Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Festivus bringing out the best in us...


First of all check out this sweater.. up till midnight last night trying to throw it together.


I am literally slumped up against my couch writing this... Looking at the clock I've calculated 4 solid hours of baking tonight. Its hard to believe... when I compare to the 8 hours I sit at work I just spent HALF of that whole time baking.

Whoa.

How does it go so fast? Its a rhythm that I find in the kitchen where the hours melt away and the creativity rises and flows like the smells of gingerbread cupcakes in the oven.

I love trying new things and tonight I nailed off two new to me items. Chocolate creme brule! Finally... of course I only did this because I purchased a torch a few days ago to try these babies:



Yes... those.. are.. S'more cupcakes. I nearly fell off my chair when I stumbled across them on Sally's Baking Addiciton. Her recipe is pretty good. These suckers a quite involved so I recommend sitting down and really reading the recipe first a few times before cracking in.



The topping is this amazing marshmallow like mixture topping and then you torch and brown the tops like a toasted 'mellow. Bloody brillant right? They will be on sale tomorrow at work as I continue my Cakes for Cancer campaign to raise money for my friends kid who got diagnosed with ALL ( acute lymphblastic Leukemia ) a few weeks ago.  Its brought out the fight in me and energy to bake till I drop and trying to come up with creative ways to help her through this journey.

Did I mention I felt like a super bad ass baker using the torch. Its like a super power.



The other new favorite recipe that I pulled out tonight is also from her website. Gingerbread cupcakes and I've made a cinnamon buttercream to go on top. Although I'm not actually big on gingerbread itself I cannot contain myself to eat these... " Oh darn I stuck my finger in that one... I better eat it...." You get my drift. These little beauties are coming to my knit night social informal christmas party aka Sugar and Candys Trunk show... ( seriously check her bags out I dare you not to buy )


I've got a good stack of recipes still to pull out for the season. Chocolate gingerbread and my mom's famous winter crock pot trail mix.

What are your favorite winter festivus recipes?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Felt Gingerbread Men Tutorial


I went to the block watch meeting this week on my street. Someone asked where I lived. I responded the house with the Christmas Lights ( Kahuna puts them up November 11th in the afternoon EVERY year ) I immediately  got the nickname "Christmas Lights" when people were referring to me... Oh well its not like Christmas spirit is bad is it?

Back at my house away from the scowling neighbors I've been messing in the craft room and making these and boy are they piling up right now. Ever feel like something you've made has life or.. character? When I finish these I smile right back at them.


Want to make some? Of course you do!

Here is what you'll need.


- the template sheet at the bottom of this post
- brown felt, approx. 6 x 7 in (15 x 18 cm)
- red felt, approx. 1.5 x 1.5 in (4 x 4 cm)
- white felt, approx. 1 x 3 in (2.5 x 8 cm)
- Two black 5mm mini brads and ( optional ) two pink 5mm mini brads
- red, brown and white embroidery floss or sewing thread
- ribbon 10 inches ( 25 cm )
- stuffing and a chopstick, pencil or other small stuffing tool
- needle, pen and a pair of scissors




1.      For the Gingermen : Use the Templates provided below and cut out two Gingerbread bodies, two red buttons or small circles of red felt cut into button shapes. 
For the Gingerladies: Use the Template provided and cut out two Gingerbread bodies, one heart shape. OPTIONAL: You may prefer the look of felt stripes instead of ric-rac.



2.      Using a pencil or pen draw lightly the shape of the mouth and placement of the eyes and the cheeks. Taking three stands of embroidery floss sew along your mouth line in a back-stitch.
 

3.      Insert your eye brads and cheek brads (optional) brads. I like to take my big fat darning needle and poke it into the felt and wiggle it around making a little larger hole so I can get my brads through. Flare out the legs on the wrong side of the felt to keep it in place.




4.      Take 3 strands of red floss and sew on your Gingerbread persons buttons or heart using a running stitch or a stitch of your desire. Looking adorable already eh?



