Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quilted Coffee

It's a table runner for my mom. She loves coffee and she has a new table for this one.

There's a panel in the centre, and I used a coordinating charm pack to build the outside, sometimes cutting them, sometimes not.

Then I pulled out a piece of yardage I purchased on the cheap last summer and never used for it's original intention.

Now it has a new life as the backing for the coffee quilt.

A little close up shows the image of the Eiffel Tower on the central panel. Paris is one of my Mom's favourite places.

So it's coffee and it's Paris and my mom should love it.

Another happy finish for the Craft Everything 2009 campaign. Woot!

Happy crafting, M

Monday, January 26, 2009

First Finish of 2009

I started these socks a long time ago. But since I'm on a quest to Craft Everything, it's time to complete old projects and send them on their way.

These ones have been sent off to a friend and are already loved and appeciated. Yay!

You can see a close up of the stitches here:

And I think this is a better colour representation.

The stitch pattern comes from the Conway sock pattern in Knitting On The Road by Nancy Bush. Pretty.

Chalk this one up as the first finish for 2009. I am feeling very hopeful about what I can accomplish in the craft room this year.

Happy Monday, M

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Plan . . . And I Do Have One . . .

Craft more and buy fewer craft supplies. (It ain't the Theory of Relativity, I know.)

But seriously . . . I'm finding the emotional weight of my stash to be more than I can handle lately. I keep looking at new and beautiful projects that I want to do, forgetting all about the previously new and beautiful projects that I wanted to do last month, last week, yesterday (and undoubtedly bought the supplies for).

Do you remember way back in 2007 when there was a rash of stash-busting and yarn/fabric diets? There were blog buttons; there were blog rings; there were resolutions. I whole-heartedly hopped on that band wagon, lurching down the aisles waving my resolve at the baskets of yarn and bolts of fabric. I was determined and I was doing fabulously well . . . in 2007.

But what happened in 2008? Not so much with the no-spendy-spendy.

And now, here we are in 2009 and I'm feeling the need to simplify my life, declutter my space, and focus on creating balance.

Not that I'm giving up crafting. That would be crazy, I say, crazy.

Crafting is definitely part of the balance, but that would require me to be, well, balanced about it. Let me tell you, it is darned difficult to be balanced when buried under fabrics, yarns, buttons, ribbons, thread, knitting needles, bobbins, . . ., you get the idea.

This is where we finally get to the genius of my plan. I'm starting a personal campaign.


I'm making signs for the craft room. I'm seeking inspiration and motivation. I'm reaching out for support. I am, in short, waving my resolve at the shelves in my own craft room.

(I'm also doing my best to stay away from craft supply stores so I won't be tempted. Because I suspect that being in the presence of craft supplies that are, you know, for sale might be more than my resolve can withstand. )

To help me in my quest, I have a few new books in my arsenal.

Now let's just hope I run out of craft supplies before I run out of 2009.

Happy crafting, M

Monday, January 19, 2009

Warm Hands, Better Typing

Anybody who's been reading the blog for a while knows that I love me some winter. Love, love, love it.

But I'm not naive. I know winter has some draw backs. Cold outside can sometimes equal cold inside.

I am, however, prepared for such things, being a knitter and all.

These are for the office. The draft that comes through my office window (in that converted warehouse I work in) is an arctic wind, I'm sure.

So in order to make sure I can still type and, you know, function, I whipped up a pair of my standard pickpockets in pretty colours just for me.

I also need to make a draft stopper to keep the wind from blowing around papers on my desk.

Between my warm hands, a draft stopper and my little space heater, I should be able to survive until spring. Send in a rescue team if you don't hear from me before then.

Happy Monday, M

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Homey Things

My house is odd. It's old and after more than 100 years of being occupied by people, it has taken on some quirky traits.

For example, I have a very small closet in my dining room - it had a shelf and a bar for hanging things. But the thing is . . . it's miles from an entrance so it wouldn't be used to hang coats, I don't think.

Nearest I can figure, from clues left behind, is that the dining room was once sort of closed off and used as a bedroom. Sort of. So perhaps this closet was designed/installed for that bedroom-type purpose.

Whatever the case may be, rather than take it out and have to move the thermostat and shift walls and the like, I have added more shelves and now use the space for storing table linens and other dining room things. Oh, and my yoga stuff.

To keep the space contained and looking less like a hole in the wall where I throw things, I've made a quilty covering for it.

Really just a long, narrow, curtain-y type covering, but yummier. I made it from scrappy strips left over from other projects then framed it in brown and cream.

And because I knew this project was just for me and my house, I got really brave and tried some free-motion quilting with a variegated thread. Here's a close up.

Again, it's yummy. And I loves it.

(Okay, first, I'm proud of the piece. Second, I'm proud of the quilting and thread. And third, I am seriously chuffed about the close up shot working out so I love my new camera, too! Woot!)

Happy Tuesday, M

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Gift That Got Given

Remember this little cutie? I finally finished it.

I gifted it, along with a couple of red champagne flutes and a bottle of Chardonay, as a picnic blanket. They loved it and that makes it all the more wonderful for me.

I really like the back of it, too. Using just what I had on hand, I pieced it and I would use this side as often as the other.

You can see a bit of my quilting on the back, too, of which I was also very proud.

All in all, it's a great piece and I'm so glad it has a loving home.

Happy Thursday, M

Monday, January 05, 2009

What I Did On My Christmas Holiday

Well, hello there and welcome to 2009! Yes, I am indeed a bit behind, (not really unusual) but I've been on holidays from work so I decided I'd be on holidays from blogging, too.

I wish I could tell you I was on a break from my house, too, because I might not be so tired today. Still, I always like the results of my home reno work so I guess I can't really complain (much).

Here's a few shots of home improvement stuff going on this past while.

This is the spare bedroom, also known as the heinous cavern of darkness.

Yes, that's a very dark purple on the walls. Yuck. I like purple for many things, bedroom wall colour is not one of them.

After a week that nearly broke me physically, it now looks like this.

All it took was three coats of primer, two coats of colour, new flooring, new baseboards, new curtains, and lots and lots of sweat (but fortunately no tears). I was exhausted by the end of it but oh so happy with how it turned out.

There was a work party at my house, too.

That's Mom working on the sewing machine to finish a slip cover, David working on the saw for baseboards in the living and dining rooms, and Emmett contributing his two cents into every project.

Speaking of Mom and the slip cover, my orange chair (remember the retina-burning foot stool?) had actually become a much-loved piece of furniture despite the colour. Tucked into a corner with a lamp, a comfy cushion and a hand-knit shawl, it has been a cozy place to stitch, read, sip tea, or cuddle with cats. I was even getting used to the colour, sort of.

But now it looks like this:

Still comfy, cozy and inviting but so much lighter and prettier thanks to Mom's magic.

Even with all this activity going on to improve the house, I still managed to squeeze in a lot of craft time - like between coats of paint drying. (I'll post some pix very soon.) We also had a Solstice Dinner on the 21st and it was grand to have friends over to celebrate.

All in all, I'd say it was a lovely festive season.

Now let's get on with 2009. Sailor thinks we should start by defrosting the freezer.

Goofy kitty!
Happy January, M