun. I was thinking about hanging it at my desk at work, but I keep going back and forth between this and making something more library themed. Not like I can't hang this up until then, right? Anywho, this little bugger was fun to make. I really love the colors all blended together (yes, even the evil orange) and pretty pleased with it.

The next one was the Peter Halley replica quilt I posted about on Sunday. I'm still pleased as punch with it. 

The last one I made for a client, a baby blanket. I'm actually not going to post a picture of it, for the privacy of the parents. It has the baby's name on it. But, anywho, it's done. Those are done. We're all done. A pretty successful March, eh?

29 March 2015

Master Copy

For an art class project, one of the assignments was to create a "master copy" of an artist (be it photography, painting, drawing, etc) and recreate it in your own medium. Well, since I suck at drawing and painting, guess what I chose? Quilting. Yep. I replicated a painting with a quilt. Now, don't expect anything like the Mona Lisa quilted awesomeness, I did something a smidgeon less complicated.
 Originally, my first thoughts were with Warhol. He's one of my favorite artists. (Huge fan of Pop Art.) But, I couldn't figure out how to replicate his work. Then, I asked if I could sew something? Answer: Yes. So I thought and thought and, thought some more. Idea! I was going to try and replicate a Kandinsky! But I got a little too overwhelmed with all the options. Back to the drawing board. I googled artists, couldn't find anything. So, I went with one of my favorite methods: The Library.
I went and found the art section, and basically just snatched books off the shelf that popped out at me. About five books later, I stumble across a neon pink one and yellow. The name? Peter Halley. Never heard of him. Flipped through the book? PERFECT. Checked out my book and headed home.
Studying the book, I wasn't sure which one I should replicate. So, I turned to google. This popped up in the google search.

Photo from: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/feb/14/antiques-roadshow-baton-rouge-la-hour-one/
I saw the top purple and yellow section and it just screamed "NINE PATCH!!!" at me. Now, this isn't the work Halley is most known for (Google him. It's pretty awesome) I absolutely KNEW I could replicate this, mostly, because I had all those colors.

And I did.

While my version is much, much smaller, I think I hit the nail on the head. I wish I had a little bit darker green, but I didn't want to purchase anything. This was actually really fun to make, and I'm going to proudly display it somewhere.

24 March 2015

I Heart Stripes.

Oh heeeeey March. How's it going? Me? BUSY BUSY BUSY. I got a job, and between that and school, holy mess. So, I'm here for a quick "I'm alive, look at stuff" post.

I "treated" myself to four bags of the March KnitFix this month, and managed to trade/sell the ones I didn't want, in return for ones I did. So, BEHOLD.

Aww yeah, shitty cell phone pic.
STRIPES STRIPES STRIPES, EVERYBODY. Only nine of those are the original ones I received. The others, I traded for. And, if you notice, there's only 2 bags + extra there. I sold a whole bag to a wonderful person, and sold four others, without trades. I'm very pleased with this. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have lots of homework and a test. Hopefully, I'll have something to post soon.

23 February 2015

Wanted: Time Machine

Since I am behind on a million different things, now that the sewing machine is upstairs (where it's warm) I am wanting to sew again. So, I was finally able to get a few projects done this weekend, including a baby blanket for a baby that's...well, still "fresh" but I wanted to get it to his parents before he was born. Oops.
It's the thought that counts, right? I mean, I bought the fabric AND washed it before he was born...I need a time machine to complete these on time, I swear.
Anywho, it was such a quick sew I was able to finish it in about 45 minutes. I think. I'm bad at guesstimating. With that, I present to you, a Doctor Who baby blanket, complete with Minky From Hell.

After finishing this blanket, I've come to realize that I'm never using minky again. Ever. Unless it's going on the back of a quilt that someone else is quilting for me. No, seriously. OVER. IT.

21 February 2015

I got a KnitFix!