5.      Take 1 strand of white embroidery floss or sewing thread and sew on the ric-rac with running stitch in desired places. I make mine longer than I need to and then cut it down.


6.      Place the front and back Gingerbread body pieces together and sew around the edge with running stitch in 3 strands of brown sewing floss.
hide your stitch in between your layers

Pin your ribbon in the middle at the head where your ornament will hang by. Flip back and forth as you sew to ensure you are catching both sides of body to help keep your stitching neat on both sides.

Leave a gap large enough for your finger and stuff the Gingerbread Person with the stuffing. Then sew up the remaining gap with continued running stitch. I like to hide my finishing knot in between the two layers by wrapping a loop around a stitch between the layers of felt and creating the knot there.






TEMPLATE <-- clicky="">

This tutorial is for non commercial use only: You can use it to make as many Gingerbread people as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don't make any for commercial sale. If you want to blog about this please remember to credit me and link back to the original source.

Oh and send me picks of your adorable gingerbread peoples.


AND if you are too lazy to make them you can buy them here

AAAaaaaand if you want to make one but don't have the supplies you can buy here

Well I should get back to my tree skirt!! I got a long ways to go!

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

This years costume... Headless bride a little late.. Oh well.

This years costume has been on my radar for some while. I've seen variations of it on the internet but I've just not had enough time to prepare...
 Until now.
It started with finding the perfect dress and that is hard to do without bleeding yourself dry ( pun intended ) after many failed thrift stores I had found myself at the local value village calling Kahuna for a sound board over a $50 dollar dress.. Can't lie. It was awesome but I knew I had to out at least a other 20-30 dollars more in accessories and paints etc. We agreed I should keep trying.


I ended up scoring one at salvation army for $15!! However while taping up my best friend in a long sleeved with duct tape to get the body form... I had to cut it off her body and with doing that a 20 dollar bra got snipped off. Whooooops!!!!

That sucked don't drink and craft friends.....





After that I stuffed it with the grocery bags that seem to reproduce in my closet and made homemade paper mache and slapped that on.. Followed by a paint job and some gloves filled with polyester filling and pipe cleaners it all came together in about a week. Oh and I shoves PVC pipe up the torso and that was tapped into a backpack.



I was the only one at my office dressed up... Ugh..however I went out for lunch and got all kinds of great reactions downtown and of course the kids this year at our house lost it!! Some of them stopped walking because they couldn't quite figure out what they were seeing.

This was  totally one of my favorite's now I've already begun next years plans. 





Monday, 10 November 2014

Do you like sneaking in quickies?

http://www.etsy.com/listing/67801993/awesome-hand-painted-sign
I have a dirty secret I have kept my Kahuna this weekend… I had… a secret.. quickie. He went away this weekend for a hockey tournament and decided to indulge in my quickie about an hour before he came home… I just couldn’t help myself! I try to be good but sometimes… quickies gotta happen. Let me be less economical with the truth. I suffer from jumping craft to craft. There must be 6 ...8....10 projects on the go across the craft spectrum. Some are a long term commitment ( that pies and tarts quilt will ONE DAY be finished.. one year maybe is better term?) and others are shorter terms ( HST quilt ALMOST DONE!) and a sweater I have been working on.. but nothing has been finished in ages. There is like zero sense of accomplishment and it gets to the point when I walk into my craft room I just stare at the projects more than I work on them.. and then I avoid them.. because I am so far away.. I NEED TO FINISH something.

 I need to feel like “ Yes I can finish” “ Yes I am accomplishing stuff” “ why yes I have finished something recently.” So I needed a fix… another project.

 However whenever I have been found stroking a new pattern or ball of yarn in my room Kahuna will softly say “ do you need to start another? Maybe you should finish that quilt first??? I’m just saying..” I know he is right.. but he doesn’t understand..

Back to him being gone….

A co worker put out a call to sew together some doggie jackets for Dogs at risk on the street and since I’ve decided this is the “ Month of YES” I said YES!!! And then sneaked in a my quickie and I feel like I’m back in the saddle. Phew. And.. He still doesn’t know. Mwahahahahaha! Back to the HST quilt le sigh.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Wedding Disney Centre Piece Jars



 
a handful of the 65 jars!!

