Sunday, September 30, 2012

End of the Month

I think I might have redeemed myself yesterday. A bit of time in the studio, soothed the soul!  I knew this month was going to be tough being in Survival Mode.  Family in town the first two weekends.  A scrapbook retreat the third weekend.  A trip to Vegas with Mr. Boss to round out the fourth weekend.

I survived and maybe conquered a few battles...but not the war.    I moved along on a few projects and I have to be content with that.  I remind myself constantly to keep to the decision I made in August about Lowering My Expectations.  I have a family to care for...and with the school in full swing with sports, homework, and the like...they will ALWAYS come first.

I also truly believe that when I slow down and Enjoy the Process, I walk with a little skip in my walk.  Okay, I always add a skip, but it becomes more jaunty!

Today, I can be happy in the fact that because of a wee bit of time at work, I have two baby quilts that are just waiting for their quilt labels to be added!

Finished baby quilts

I am also happy that all of my triangles from last month

Cutting black and white triangles for another Spider and Webs quilt!

have transformed into a pieced top!

Pieced top

And that I am on the home stretch of a Butterfly Kiss design and layout.

However, today promises to be full of laundry, book reports/projects, test studying assistance, and it is time to get my October calendar ready to go.

My Calendar Scrapbook Pages

I love it when my calendars start empty.  I let it sit next to my computer so I can just stare at empty.  When it is empty is speaks to me of potential.

Unfortunately,  when I start filling in all of our activities and obligations?  
I am usually on the verge of tears.

Here is to hoping my October is a bit more calmer than September was!!  
Anyone else have high hopes for the new month?

I am joining a "new to me" blog link up with
Lily's Quilts
Lily's Quilts

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WIP: Hexies....again...

Are you sick of them?

I have to admit, I am glad they are here.  I have not had any time spent on any other items other than laundry the past few days.  Mr. Boss decided to sweep me off to the City of Sin this past weekend.

I was dragging my feet...because I am not just not a fan of Vegas.  But since it was for work and he had big plans there, I left my sweet boys behind.  Hate that!  But last Friday, I was so glad to have the EPPs with me on the way there!  Mr. Boss didn't complain because he wasn't getting whacked in the arm or head with my crosstitch frame!

When we stepped out of the car at the hotel?  

Pavers on the driveway of the hotel

I knew it was going to be a good weekend!
 Since we have returned, I have snuck in a bit of time while waiting for my loads of laundry to finish their cycles and have been playing with layouts.

I cut out more templates while sitting in the car watching tennis practice.  

This time adding a hole with my hole puncher in the middle to have something to "grab" when I pull them out.

I would love to write out my "No Progress" laundry list, but the real laundry is calling my name!!
I hope to focus on my Just Three items for September in the next few days.....4 to be exact.
So far, when I predicted that I would be in Survival Mode earlier this month,  I was right. 
This is the one instance where I hate that I am right!!!

Linking up with Lee!  

I feel like quitting while I am behind...any motivational words or thoughts out there!?!?!??!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Good News, Bad News

Cryptic post title, no?

I will dive in.....


I have 100 hexagons all set to go for a future project.

 More Good News?

The Accuquilt die cut pad works in my Sizzix Big Shot Pro (Westminster) Die Cut Machine!!!

The Accuquilt die cut pads are a smidgen thinner than my Sizzix pads.  

The solution?

Just a few cardboard shims under the bottom cutting pad.  Worked like a charm!

And for those who debate between the two die cut machines? The reasoning I went with Sizzix is that I already had the original diecut machine and a significant investment in smaller diecuts.  I also did some research and had discovered that the Accuquilt die cuts can be used in the Sizzix machines, but the Sizzix cannot be used in the Accuquilt.  However, I DO NOT think you could go wrong with either the Accuquilt Go! or Accuquilt Studio Fabric cutters.  I just have never used them!

And for what it is worth?
 I do have a Sizzix die cut for hexagons, but the 2 inch one that I already had is actually 2 inches DIAMETER, not 2 inches on the sides like I wanted.  I actually do look forward to using the Sizzix pad because I can cut four hexis in one swoop!

I cannot express how much easier the die cuts make this process go!

After I had pre-cut this fabric bundle with my die cut machine?

I just simply cut my fat quarters into 3 inch strips and then rectangles measuring 3 x 3.5 inches.