Back when we lived in El Paso, I used to get StitchFix boxes. Had six mystery clothing items in it, and I could pick and choose what I wanted to keep and send what I didn't want back. I liked it for a while, but then when they didn't take into account that I have a whole lotta boob, I decided to take a break from them for a bit.

Until I found KnitFix. KnitFix is waaaay different, but just as awesome. Straight from GirlCharlee.com, you get two yards [each] of six different KNIT FABRICS in all sorts of crazy patterns! Okay, not crazy, but pretty awesome. "On Trend" is the word. I like making my clothes better, than someone else guessing for me. Ch-ch-check it out!

Aw yiss, look at all that glorious fabric. They do a variety of fabrics, so not everyone gets the same fabrics. I won't lie. I started seeing cheetah print and a whole lot of floral, and I got nervous. Reeeal nervous. But then my bag came, and it was a great day.

I got this fix to help challenge myself. I've never sewn knits before, and I normally don't buy patterns, so I figured, unless they were totally horrid, I'd keep them and see what I could come up with. (There's a GirlCharlee KnitFix FB group that you can interact with members and trade fabric with)

So, I started one I liked the least. THE CHEVRON. I don't own anything with chevrons on it. I don't like them at all. But, this one, wasn't too terrible. It's a Ponte De Roma knit and it sews and feels like a dream. I will be buying more if it in the future.

And because it's not done (missing a serger part) you only get a sneak peek until I can get the serger up here to finish it.

This post was not sponsored. I just like showing off things.

15 February 2015

Oh...um...hi February!

This is what school does to a person. Makes me even less social than I already am. Anywho, I'm still alive and kicking, actually enjoying school. One of my classes this semester is 2D design, and I'm learning how to mix colors and make color scales, and various other things. I have learned that painting is not my forte. I will stick to sewing.

This is one of my pieces I painted. I haven't had time to make a quilt, so I figured I'd paint one instead. I'm pretty pleased with it. It's based off a quilt pattern I found on Pinterest (this one) that I'm going to buy when my no-buy is up.

Crooked Flying Geese. Just like one of my real quilts!
It's also been WAY too cold in the basement to sew, so I've been working on cross-stitch instead.

Ideally, I'd like to have this one done before March (lol) so I'm trying to plunk away at it when I get a chance. There's quite a few things I want to go back and change, but I'll do it when I'm done to see how much thread I have left over.
Though, I have permission to move the sewing machine upstairs and a few select items, so I might start sewing again soon. Well, there is no might, I have to. I have to sew two garments for school. So, we'll see how that goes.

Also trying to squeeze a bit of reading in there. I have one book left in my original stack of four from January, so that finished by March would be good, too.

Hopefully, I'll post something else this month (finished cross-stitch? finished school projects?) Who knows.

16 January 2015

Tudor Birthday Bag

Well, I'm done. Kind of. I was about to write this blog post about the awesomeness of this bag, but how I would fix things for next time, when I realized....I completely misunderstood a step. So, it's about two inches longer than it should be. So, when I become less depressed about that fact, I'll go back and fix it. Maybe. Yes. I should.

But, anywho, here it is in all it's way too big glory.

I chose just the crossbody strap option, and left off the handles. I don't like carrying things, but would rather wear them. Also, as you can see, I did choose the front zippered pocket. You can't go wrong with zippered pockets.

I also chose the top zippered close option instead of the magnetic clasp. I didn't want stuff falling out, or to lose things.

This was my own personal edit. You're supposed to sew kind of off kilter on the inside pockets to create a small pocket and a large pocket. I decided I didn't like that. So, on one side, I made three pockets. And on the other?

Just two large pockets. Nothing extravagant. So, five pockets on the inside, and one zippered pocket on the outside.

But, for now, this thing is huge. It goes from my hip to my knee.



I'll fix it....later. *sigh*

13 January 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

My birthday was last week. It's the only time of the year I actually WANT attention. It was great. We went to go see Back to the Future in THEATRES. It was awesome. (I love our tiny theatre.) Then, that weekend, we went to the fanciest restaurant in Manhattan, Harry's. Simply delicious! (I like simple birthdays.)

