Wednesday, August 31, 2016

what I've been up to, Pt 2


Getting geared up and organized for school. Buying used textbooks and new pens. And skinny jeans. Organizing our school carts. I've decided I need one more cart. For me! Adding it to the IKEA list.

We attend a Christian homeschool hybrid academy for the last two years. We absolutely love it. However, it snuck up on me this year. Even though everyone else I know has been back in school for several weeks. I cannot think how the whole summer has actually got by me like this. Was I clubbed over the head? Did I fall through a wormhole?

Y'all. I have a high schooler this year. NOT POSSIBLE.


Pretty paper in your binder covers helps make up for some shocks to the system. A bit. Totally justifies hoarding all those gorgeous Rifle Paper Company calendars I've bought over the years. They make capital binder inserts! Cut to fit and slip it in. Tired of the picture? Whip it out and put another in.

Undoubtedly buying another pretty pretty one this fall for future binders! Have you seen that Geninne Zlatkis has a Feathered Friends calendar out? Sold!


Also I have been furniture shopping because my well-loved leather sofa and loveseat now have tape on the cushions covering actual holes. TAPE, people. My mother would be shocked and appalled. But not duct tape. I draw the line there. Because clear packing tape is way more classy.

Worn out furniture kind of snuck up on me too. That's my theme this summer, I guess. So this^ is the gray fabric for the new sofa and loveseat (left) and blue fabric for the chair (middle). I get pillows thrown in also so I chose the mustard dot (right) for those. Now I have to wait several weeks for the new stuff to arrive so I'd better put a fresh patch of tape on the couch in case company comes.


In entertainment news, I read this book recently. Wow. I loved it. Such a well-crafted and delightfully creepy story! I recommend it to you. I'm trying out The Nightingale at the moment.




It's possible I've been burning an inordinate amount of time on South Korean dramas. I'm hooked bigtime. Both my girls lean over my shoulder to see what I'm watching on Netflix and if they see subtitles they immediately roll their eyes and groan "not another Korean drama!". What do they know, anyway? I keep insisting to them it's educational. I know how to say 'hey', 'hello', 'no', 'wait a minute', 'thank you', 'I'm sorry', and 'yes, your majesty' in Korean. I'm burning with curiosity to taste kimchi.

Anyway, the dramas are not all fantastic of course but I have seen some really great ones! The pacing is set on slow and the acting style can be a bit over the top, so brace yourself. I think I might be slightly in love with Yoo Ah In. *eyes drifting up and to the side, dreamy smile*
If you are curious I highly recommend: Moon Embracing The Sun (top photo), The Slave Hunters (middle photo) and Sungkyunkwan Scandal (bottom photo).
(Yoo Ah In plays the role of Moon Jae Shin in Sungkyunkwan Scandal. He's adorable.)


And of course I've watched Stranger Things along with the rest of humanity. Dug it so much. High fives to Winona Rider! She was so fantastic. I confess I had to watch some of it with a pillow over my face. All the 80s nostalgia (man, those clothes and hairdos were spot-on) and a government conspiracy worthy of the X-files. Thumbs up! I never did play Dungeons and Dragons but I tell you I was friends with exactly the same type of close-knit nerd boys who did.

Monday, August 29, 2016

what I've been up to, Pt 1


Y'all, thanks so much for your very encouraging comments about my first talk in Madison! Here is my report:

1) No one left
2) No one threw anything
3) I did not throw up or faint

So, it's all good. The Madison Station Quilt Guild folks were very gracious to me. And so talented! I really enjoyed seeing their quilt creations. And I got to show them some very cute childhood pictures of my big sister (their quilt guild president), Leigh Hubbard. She loved that part! 

I will take a few mental pointers with me to the next talk I am forced am privileged to give (if in fact I ever have to decide to do that again). Like that it's very important to have the laptop with your Powerpoint presentation in front of you and not behind. Sorry to those who had a hard time hearing me as I constantly turned around.

Photo above is Team Holland that same week at my beautiful niece Jamie's wedding. L to R, Thing 2, Schmoopie, Yours Truly, Thing 1. OK my dress. Yes, that's a tunic from Target. She was married outside. In August. In Alabama. I'll just let you think about that for a minute. Combine in your mind pavement liquifying heat with 400% humidity and then imagine yourself wearing a form fitting evening dress with a satin lining and Spanx for several hours. NOPE.

After purchasing and returning several dresses, I thought the tunic was genius because:
a) it in no way touched any part of my body except at the shoulders
b) it's lightweight
c) it has strategic placement of dark blue insets under the arms to disguise unladylike amounts of sweat
d) it's not a black dress at a wedding, which is the only other color that would have been feasible under the circumstances, since I tend to 'glow' more than other ladies

The low heeled shoes pictured were not supposed to actually be on my feet at the wedding but after several trips back and forth over uneven brick pathways and grassy lawns I wisely decided my (much more elegant) platform wedges would be suicide.


The modified tunic was too short for a dress, so I made this decorative slip to go under it at the last minute, which in hindsight was not as cute as I'd hoped, but it worked. It would've looked better to have a more full, ruffly hem. Duly noted.