Pressed out the creases, sometimes before I cut them into strips/rectangles.  Sometimes after, because I was a bit over-excited about this project.

 I promise I pressed those rectangles...I was just taking a picture while I remembered!

The amazing thing is the small amount of waste.

I bought this cute little omnigrid travel case (pre-die cut purchase) for rotary cutters thinking I might need it when I wanted more hexagons cut when we were on our trip.

But I had 200+ hexagons pre-cut in less than 20 minutes!!

 I only had 100 hexagon templates cut, so I left the rotary cutters behind and the little case was perfect to hold my scissors, thread, needle, paperclips, templates, and I could tuck the finished hexis as I went along.

It is the perfect size for a lap, I promise!!


I had finished the last 50 hexagons on our 3 hour trip back to make the total of 100.

I had packed everything carefully back in my bag.  I was excited to make such progress!  Not to mention the fact that we sat and stared at pictures of the boys on Mr. Boss's iPad on the flight home...we missed our boys so much!  I was distracted and didn't double check my seat to see if anything had been left behind (we ALWAYS double check).  Then, we were practically RUNNING to the baggage claim area in hopes we could get home faster!

 As I climbed in the car, I had one of those moments.  You know what I am talking about, right?
  I realized I had left the baggie of all the remaining pre-cut hexagons (about 100) on the plane!!!!  I lamented, not so much that they were lost...but more in the fact that an airline worker probably threw them away when they were doing their sweep of the plane.


Photo from when Teen boy broke the post of the basketball hoop this summer, slam dunking...they are fake crying for my scrapbook!

However, I must say...Mr. Boss is truly the sweetest man.  His first reaction when I shouted "OH NO!  I left my hexi's on the plane!!!"  was this:

"I hope they weren't the baggie with all of your finished hexis?  That would be tragic".  

He gets it!  He REALLY gets it!

And then, better yet, he said,

 "Maybe another quilter found it and knew what a treasure they were and will take them home with them to make a project".

Be still my heart.

But really and truly?  I know that some cleaning guy tossed them in the trash.....

Have you ever left anything behind on a vacation or trip?  


Friday, September 21, 2012

EPP Obsession

I am officially in love with English Paper Piecing. I cannot tell you how many times I wish I could be quilting but just can't because I am sitting at another tennis match or sitting in my car.

I love my cross stitch but the frame can be awkward and sometimes I forget where I was and by the time I get back on track, it is time for me to pack it all up.

With the hexagons, I can just keep them in small baggies and pull them out onto my lap! Yesterday I was able to prepare 53 hexagons on a three hour plane ride. And Mr. Boss didn't mind because I wasn't making a scene with my awkward frame!

I also was surprised to see my new book at my doorstep Wednesday afternoon.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend! I plan to work on some more hexis since I am away from my boys and my girls (the sewing machines).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WIP: Still Surviving!

I was about to just skip WIP Wednesday this week since my list looks EXACTLY like last week's.   I am still in Survival Mode.  I did go on my Scrapbook Retreat and finished 75 pages this past weekend.
But when I came back, arrived to a semi-happy baby Sunday, who evolved into Monday night's not-so-happy miserable baby.  We had an all night coughing/crying session which proved to be croup and a sinus infection Tuesday morning.  Needless to say, studio time has been vastly decreased to nothing.  

However, when I thought about it, I did finish something right before I left for my scrapbook retreat, a project I never shared, and not to mention I do have a new project!  Therefore, I am skipping the long laundry list...and just jumping in with those things!


Mini Design Boards

I am cheating.  I really finished these a few weeks ago and meant to do a whole post on it's own, but I fear I will never actually get to it.  So here it is!

Ever wish you had a small design board just to do one single block? Or you want to take a complicated block you have cut and arranged on your big design board like my big portable one...but you don't dare take it down and mess up the order of the block by the time you get to your machine? 

These boards will help you! I used the tutorial from A Bee in My Bonnet.

 She talks about cutting strips, but I cheated and used a jelly roll I had sitting around!  I will admit, this project took me several days. 
She has the tutorial in two parts because it really is best to stretch this project out!

The photo above was taken after an afternoon spent of cutting the foam and gluing the batting to the foam boards.  It IS easy, but all the glue is time consuming.  I get really cranky about hot glue stuck on my fingers!!  Anyone else?