Anywho, my birthday present to myself this year is a new bag. I haven't made myself anything since...the summer? So, I'm making myself Sew Sweetness' Tudor Bag, in Joel Dewberry's Notting Hill. (You know, what my Aeroplane Bag is made out of.)

Aww yiss, cell phone picture time! See also: GIANT MESS.

I'm using byAnnie's Soft and Stable for the first time, and I'm rather excited.

Tonight, after searching for the fabric for like 30 minutes, then discovering it was actually on the fabric shelf, I started cutting.

Got everything cut out. 53 individual pieces. Could have been more, but I'm only doing the shoulder strap, and not the handles.

And now everything that needed to be interfaced, has been. They're drying overnight (I used a bit too much water) and tomorrow, I sew!

Only took 2½ hours to cut and interface. I have to measure 32 times, cut once. Sewing starts tomorrow!

07 January 2015

Sewing Goals for 2015

If you look back on my 2015 Goals and psudo-resolutions post, you'll notice I didn't really elaborate on #8. It sits there, kind of unfinished. Like a passing thought, that died before it could reach the end.

I did that on purpose. I felt my sewing/crafty goals deserved a WHOLE post to themselves. Because they are never ending. Endless. ETERNAL.

I do not expect to accomplish this list. I have 98347298742 different ideas everyday, and maybe one or two a month actually are put into motion.

Maybe I should call this my "Sewing Dreams" list, instead of "Sewing Goals." Yeah. I like that better.

Thanks, internet.

 My 2015 Dreams are:

- Finish all of my kits. I think I have like 30? Ranging from Super Large Quilts to mini quilts. I have a whole container of them, just waiting to happen. FINISH THEM.

- Finally make my friends their 2013 Christmas presents. Every. Year. "I'm gonna make my friends awesome things!" Doesn't happen. But THIS YEAR, I know what I'm going to make them. I have the fabric, I have the pattern, and they're going to like it, damnit.

-Use my clothing patterns and actually my myself stuff, not wait until I'm skinny again. Things can be altered. And if I liked it, I have the pattern to *gasp* make it again!

- Actually complete the block of the month kits I've signed up for. I think I signed up for two. I know the Feed Sack embroidery block from Sweetwater (or whatever that new awesome line is called). I think I signed up for the Simple Whatnots II Club, but I actually have to go to the store to get it. It's been a bit too snowy and cold for me to drive faster than 45mph right now. (I wasn't raised with snow. I don't know what to do with it.)

- Finish all four of my seasonal cross stitch pieces from The Frosted Pumpkin. Go on. Laugh. I am.

- Use up HALF my fabric. Yes. Half. More would be better, but my dreams aren't that big.

And I think that's it. I don't know what 2015 will throw at me, but these are my DREAMS. Don't crush them, people.

06 January 2015

Sewin' with Mom.

As a kid, I learned most my craftiness from my mom (Grandmas helped, too). And so, now I'm returning the favor. Over Christmas, I taught her the very basics of quilting. She had bought a quilt kit for one of her teachers to make from Sunday Best Quiltworks, on one of our many shop hops we did. Very simple basic quilt. I looked at the pattern. "Oh this is EASY." I exclaimed. "HELP." cried Mom. So I did.

As I read over the instructions, you were to cut out three different borders and attach them to a panel. One, had to be fussy cut. So, I explained them to her, and well, next thing you know, I'm cutting borders. We had to rearrange the borders, because the kit didn't have enough fabric to do it one way, and frankly, I like the way this one turned out to the original. But anywho, Mom put this quilt together well. I explained it to her, and helped her make sure she was piecing and ironing it right and BAM. We got that sucker sewn together in a night. 

Hi, Mom!
Isn't that cute? What I'm most proud of is the fact that the lines in the panel? They're straight. STRAIGHT, PEOPLE. That's one of the hardest things for me to accomplish, and the fact that Mom did it on her FIRST QUILT is very impressive. Be impressed.