I had been scouring pintrest for ideas months ago and wanted something original and fun for my tables. After some brain storming and idea picking I came up with these. We choose about 20 different Disney quotes and twine from home depot.. Jars from my parents basement and some gold paint. I ended up using oil based sharpies. This is a must!!! These also worked out as bonus wedding favours for family.
Before I added the twine...
much better with the oil based sharpie!
test run... see what happens when you use a regular sharpie??

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Schizocraftia



Over the years I have formulated from life experience, inner realization and friend and family support that I've had to come to an admittance.. I have an issue... and finally have self diagnosed myself with an affliction... Schizocraftia.


You may have heard me mention this word a few times.. and I use it in person. Its very fitting you may not know that it means... but if you craft the chances are.. You know EXACTLY what I mean when I say it.

Now you  may ask yourself what is this? How did it happen and most importantly...DO I HAVE IT? 

Do not fret... or maybe you should.. maybe your husbands and partners should. I'm not certain there is a cure.. but I don't think its contagious. Ok I lie it's contagious.

Be afraid, be very afraid for this affliction is very very infectious. One it grabs roots there is NO going back. I have seen friends fall from the graces of norm society into the fabric filled dungeons of craft tutorial jungles and turn into Pintresting craft-aholic junkies. 



I've created a series of questions to help establish your status.


 Please keep track of your points. AND honestly people... keep it real.



1.) You have skipped meals because you are too busy making things. one point

2.) You have been late for appointments, work etc because you have been crafting. one point

3.) Have have done both 1. and 2. in the same day. two additional points

4.) You have started a new project even though you have 5 unfinished ones... because this one will be quick right? one point

5.) You understand that crafting is about WANT not NEED. one point

6.) You have more drawers full of fabric/crafting supplies than you do clothing. two points

7.) You own more than 4 pairs of scissors.            two point

8.) You have a "special" pair of scissors.  one point



9.) Your sewing machine has a name. one point for each machine

10.) You read that and thought that is a great idea. one point

11) You have fabric that is older than your children/job/pet. two points and additional 3 points if you have fabric older than you.

12) You feel nervous bringing home new stuff in case your partner notices. "MORE? Really?"  two points

 13) Some days you secretly wish you didn't require sleep so you could get more done. one point

14) You have pulled more than one 4am'er so you can finish before your deadline. two points

15) Your inability to walk past a craft store without "just a peek" one point

16) You go to craft fairs and end up holding out buying things because you think you can make it cheaper AND better. one point

17) You do or have spent more on crafts than food. two points
( actual food bill on the left... actual Michaels bill on the right..... 'nuff said )

18) You would rather spend more on crafts than food. one point

19) Your stash will out live you.



20) You have more glue and tape in your supply cupboard than your significant others tool box....( and they are kinda jealous about that.) one point

21) You've have had the equivelent to road rage... which I will call Machine rage... if you don't understand this.. you probably haven't had it. one point

22) You own a small rain forest of books and magazines... and have managed to complete at least 2 projects from them.
3 additional points of you have NEVER made something from your books/magazines.





OK so here is your diagnoses... 

0-8 points- Craftitis- appears your safe from the full blown affliction, however you may be showing early signs of schizocraftia. You must be vigilant of your symptoms to maintain this level or this shit can spread like field fire. Seriously its like a bad rash.. Talk to friends and family to keep an eye out for you. No need to hide the credit card yet.

9-15 points - Craft-omia- You've probably lost sleep over crafts before... or maybe lost your cool... maybe your craft rage fits have been mistaken for hormonal mood swings by your partner. You're probably the person people come up to at work and ask random craft questions to " So .. can you make this chip bag into a re-useable diaper" You're self control is admired by fellow Schizocraftians they remember when they were like you, but they silently laugh as they know you are in too deep. They envy your ability to stay organized and  shelf space. Beware of these enablers who call themselves your friends, choose wisely my friends. This is a slippery slope indeed.