I used my jelly roll to it's best advantage.  I only had to piece two strips together for the 12 x14 boards.

I was able to get these different sizes from several foam boards.

These boards are great and already have come in handy.   I can get all of my Merry, Merry Snowman applique pieces pre-cut and can lay them out on the boards and not have them all mushed up (yes, mushed is a technical term) in a baggie.  

They are also light, so easy to carry around.  I have one more foam board left because I was waiting to see what size I really needed.  I think I really need some 14x14 boards for my monthly do.Good Stitches blocks!

 Butterfly Kisses

I love doing my charity work, but sometimes, I am EXTREMELY happy with a finish, and this is one of them!  This quilt was special because the mom had the quilt made locally with Farmall fabric.   The quilter did all of the quilting by hand and is was done well!  I was nervous because I did not want to mess up an already great quilt, right?

  For some reason, the heavens were shining down on me and made sure my Emore was on her BEST behavior!

I did the footprints for big sister first.
Then little Dalton's feet went into the center. Sooooo very tiny!

I promised Dalton's mom that I saved the thread color # so I can make sure that WHEN, not IF, the future brings them a sibling, his or her block will match!

New Project:

Gone Hexagon Crazy

It has happened.  I have finally caved.  I have been trying to avoid ANOTHER handwork project, but unfortunately, I get CADD (Crafter Attention Deficit Disorder).  Sometimes I just get plain old BORED with some of my current projects.  Adding the hexagons to my busy work carrying case will definitely give me more choices.

What finally pushed me over the edge?


This book. 
 I have seen it being offered as a giveaway on a blog hop.  After trying to stalk it, I gave up and bought it. Now I am stalking my mailbox to see when it arrives.  They haven't even given me confirmation that they sent it yet!

This picture right below is what clinched the hexi craze for me!

Does it inspire you!??!?!

I found templates HERE and have the different sizes printed and cut out.   I have decided to do one inch (each side is one inch.  See? I am learning things already!) hexagons for the project I have in mind.  They were really easy to cut out.  I started cutting them out during Middle School tennis tryouts in the afternoon, cut a few while Button was playing cars before bedtime, and then the rest of the 100 (is that too many?) while watching The Big Bang Theory with Teen boy!

 It will be part of a thank you gift for a very special lady that has done a very special thing for me (more on that in the future, I promise!!).  I am hoping this bundle I picked up the other day will work!

I also picked up the Accuquilt Die Cut to have all of my fabric pre-cut.  I am going to try it on my Sizzix Westminster Pro die-cut machine.  I bought the Sissix because it seems to be more here is to hoping that the accuquilt die works...I will keep you posted.

Anyone else joining the hexi craze or holding are you still holding off?  
I would love to here some great tips, thoughts, and if you know of any great tutorials, please let me know!!!!!

Linking up with Lee!


Monday, September 17, 2012

75 Scrapbook Pages Down....

.....A million more to go.......

  I am now "current' from mostly 2008 through this weekend.  The retreats are two fold, however.  Good progress, but more importantly?  Reconnecting with good friends!  

It is nice to know that I am making progress each time I go on my retreat.   I actually chuckled to myself at one point because I remembered a some comments a few weeks ago that my quilts are often "uncluttered".

My scrapbook pages are mostly like the one in the photos above!  So I guess I like a lot of things uncluttered!!!  Occasionally I do a complicated and elaborate page...but they sure do slow the process down.  Choosing my paper, deciding which layout to fit all the photos, and picking embellishments is complicated enough.

And no, I am not afraid to put ribbons, flowers or use feminine paper on my scrapbook pages.  I used to try to be "masculine" about my family album, but after I had completed two 100+ pages of my Sports Album years ago....I did not want to do one more "blue" page!

I still do them occasionally....Just not all the time!!

The one tricky part about leaving all my boys behind?  

They manage to be a bit mischevious!  When I saw this blurry picture pop on my phone, my first reaction was "Awww, Button is doing his favorite thing.  Pushing his shopping cart!"

Until I realized that what I thought was a brown floor was actually the coffee table!!  

I proceeded to laugh out loud.

  But when I read this caption on Mr. Boss's Facebook:

I snorted out loud!  

Then posted this:

Did he really think that a picture like that could make me leave my retreat!??!


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