Mom was disappointed to find out that the kit didn't come with backing (does any kit?) so it was my task to run out and find some fabric for that.
Mom: "How much do you think I'll need?"
Me: "Four yards."
Me: "Nope."

While I honestly think I could have gotten away with purchasing three yards, I suck at math, and it was 50% off, so four yards it was! I purchased this flannel from Joann's, after hmming over multiple fabrics, with my loving, patient, wonderful, amazing husband in tow.

It surprisingly matched quite well, and worked the best out of ALL the fabrics that were there. When we returned, Mom was skeptical, but very pleased at the thought of flannel. The thought of that didn't even enter into her mind. So, I told her to wash it, and we'd hop to it the next day. (Note: This flannel is surprisingly awesome. It washed really well, and was even softer and nicer the next day. Recommended.)

The next evening, was the sandwiching of the quilt. I showed her that you cut the four yards in half, and sew them together, and it makes the backing wide enough to stick it on. And then I showed her the beauty of 505 Spray. I. Do. Not. Pin. Baste. I am too lazy for that. And, it also severely hurts my back to do that. 505 Spray is quicker, and it doesn't make my back hate me for days. While pricey, it. is. worth. it. I trimmed the excess off, and now told her to go forth and quilt. I don't think she liked this part. She just did a basic, straight line in the brown for "hidden" quilting. I mean, you couldn't even tell, unless you looked hard for it. AND THEN THE BINDING. I showed her how to make it, and put the strips together to make one long strip. And then showed her how to attach it. I don't think she really liked that part either. BUT IT WAS ON. And we rested. And then I had to go home, but not before I told her how to finish the binding.

She sends me a picture a few days ago and said "I'm done!"

Hi, Dad!

For her first quilt, and taking three evenings to make it, I'm pretty impressed, aren't you?


Also, while I was there, I taught her how to make very basic potholders.

Simple and easy, right? You need six squares of fabric the same size, a square of Insul-Brite and a square of batting and BAM. Pot holder. On the day I went to go get the above backing fabric, she had made two more. And then a few more. And now she's out of control. You get a potholder! YOU get a potholder! EVERYBODY GETS A POTHOLDER. (Love you, Mom. :P )

04 January 2015

2015 Goals and....not really resoultions.

I secretly like resolutions. I know I might not keep them (things change, shit happens), but I'm a thinker, and a dreamer, and I love sitting here thinking about things and ideas I have for my future.
Ideally, I'd like to review these every month, but I know that won't happen, because I forget.

But as of today, these are my goals and semi-resolutions.

1. Read 52 Books.
This will be my third year with this goal. I barely made it in 2013, succeed excellently in 2014, but what will 2015 hold?

2. Do well in school. 
Have I mentioned that I will be starting at K-State this semester? No? Well, I am! I'm finally excited to start back with school. About three years ago, I stopped going to college because I had enough. I was miserable, depressed, hated my major, hated my school, and felt like I was just wasting money. Awful. Terrible. Horrendus. But now that we're here (ironically 10 years after I was a freshman in college for my first degree) and I'm thrilled. Wish me luck!

3. Revamp Last Yesterday Designs
Like, really get it going. I'm working with some programs trying to figure out legal stuffs, and turn it into an LLC. I'd like to start with an Etsy shop, with aspirations of just having my own shop online. I tried Etsy last year, and it wasn't that bad. I just wasn't sure how to drum up business. So, hopefully, I'll learn that in school, too.

4. Stop buying stuff.
I have an excess of stuff, and I don't know where to put it. Mostly, because I love shopping. (Which is weird for being an INTP apparently) but mostly just for craft supplies and clothes. And some times other things.

