Sunday, July 26, 2009

Inspiration, Christmas Gifts and a New Project

We visited my SIL's in-laws for a July 4th picnic. I knew her MIL is a knitter, but I didn't know she did crewel work too. This stunning mirror greeted me when I went into their bathroom. She stitched this over 20 years ago. I fell in love with it.
Here is a close-up of one the corners. Someday I want to make a similar mirror for me.
Now that some of my swap packages have been received and opened, I can share a few of the projects I've been working on lately.

I participated in Stephanie's and Linda's Christmas in July swap.
Lurline was my partner.
I made her this table runner.
And this stocking.
Mrs. Martin hosted a Christmas in July swap too.
Vanessa was my partner.
This Santa became a Christmas ornament.
I also made her this table runner.
I'm still in a crocheting mode. I started crocheting a sweater for Mr. E. This is the first time I've crocheted clothing and so far I'm happy with it, even though this is just the back and I still have both fronts and both sleeves to make.
And speaking of Mr. E, he spent the weekend with us so mommy and daddy could celebrate their wedding anniversary. Yesterday we took him to an art and music festival in town. It was his first time in our stroller. He had a good time and showed it with wonderful smiles.
This week I need to work on pillowcases for Mr. E's day care. They paid for the supplies and I'm donating my time. I'm making ten 25" x 25" pillowcases with bright, happy, child prints. Should be lots of fun.

Sweet P

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Studio Tour and Flower Photos

I worked on my studio this week. I'm not quite done, but at least I can show you how it looks right now.

Here is the view from the door. Vacation purchases are put away. Do you see the three boxes on the table? They are wooden boxes with a small chalkboard on them. I haven't decided if I'm going to use them in the studio or for storing Mr. E's toys. They were a bargain find at JoAnn's this week.
Here's my work table and island. I cleaned out the storage area of the island. I had several plastic tubs and plastic bags with quilt projects in them. The tubs stayed in the cupboard. I had space to put my paper crafting supplies on the bottom shelf of the cupboard.
This is my "storage" wall. I need to sort out the books. The massage chair cushion is still waiting for a good home somewhere in our house. It is sitting on an antique sewing table that is also waiting to find it's perfect use. You can almost see the plastic storage unit I also got at JoAnn's. I put the plastic bags of projects in it. In the black bag I have put my yarn projects. The cubbies hold various items: office supplies; the fabric baskets hold sewing notions, my stitching supplies and small projects. On the bottom shelf are binders with projects and printouts from quilt classes.
Back in June, Stephanie of Loft Creations wrote a post about her passion for bags. I bookmarked it because I wanted to show how I store my bags. I don't have a design wall. Instead I have a display wall. I use 3M Command Adhesive Hooks to hang bags, ornaments and other gifts I've received in swaps. I'm always inspired when I look at the wall.

When we were on vacation I started playing with the various settings on my digital camera. I've always been and "auto" setting photographer and recently discovered the other settings. While DH was playing golf I took a couple photos of flowers using the flower setting. I think these photos are cool.

I hope you're having a great weekend. Mr. E is spending the weekend with us. Grampa Boo will be home soon and then we are going to a art and music festival in town.

Sweet P

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Looking For Organizing Tips

When we moved into our condo last year I was thrilled to have my own quilt studio. Every few months I take the time to clean or reorganize it.

Now that I'm also doing crocheting, paper crafts, cross stitching and other types of sewing I realize I need to reorganize my studio to accommodate these new activities.

I started working in the studio this morning. First I worked through the piles that greeted me when I looked into the room. See them on the floor? They represent my vacation shopping as well as a few of the swap packages I've received in the last several weeks.
45 minutes later the piles are sorted through. A few of the items have been put away. Most of them are sorted into piles on my sewing table. The black bag is full of yarn, there is a stack of fabric, and three piles of patterns: crochet, cross stitch and sewing. The pile on the island contains two quilts, fabric for pillowcases and scrap booking supplies.
This is what the other wall looks like still. The bookcase and shelving need weeding and cleaning. The stool needs to be come a stool again. The closet is overflowing.
I have a few ideas of how I want the space to be . . .

My sewing table will stay a sewing table, but I need it to function as a desk too. The island provides a great standing work space for cutting, sorting and laying out projects. The biggest change for that piece would be to clean out the storage cupboard and use the shelf space better. I have two closets along one wall. One closet is currently 99% fabric. The other closet has some fabric and batting in it. Ideally I would like to create a storage system in the closets for fabric, yarn, trims and paper crafting items.

Now I'm stuck - and this is where I need your advice. If your sewing space has more than one purpose tell me, (or even better, show me) how your space is set up. Do you have it set up in zones? How do you store your different tools and toys? I'd love to get some ideas on how to make my space work better for me.

