Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fabric Poinsettia Ornament

Piece Name: Fabric and Oil Paint Poinsettia Ornament

I have been making a handmade ornament for my former Pastor's wife on and off since I was in our church's Youth Group. Let's just say the last time I was in Youth Group it was 1991!! So I've been doing that for quite a awhile. I can't remember if I have made something for every year between then and now, but I have done a lot of them and especially since they left the church and moved on from ours. Click here to see an example of one I made in the recent past.

I usually tuck the ornament into their Christmas card, so by necessity it has to be light weight and pretty flat. This year I went up into my quilt studio with a vague idea and sat down in front of my sewing machine. This is what I produced. It took about an hour and is my own design. For an off the cuff project I have to say I am pleased. It gives a good impression of being 3D while being very, very flat and thin. The flower uses four different fabrics with matching thread. I used a layer of embroidery stabilizer between the front and back fabrics to give it a bit of body. Because I thought the flower lacked depth I used Shiva Oil Paint Sticks to add a bit of accenting and color depth (which looks far better in person than in the photo). It was the first time I have used them. I got them for Christmas a few years ago but haven't had the occasion to use them until now. They are so cool. I have to find more uses for them!

I am kind of sad to mail this one as I like it quite a bit!

Completed: December 17, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Homemade Christmas Cards

Piece Name: Homemade Christmas Cards

I guess this blog will start having paper crafts now in addition to the jewelry and quilting! I'm not changing the name to "The Wired Paper Quilter" though!

I needed a Christmas card for a coworker and had some left over trees from another project. I decided to make a homemade card. It reminded me of evergreen trees on the side of a snowy peak. I loved the result so much that I cut out more trees and made a whole forest of cards for all the people on my list to which I mail Christmas packages. I am so pleased with how they turned out and how they all look similar but are all unique too. I don't have much free time for my own hobbies let alone creating things for others. The people I make things for mean a lot to me else I wouldn't take the time or effort to do them. I hope they realize that the making of these cards shows how much I care and that I gave up my precious little free time for them. Even if they don't, I know...and if they are reading this they know too! :)

Pieces Completed: December 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Infomercial and a Black Friday Blowout Deal?!?

Piece Name: 25 Days for Warren

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Everything I am working on is destined for Christmas gifts, so no goodies to share for now. I do promise a glut of posts after Christmas though!!!

Anyhow..back to this post. So I fell asleep on the couch watching television. I woke up in the middle of the night to an infomercial about the new 24" Cricut Expression scrapbooking machine by Provo Craft (NAYY). I thought wow what a neat machine, but I'm not a scrapbooker. I kept watching anyhow. Then they showed how you can use it for quilting to cut out applique shapes. OK SOLD! If it is a quilting tool odds are I own it!!! Anyhow, this is NOT an inexpensive machine. So I was good and didn't order it (unusual restraint for me I know!), but I did keep it fresh in my mind and did a little web searching. Even the cheapest prices I found online put the machine in the $250 range. Still too steap for occasional use for quilting. Then on Black Friday in Walmart I found this exact machine for a blowout deal of $100 even! OK SOLD! I thought it was mismarked. It wasn't. YAY! I also picked up two cartridges which were also on sale. I cracked the sucker open and started playing.

I decided I needed a project to get myself familiar with the machine and the cartridges. Remembering that my 3 1/2 year old nephew loves getting mail, I decided to send him a "Days Until Christmas Countdown" note everyday leading up until Christmas to get him uber excited. I am using 4"x6" colored index cards as the base for each. Everything else, including the envelope is made on the die cutting Cricut machine. How cool is that! I am officially addicted to this machine and have a couple of quilts using it rattling around in my head. After Christmas maybe I'll have some time to actually start them!

I have all the notes done and have begun mailing them daily. I usually create three at a time. Here are the notes in order of delivery. WARNING TO MY SISTER AND NEPHEW: Don't open this link if you haven't received all the notes yet...else you'll ruin the surprise! The rest of can look right now by clicking here. I apoligze for the couple of blurry shots. I sealed the envelopes already so I couldn't retake them.

This has been fun even if it is a very, very simple scrapbooking type project. It certainly is familiarizing me with the Cricut machine and even more important is making my nephew smile and get excited for Santa.

Pieces Completed: December 2009