5. Declutter and Sell, Sell, Sell!
This kind of goes hand in hand with #4. I don't have hordes of things (not a hoarder) but my "collection" of stuff is out of control. Do I really need 15 half empty bottles of lotion? No. What about all that fabric that I have no plans for? Make plans or sell. If I can't use it, can't wear it, don't need it or just have too much of it. It's gotta go. Whether selling on ebay, craigslist, local FB groups, Etsy, yard sale, or just donating it, the excess has to go.

6. Get Off Your Ass. 
I got lazy. Real lazy. I gained back all the flab and weight I did so well with in Alabama. So, now, it's game over, and I'm tired of this. I saw my thighs. I know I should love my body and I'm awesome the way I am and blah blah blah. But no. I do not feel awesome. I feel sluggish and tired and no energy. (I'm already hypothyroid and it's running as "normal" as possible) and I'm sick of it. So, I'm just going to get off my ass and just move. Walking, cleaning, standing, yoga, belly dancing, chasing the cats around. Whatever. I just need to get off my ass.

7. Eat better.
Every time we PCS our eating habits go to pot. (it's where I gained my weight back from) And it pisses me off. So, I'm cutting out the soy again (except for soy sauce), determined to eat more veggies, and eat less sweets. That last one will be the hardest. I <3 sugar. 

8. Finish things. 
I signed up for Sweetwater's Feed Company Block of the month, so that's my big project for the year. I'd like to also try for the Moda Building Blocks quilt. I really like it, and think it would be a fun way to "get rid of" fabric. 

9. Be happy. 
It's the little things in life, and if I can accomplish any of the above, I'll be super happy. But, even if I don't, I'll still be pleased with what I do accomplish with the year. Who knows what I actually can? I don't know my school schedule yet.

03 January 2015

2014: A Year in Review

HAPPY 2015...two days late. To be fair, all yesterday I was stuck in a truck with my husband and two cats, and on the 1st I was busy packing and pigging out on delicious traditional black eyed peas, turnip greens, and cornbread.

While I should have done this the last week in December, I was on vacation, and I didn't want to think. So meh. :p
But, looking back, I was still in El Paso this time last year. How weird. I was in a tizzy trying to organize my house for the movers, and ignoring the fact that I'd have to say goodbye to some really awesome friends. I also just opened my business, and was quite optimistic and having dreams of grandeur about it. I also had some goals and resolutions that I said. Some, I failed spectacularly at, others, I excelled. Let's take a look back. (Original Post)

1. Out with the Old, In with the NewThis was about cleaning out the house before we moved and having a yard sale. I did a spectacular job at this. I got rid of a lot of stuff and organized quite a bit of the house. I even had a yard sale! I said goodbye to our table (from my childhood) and went almost all of 2014 without a table to eat at. I didn't get everything I wanted out or everything organized, but two houses later, I feel I did well.

2. 12 Quilts 
LOLOLOL. This didn't happen. 1. I sewed through my finger. 2. I moved. 3. I moved again. 4. No.
I finished two quilts from 2013 and then I made four NEW quilts. So, considering, I don't think I did so bad.

3. 52 Books 
This I EXCELLED at. I think I read 60+ books. I'm pleased.

4. Open an Etsy Business
This, I'm not sure how I did. I opened it, sold a few things, then closed it before I moved. (The second time) I haven't reopened it, because it's just sitting there. Taking up space.

5. Back to School 
This is another laughable one. I got accepted into an online college, then I couldn't take classes because I wouldn't have a house until the second week of class, and then that college never contacted me again. Enjoy your $30.

6. Exercise
While living in Alabama, I did pretty darn good at this. I joined one of the Fitocracy coach classes, lost 10lbs, ate better, felt better, then I moved. Crashed and burned.

7. Spend Less
Just gonna leave that there, and hang my head in shame.

8. Breathe
I think I did okay on this. Not fantastic, but not horrible.

Though, overall I enjoyed 2014 despite living in four different states. Here's to not moving anytime soon.
Coming Soon:
-2015 Goals/Resolutions
-Christmas gifts
-Other random crap