Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Excavation Site

Here are some before pictures - before the archeological dig (crafteological dig?).  One of my organizing goals is to get everything off of the floor!

I figured out how to take a panoramic shot!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I'm going on an archeological dig... my crap craft room.  I've waited for years to have a craft room.  Up until 4.5 years ago we lived in itty bitty living spaces.  (Does anyone else miss Robin Williams?)  Anyway, I would store my crafty supplies all throughout our apartment.  There might be a big yarn basket and a vase full of knitting needles in the living room, or color-coordinated fat quarters in a shoe organizer in the hall, or scrapbook supplies and photos in boxes in the back of the closet.  I would do my projects on the dining room table, but always had to put everything away - eventually.  I longed for the day when I could have a dedicated craft room, where I could leave everything set up and just close the door to the creative process.

I was completely shocked when we moved into our new home and I could finally put ALL of my craft supplies into one place, my very own craft room.  I was surprised at how much stuff I had accumulated over the years.  I had paints and canvasses from painting classes.  My fat quarters could not be contained anymore in a cute Target shoe organizer.  The yarn had multiplied into two big baskets.  The craft books didn't all fit on one bookshelf - I had to scrounge up another one.  There were more unfinished projects than I could remember.  And the list goes on.

Well, it's time to deal with the clutter.  Clutter in my house, or at work, clutters my brain.  It stresses me out and paralyzes me.  I'm the gal who once upon a time had a place for everything and everything in its place.  Tom would ask about something and I would immediately respond with something precise like: "It's in the kitchen in the 2nd drawer to the right of the dishwasher."  I'm unable to do that anymore because there's too much stuff.  It's time to finish all those half-done projects or to get rid of them.

I've never been on an archeological dig, but I feel like I'm on one as go through layers and layers of old projects.  It's fun and painful at the same time.  Why is it so hard to let go of things?  They are just things.  I plan on posting about some of my archeological discoveries and my triumphs, whether it's the triumph of finishing something or the triumph of letting it go.  So, wish me luck.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Modern Quilt Aha Moment

Do you remember those moments when you saw something differently, where you had a paradigm shift or an 'aha moment'?  That's what happened to me while I was making this wonky star quilt.

About four years ago I joined the Music City Modern Quilt Guild.  At the time, I was interested in learning more about how to make art quilts.  For some reason, I thought 'modern' meant art quilts.  I was really disappointed the day that I realized modern quilts were simple minimalistic quilts and for some reason they always seemed to have grey backgrounds.  And, there was also a lot of emphasis on negative space.  The modern quilts didn't appeal to me at all.  I didn't get it.  I felt like a fish out of water in my guild, even though my guild members make and appreciate all kinds of quilts.

Back to the wonky star quilt.  One day my quilt was at about the stage of Elizabeth Hartman's quilt below, minus the cat.

I remember staring at my randomly placed wonky stars against the rectangular shape of my design wall.  And that's when I had my aha moment.  The negative space jumped out at me.  I noticed the artsy-ness of the placement of the stars.  I started imagining more negative space and wondered what would happen if I removed one of the stars in the middle of that cluster.  Or, what it I had pieces of stars wonkily placed in some of the negative space.  It was a very exciting moment for me and I felt like I finally 'got it'.

I'm really excited to create the quilt that I imagined that day when inspiration struck, and I had my modern quilting aha moment.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


I finally finished the Sam-I-Am baby quilt.  The only problem, Sam is not a baby any more.  Okay, he just turned one recently so it's not like he's in college or something.  But, I know his personality now and he is ALL boy, so this quilt seems a bit babyish for him now.  I still love it, though!

I call it the wonky star pattern.  The designer, Elizabeth Hartman, calls it the Sparkle Punch Quilt.  Go here for the tutorial on how to make the stars.  It was a lot of fun making wonky stars.  I highly recommend it!

I decided to put one star on the back in the corner and use it as the label.  Notice the 2013 date.  This quilt was sandwiched and ready to quilt back in 2013, but I froze up because I didn't know how to quilt it or what color thread to use.  I ended up using off-white, as a friend recommended, and I ended up stippling it.  Since the piecing is so sharp and pointy I thought it needed curvacious quilting.

Can you see the Sam-I-Am fabric in the star?  This could only go to a boy named Sam.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Costume Wigs

This is a random post out of nowhere, but all of the sudden I have a church assignment to dress 30+ Oompa Loompas for a road show.  My budget - about $1.00 per Oompa Loompa.  My fellow costume people and I came up with lots of cheap ideas for their costumes, but struggled with ideas for the green hair.  We didn't want to put any color on the kids' hair.

By the way, if you do not know what an Oompa Loompa is, you must read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl - best children's author ever!  Here's what the Oompa Loompas looked like in the movie version of the book.  Notice their chocolatey costumes.

So, costume wigs.  There are lots of fun ideas out there.  Check out the mop wig tutorial on Martha Stewart. (I wish I knew how to imbed non youtube videos!)  There's also a fun beehive hair tutorial here.

Here's a good idea for a Disney princess-type wig.  If you don't make the wig, at least watch the end of this for a good laugh.

This is a fun all-over yarn wig that is sewn to a stocking cap.

Here's a great paper wig tutorial if you want to spend more time on a fancier look.  You can learn French and how to make a wig at the same time!

Here's a fast, easy, and cheap paper wig tutorial.  I really want to try this one!  By the way, when you start searching for costume and makeup ideas, you run across a lot of interesting folks!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Guild

Here's another post that I wrote for last month's guild meeting.  It seems like these days I'm always writing about what other people make.