If you write a blog post about your space, please include it in your comments. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love to see your space.


Sweet P

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

FRIENDS Swap and Morning Inspiration

I opened my FRIENDS swap package from Nichole yesterday. She sent me lots of wonderful goodies. F: a Fun, Family Frame; R - Recipe Box; I - Irrestistably Yummy Fabric; E - as in Mr. E (rubber duckies); N - Notions, pin cushion and pins, D - Dark Chocolate; and S - a Strawberry Kiwi Candle. Thanks for a great package, Nichole.
On Saturday DIL and I took a series of photos of Mr. E. Last night an inspiration hit me to make those photos into a little book. This morning I was awake at 5:30 thinking about the book and had to get up and make it. Please enjoy it!

Sorry for the grainy photos. I'm playing with the Text photo option on my camera and took a lot of photos hoping to get the best ones.

Have a great day!

PS - If It's Tuesday . . . it must be chicken contest on my At Home blog is delayed until Thursday this week. My work schedule is different this week and I don't have Mr. E until then. Please send us more recipes. We're having fun choosing the new recipe each week.

Sweet P

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vacation Goodies

I'm finally catching up from being on vacation. We had a wonderful time. I'm happy to report I spent less than $150 on fibers, fabrics and books. If I could make one comment to store owners: if you close your brick and mortar store, please say so on your website. I was looking forward to visiting a needlework shop and a quilt shop in one town and learned both stores had been closed at least one year. I was disappointed, but spent my money in the local yarn shop instead.

First up - my fiber buys. Four skeins of baby yarn, three hanks of hand-dyed floss and 20 handmade wooden spools. I'm going to use the spools for my specialty flosses.
This is free panel I got at one of the quilt shops.
I think it will be great wall hanging to help out Mr. E when Grampa is traveling.
Mr. E's nursery is decorated with Winnie-The-Pooh.
I found this Pooh Christmas stocking panel for $2 and couldn't resist.
These two fabric pieces were bargain buys. The top piece will become a backing. The bottom piece is a super soft brushed cotton. The piece is over 3 yards long. I'm going to use it to make a table set for our dining room table. There's plenty for placemats and napkins.
Here are my other fabric buys. The footballs, robots and music fabric were a special buy - buy one meter, get two meters free. The red, pink and purple fabrics were picked out by DH with instructions to make something for me. The Happy Birthday and cake fabric were fun fabrics and the only items for which I paid full price. The pink and blue FQs are also just for fun. The fabric with the sheep on top is a stack of wool nickels.
Being on a crochet kick I spent my pattern hunting time looking for crochet patterns. The two Crochet Today magazines and 24-Hour Crochet Projects books were clearance buys at a yarn shop. I found Crocheted Accessories in a bookstore in Saint John for less than $5. Girligami is a book I've been wanting for some time. It will provide a fun afternoon or two or three for DIL and I to play with paper.
I met two on-line friends while on vacation. Each of them gave me a goodie package. One friend gave me two Australian magazines, a Needlework Project book, a redwork pattern and a charm pack. The other friend gave me a cup tote bag and two different needle and thread keepers.
I certainly have plenty to keep me busy, don't I? But before I can get started on any projects I need to clean up the studio. When Mr. E was born and we started having visitors we rearranged the living room and my studio. Our small sleep sofa went into the studio and my sewing table moved into the living room. Yesterday the furniture was put back in place. However the studio is overrun with my purchases and other goodies and there is no place to work right now. Cleaning and reorganizing is on tomorrow's To Do list.

Sweet P

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Vacation Update

We are 5 days into our vacation and having a fun time. We arrived in Bangor late Wed. afternoon and chilled out for the evening. On Thursday morning we walked around downtown Bangor. That afternoon DH took a nap while I took myself on a little shop hop (more about that in another post). Thursday night DH and I went to dinner at Longhorn Restaurant. On DH's suggestion we ordered dessert first - a wonderful Golden Nugget Fried Cheesecake sundae. It was a great way to start dinner. We've decided to make it a tradition on our vacation to have dessert first for at least one meal.
Friday was our trip to Bar Harbor, ME to have a late breakfast with an on-line quilt friend of mine, Maggie. I've known her for four years and even though we only live three hours apart and she comes to NH at least once a year, we've never met. She brought me a bag of goodies that included two Australian magazines, a needlework book, a Redwork pattern, and a package of charm squares.
I made her this couch companion and included two FQs and some chocolates.
The weather was still cloudy and gloomy at Bar Harbor.
I took a couple of photos of boats in the harbor.
I love this photo. I'm thinking I may enlarge it and hang it up somewhere.
Today we are off to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of some friends and then on to Saint John, NB.

I hope everyone had a great July 4th and/or a lovely weekend.

Sweet P