More importantly, here's my radiant and very happily married niece and her Prince Charming, Isaac. Their personal vows of marriage were just beautiful. I'm so happy for both of them! In the background note my great nephew ring bearer (6) 'encouraging' my great niece flower girl (4) to come with him down the aisle like she was supposed to. She declined. It's a girl's prerogative.

I spent part of my summer break designing Jamie and Isaac's wedding invitations, luncheon invitations, and wedding fans. I will photograph them and show you! I love how they turned out.

Have you missed me here lately? It's been hard to post regularly this summer. Here I thought I'd have heaps of free time for a few months. Instead it's been like a blur of activity. I'm still kind of shocked school break is actually over. Feeling a bit grumpy about that, in fact. Like I've been cheated somehow. Must get over that and get on with Things!

More of what I've been up to coming soon!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

giving my first talk


Putting together a display board for my Twelve Days series of ornaments. It's a good thing I'm only up to number 7 or I'd have to make another board. I'm thinking when the series is complete I'll need an actual white Christmas tree especially for them (instead of foam core).


The display (and these bags of samples) are for a talk I'm giving at the Madison Station Quilt Guild meeting next week and I don't mind telling you I'm a little (VERY) nervous about it. Talking. Out loud. About my stuff. In front of actual people. My sister is currently serving as guild president so she'll be there for moral support or perhaps to heckle me from the front row.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

curated felt color collection for Goose a-Laying ornaments


Photo courtesy of Benzie Design

Tada! It's the official Goose a-Laying color collection featuring Benzie Design's lovely wool felt! If you'd like to make ornaments like mine shown above, Benzie makes it easy by providing this bundle for you. Sorry sorry sorry this took so long for me to put together! Better late than never, right? See below for the specific colors and floss numbers.

Benzie felt colors in this collection are:
Aqua
Icicle
Blue
Cyan
Periwinkle
Coral
Fuchsia
Cotton Candy
Copper
Orange


You can also add matching floss to your felt bundle when you purchase, via the drop down menu. Matching floss comes in very handy when you sew the ornament pieces together.


This color collection is the final one in the series of six different wool felt color collections for my Twelve Days series of ornaments, curated by me and put together for you by Benzie Design! Six color collections means two ornament patterns per color collection:

1) Partridge & Pear + Swan a-Swimming
2) Turtle Dove + Maid a-Milking
3) French Hen + Drummer Drumming
4) Colly Bird + Piper Piping
5) Gold Ring + Lady Dancing
6) Goose a-Laying + Lord a-Leaping

You can go to my Twelve Days resource page if you'd like to see and read more. Now for the color guides:


Benzie Felt Color and DMC Floss Color Guide for Goose a-Laying CORAL/PINK sample:

Goose: 
Wing and body back: Cotton Candy
Body front: Coral
Beak, wing inset and nest: Copper
Neck band: Fuchsia
Straw: Orange
Flower and tail feathers: Periwinkle

Egg:
Front: Cotton Candy
Front inset: Copper
Back: Coral

DMC floss colors for the decorative embroidery: 

Goose:
DMC white
DMC black (eye)
DMC 154 very dark plum
DMC 156 periwinkle
DMC 718 fuchsia
DMC 818 very light pink
DMC 892 coral 
DMC 919 copper

Egg:
DMC 818 very light pink
DMC 154 very dark plum
DMC 947 orange
DMC 156 periwinkle
DMC 718 fuchsia

And then of course you'll need the matching flosses to sew the ornament parts together.


Benzie Felt Color and DMC Floss Color Guide for Goose a-Laying AQUA/BLUE sample:

Goose:
Wing: Icicle
Body front and back: Aqua
Beak, flower, and straw: Periwinkle
Neck band and tail feathers: Cyan
Wing inset and nest: Blue

Egg:
Front: Periwinkle
Front inset: Blue
Back: Aqua

DMC floss colors for the decorative embroidery: 

Goose:
DMC black (eye)
DMC 823 very dark blue
DMC 793 periwinkle
DMC 919 copper
DMC 946 orange
DMC 783 golden yellow
DMC 3846 light turquoise
DMC 3844 turquoise
DMC 3807 dark periwinkle

Egg:
DMC white
DMC 3846 light turquoise
DMC 946 orange
DMC 783 golden yellow
DMC 3844 turquoise (number on back)
DMC 823 very dark blue (word on back)

And then of course you'll need the matching flosses to sew the ornament parts together.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Spongebob softies by Thing 2




Summer making has been in full swing recently for my youngest daughter. She's 12. I'm in awe of her creative drive. Once she gets an idea in her head she powers forward and it's amazing how fast she designs and makes these softies.


This is the first Plankton she made. He is now MIA. I suspect the vacuum cleaner might know something.



She hand sewed them from felt, fleece, embroidery floss, and pipe cleaners. She just makes up her own patterns.



I despair of her craft organization skills though. She never keeps her patterns or supplies in any kind of order and the OCD portion of my brain goes into a tailspin as I'm constantly finding tiny pattern pieces on the carpet, her seam ripper in the couch cushions, her needles laying on the kitchen counter and fretting to myself 'this is an important piece, she is going to lose it'.