16-23- YUP Schizocraftia Welcome to the club here is your crazy card. You daydream about crafts and spend your lunch breaks working on projects.You can't watch TV or a movie without something in your hands. In fact you went back to watch "Hunger Games" TWICE in theaters to study that sweet ass sweater Catniss was wearing. DAMN thats cute eh? You're virtually always have something you've made on you and some people at work aren't sure what your name is so they just call you " Martha"  You stash crafts like a squirrel with acorns... I mean its not like fabric has an expiry date right?  Besides which your collection of hand knitted dish clothes and socks are cool.

23+ points - Schizocraftia-giantitis. You got big problems my friend.. You probably have or need a separate part of your will dedicated for your supplies. You could have your own show DOOMS DAY CRAFT STASHERS. (shit that's a good idea...) People have marked your name on their apocolpys map because you probably could make a house out of pop bottles and clothing out plastic shopping bags fused together for fabric...... in fact I bet you thought that was a cool idea didn't you?

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Skelanimals Quilt.. Another oldie but a goodie.



This is a fabric which I have a serious crush on. Not only is it in rainbow colours. but it has animals and skeletons on it! How much more awesome does this get?

One of my old favorite customers at the quilt shop wanted to make pillow cases for her Niece who was going through chemo treatments . I picked out a few different fabrics and this was one of them. She loved it sooo much she told her Aunt she wanted her WHOLE room done up on this.. Now although we can't actually do that her Aunt decided she did want a quilt done up and since she is very busy she asked me to make one up.

So I put my projector on the fabric and blew up the faces and made little appliques of the faces.


I think they turned out super . I quilted it with.... wait for it.....


GLOW IN THE DARK thread!

That stuff has seriously been sitting on my shelf for like two years and I had a great eureka moment with it. I had a ton of fun just randomly quilting just letting my needle take me to wherever.


A simple quilt but boy it was a lot of fun.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Telltales of schizocraftia.....




I was up at 7 am last weekend working away on the HST quilt. Calculating the number of inches it will be, carefully cutting the fabric and figuring out how many more tiny squares I require...  I grab the kona white to start cutting it and find myself disappointed as there is only a meter and a quarter.... I'll be shy about  half a meter to have it all cut out. WUH-WAAAh!
So I sit down to plan out how to persuade Big Kahuna to stop by the fabric store amongst our chores today.. This will be no easy task you see... I have promised to behave as we are going on holiday in less than a week and promised a buying freeze until then ... And since I have no patience I want this fabric now...
So I'm sitting... And scheming....
And I look up at my fabric... And I see white!!! I get up and pull it out... But no... Its some cheap poplin I bought from fabric land.
I sit... And scheme...
And ... I see more white!!!!! I jump up and pull open the cabinet doors and waaaaay in the back.. 2 Meters of kona baby!!!
Hells ya.. How the frank did I have all that white and not know? Better yet when did buy this? Fabric squirreling.. Another known symptom of schizocraftia. 
Do you ever find stuff in our drawers you didnt know/remember you had?! 

Sadly this happens more often than I want to admit.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Crows



I've always had a thing for crows.. as a child growing up in Oak Bay we had three hundred foot poplar trees and one massive oak tree that hundreds occasionally every year would come and congregate in. The noise if you stood in my back yard was deafening and the sight astounding! If it was winter it looked as though the trees were alive with black leaves flapping about in the wind.



I onced saved a baby crow at the age of 12 coming home from school one day. I held that bird and contimplated if I should keep it.. I could teach it to talk and train it to do tricks. But the parent crows were caa-ing from the trees and I could see that this little bird was just learning to fly and its nest was way up in the tree. I climbed the tree as high as I could.. and placed the baby crow back on the farthest branch I could even though I was CERTAIN my eyes were going to be pecked out by these black swooping parents.

aaaaaanyways, Lots of other people like crows and as I was walking to work these past few weeks I've noticed a number hovering over top of the local Floyds Resturant and 7/11.



It reminded me how more I want to play with the whole crow quilt and crow pillow pattern again. I took and drew pictures of them years ago and finally made a quilt for one of  my best friends and made a few pillows for myself.



The pictures I took the other day make me want to play with more lines.. and smaller birds maybe?? I dunno.


Very inspiring though.


ca-caaaaa



Friday, 24 January 2014

Giant doilies

There are somethings that you stumble across occasionally and make you go.. WOW. Can you imagine having something like this as like an area rug?? HOW cool would that be? I guess it'd have to be like.. under glass or plexi-glass or something in order for it to work.. OR a dining room table. I LOVE this.

Go big or go home eh?

Check out more photos HERE

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Knitting insanity!

I stumbled upon this a long long time ago.

Have you watched this commercial?? It's amazing!! Its basically one massive yarn bomb!


Natural Gas

And you should also watch the making of it. SO fun.


Monday, 20 January 2014

HST!!! but not the taxing kind..




HST... If you are from British Columbia and don't quilt this might mean something else..

but IF you quilt... this may bring images of beauty to your mind. I am currently in LOVE LOVE LOVE with HST's. I don't know when it happened... it crept up quietly... I hated them during my mystery quilt journey... but have come around to staring at awe at them... and soaking up the inspiration all over pinterest.







JUST LOOK at those cute tiny colourful trinagles! Its like... quilting lust..




However.. if you want quilting Burlesque check out this amazing lady Libs Elliott she creates an amazing jaw dropping quilts using HST's brilliant use of colour and modern edgy design even calling one of her quilts "Triangle Sex". She's practically a quilting Betty Page...it just turns my quilty senses on.
 
http://libselliott.blogspot.ca/
www.libselliott.blogspot.ca/

Shes apparently working on some patterns and I am drooling waiting for them.


I had loads of left over greens from a quilt I did earlier last year and set about to making a HST quilt. I decided to do the old school method of cutting the squares, drawing a line from corner to corner.. know what I mean?

Its... somewhere between enjoyable and dull. I'm not sure if I'm going to break out the triangulations CD yet.. but I might just to change it up for the second half of the quilt.. but its coming along quite nicely.

A friend of mine sent me another method of making HST's that I've NEVER seen or heard of before.


Monday, 13 January 2014

Block of the month...




Recently here in Victoria BC I've been part of organizing and helping establish the modern quilt guild...

When i say organising ...i'm in fact showing up to meetings and the organizing meetings... providing tea and coffee

... and not even good coffee!!! Actually i'm terrible at making coffee in fact i don't know why they even let me make coffee... But anyways i'm excited to have this happening here in Victoria and for me to be a part of it. I've already noticed that starting something like this will have growing pains and although I'm not able to commit as much time as i would like too its sure been fun to watch it grow and to speculate its potential. ... and of course am excited to at least be bringing tea and terrible coffee and the occasional good batch of cookies.

I'm sitting in my craft room the other night and working on the block of the month and I opened up my drawer of scraps and had that feeling

 " i don't want to use these!!! I had plans for theses.. kinda sorta"

 This is ridiculous... Totally stupid and ridiculous. I don't even want to take picture of the draws of scraps I have... You can see one drawer..... and that is it. 




Do not be deceived, The other drawers DO NOT look this organized. Its like my baking you can only see the pictures of the nice ones which makes me look like a baking goddess. FOOLS.
When I close the drawers I am jamming my fingers and screaming in pain getting my flanges shut in the cracks as I stuff the fabric in praying that the drawers stay closed and I won't have to resort to duct tape to keep them shut...all before anyone can notice how much I have hoarded away....

Oh shiny new project!




it was hard.. but I DID IT. I chose some fabrics.. and cut them up.. and didnt buy anything new.

That my friends is a win.

I'm really excited about using up scraps that I have been hoarding and making something interesting with it. I've done a few scrappy quilts but nothing like this.


If you live in Victoria and like to quilt or are interested in quilting....come on down and check out the modern quilt guild. I'll be there this Thursday cookies and bad coffee in hand!