(Look at Mr Krab's nose!)

It doesn't seem to bother her at all to lose pattern pieces or parts. At least not enough to mend her ways. She just whips out another one. She's kind of like a crafting version of Pigpen. Only instead of a cloud of dirt around her it's a tangle of floss ends and bits of stuffing and tiny scraps of felt. She literally leaves a trail through the house.

(In fairness I have to add this is exactly why I was banned from the house as a preteen by my long suffering mother. She finally got smart and set up a crafting studio for me in our garage to save our living room carpet. So right now she's probably nodding and saying something like 'yes, it's exasperating, isn't it, dearest?' followed by the lighthearted chuckle of someone who no longer lives with Pigpen Sr.)



And lastly, some accessories to go with the softies: a spatula for Spongebob, a ray gun for Plankton (slightly angrier version 2.0 seen here), and of course Patrick's secret box that contains a picture of Spongebob at the office Christmas party.


A portrait of the artist with her big sister in the background there. I was looking at her earlier versions of Spongebob softies and she's come pretty far in three years.

I hope you are having some summer crafting fun! We are cherishing the days. How can it be almost August?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

the black swan color guide


Hey, I've had some requests about the black/grey Swan a-Swimming sample I made so I thought I'd put this color guide together for you. This one actually combines felts from Benzie Design and Felt On The Fly.

Benzie Design wool felt colors:

Body and flower center: Black
Wings: Graphite
Neck band: Moss

Felt On the Fly wool felt colors:

Beak and inner flower petals: Shrimp
Outer flower petals: Orange Red
Water: Sea Green

DMC contrast decorative floss colors:

DMC white
DMC 606 orange red
DMC 943 teal
DMC 3851 lighter teal (neck band)
DMC 581 olive green (on the wing)
DMC 580 olive green (on the body)

And of course you'll also need matching thread or floss to sew the felt parts together.
Have fun sewing!


Sunday, July 17, 2016

curated felt color collection for Swan a-Swimming ornaments


See below for the official color guides to make these ornaments!


Palette photos courtesy of Benzie Design

Time for the official color guide for the Swan a-Swimming sample ornaments! If you are new to my Twelve Days ornament series you may not know that Benzie Design offers lovely bundles of felt and floss that coordinate perfectly with my Twelve Days ornament samples! The photo above is the (updated) bundle for Partridge & Pear/Swan a-Swimming. I did sub in one new color for a color that was unused before. I took Carmine out and put in Peacock! Isn't it a pretty palette? And didn't Renae do a great job on her Partridge & Pear ornaments?

Benzie felt colors in the felt bundle:
1) Swan
2) Moss
3) Fern
4) Mustard
5) Ochre
6) Orange
7) Cotton Candy
8) Magenta
9) Burgundy
10) Peacock

You can add matching floss to your bundle when you purchase via the drop down menu, which comes in very handy to sew the ornaments together and will save you some time and squinting. (Or am I the only one who squints when I'm color matching?)

There will be* a total of SIX different curated color palettes to choose from at Benzie's Etsy shop. That means that starting with this Swan a-Swimming ornament I'll be repeating the color palettes:

1/7) Partridge & Pear + Swan a-Swimming
2/8) Turtle Dove + Maid a-Milking
3/9) French Hen + Drummer Drumming
4/10) Colly Bird + Piper Piping
5/11) Gold Ring + Lady Dancing
6/12) Goose a-Laying + Lord a-Leaping

*I say 'will be' because I'm extremely late with the bundle for Goose a-Laying (sorry!) but that will be available soon! I'm working on it right now! I think you'll love it.

BENZIE FELT COLOR AND DMC FLOSS GUIDE FOR THE PINK SWAN A-SWIMMING:


Body front and back: Cotton Candy
Wings: Magenta
Water: Swan
Beak: Orange
Neck Band: Burgundy
Flower Outer Ring: Swan
Flower Inner Ring: Peacock
Flower Center: Burgundy

Decorative embroidery floss colors for the pink one:
DMC black (eye)
DMC white (water ripple)
DMC 3609 very light pink
DMC 3845 turquoise
DMC 154 very dark plum
DMC 947 orange
DMC 3804 magenta
DMC 741 school bus orange

(NOTE: You'll also need matching floss colors, available as an add-on to the Benzie felt bundle)

BENZIE FELT COLOR AND DMC FLOSS GUIDE FOR THE YELLOW SWAN A-SWIMMING:


Body front and back: Ochre
Wings: Mustard
Water: Peacock
Beak: Moss
Neck Band: Swan
Flower Outer Ring: Moss
Flower Inner Ring: Fern
Flower Center: Orange

Decorative embroidery floss colors for the yellow one:
DMC black (eye)
DMC white
DMC 934 very dark olive
DMC 3845 turquoise
DMC 947 orange
DMC 937 olive

(NOTE: You'll also need matching floss colors, available as an add-on to the Benzie felt bundle)

And there you have it! Check my shop if you'd like to purchase the Swan a-Swimming pattern. A big thank you to Renae at Benzie Design for putting those handy felt and matching floss bundles together!