Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour - Saturday, March 29, 8pm


Today is March 29 - that's the day of everyone turning out the lights across the world for Earth Hour!

At 8pm local time - turn off your lights and everything else you can, unplug your stuff and relax for an hour - have a candle-lit party/dinner/playdate, stargaze, tell ghost stories, play advanced hide and seek (doing it with lights on is too easy).

Many cities are participating officially and you can sign up here to get your participation noted - which helps show our governments that this stuff really does matter to us!

A lot of places are also planning to measure the drop in energy use during the event (including Vancouver) - that will be interesting!

So - 8 pm on Saturday (today) - turn out your lights for one hour and have fun. Then - think about what you really need to turn back on and what you can do without.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sewing Project

First off, this project has absolutely nothing to do with Easter. I have been wanting to make this for at least 6 months. But tonight, on Easter Sunday I finally did it. This was facilitated by my new bedroom set up. This set-up replaced the bookshelf with a table that gives me space for my sewing machine to out all the time.

The before picture: A beautiful but unflattering t-shirt from The Suburbia Clothing.
T-shirt into Bag
T-shirt into Bag

The inspiration from the project came from this book. However, I lined mine and did angled sides so I didn't really follow the instructions.

And here's the finished pictures:
T-shirt into BagT-shirt into BagT-shirt into Bag

And here is the next t-shirt that I am going to turn into a purse. The handles are different (colour and shape) and the lining is going to be red. I might even tackle it tomorrow because this first one went really quite quick.
T-shirt into Bag

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Interior Design - Ikea Hack

I've long been a fan of the website Ikea Hacker which shows awesome projects where people have revamped ikea items to better suit their needs/style. Very cool stuff on there. So when we moved into our latest small apartment and we realized that our 'office' would have to be in our living room, it became clear that I'd need to do something to hide the shelves full of school textbooks and binders. We have enough clutter due to my craft projects all over the place - I have to minimize visual clutter in other ways somehow.

Yesterday we finally made it to the hardware store to get supplies and I hacked something together pretty fast after we got home. We're going to live with it like this for a while and see if we want to put some embellishments on it or not.

Here's the before - messy shelves full of stuff. (Pardon the Christmas decor, this picture is a bit old.) I believe this unit is part of the "Journalist" line at Ikea - that's what the tag on the shelf says; I can't find it on the Ikea website, so I don't know if they still make it.

And - about $20 later:
And, we've still got easy access - the panels hinge upwards:
I almost don't want to divulge the secret - it's embarassingly simple... but here it is. We got two sheets of that plastic stuff that goes over your lights in the kitchen - the acrylic stuff that comes in "ice crackle" or the dimond pattern. It was the perfect width right off the shelf. I cut it to the height of the shelf then taped the two bits back together with a tiny gap between them so it could bend. Then we slid the short bit under the heavy books on the shelf above. So the plastic isn't mounted to the shelf in any way, it's just wedged under all the books. Ditto for the top shelf - there are a few books on top of the unit holding that cover in place.

Possible modifications for the future - putting fabric or coloured paper on the inside to further hide the clutter and make more of a statement... or alternatively maybe just some trim on the bottom edges to define the 2 shelves.... we'll see....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Preview

We have been spending a bunch of time sewing the last few weeks to build up our stock of pouches for the spring season. We're going to be focusing on local craft fairs rather than etsy so if you see something you must have, please come to one of our fairs, or email us and we can make arrangements.

Also, it's important to note that Rhi does all the sewing of the pouches. Lisa and I cut fabric, iron things, prepare the pouches into little ready to sew packages, help turn things inside out, and give tons of verbal encouragement about how awesome they look.

Anyway, onto the pictures, complete with low-lighting and even a little blurriness.

Also, we were very excited to be featured on another blog for the second time. Thanks!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Follow the Lines

(Above quilt & photo by Sasikirana)
Kalin and Lisa were over tonight and I showed them my new sewing books. Lisa was particularly taken with the "Follow-the-Lines Baby Quilt" in Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. This si something I am definitely going to try once I get a machine that can do free motion. It's a great idea, especially if there's a fabric you really really love, you're not crazy about piecing, or you're just plain running out of time.

(Above quilt and photo by Mariarosa)
I told Lisa I'd send her the links to some pics I had starred on flickr, but then I figured I might as well blog about them. I don't know any of the makers and I certainly didn't have anything to do with the making of the quilts. I do however think the work is gorgeous and wanted to give it special attention.

Especially on this last one, the quilting can almost make it look like the designs were appliqu├ęd on. And the same technique can be used to make totally different looking quilts depending on the fabric.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

2 Quick Links

I really should be going to bed because I have an earlier than normal start tomorrow but I found something that's not entirely craft related that I really wanted to share.

Basically, it shows that I love the community I grew up in. I grew up on commercial drive. It was awesome and I only moved away from it a few years ago. I would move back there if circumstances allow. On a larger scale though, I think this article about commercial drive also says something about the philosophy you can find in Vancouver that also makes me love the whole city sometimes.

Finally the link: Street Banners become shopping bags!

I did say two links though. The second one is throughly craft related. The only crochet magazine I buy, Interweave Crochet, has released it's spring preview online. There's some clear favorite patterns already on Ravelry (troubadour socks, butterscoth cardigan) I'm loving the geometric dress, though it will require a neckline modification for me. The stitch pattern looks perfect for summer, and the hemline is just like one of my absolute favorite skits.

At last the link: IC Spring preview

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I'm an aunt!

So these last two weeks I've totally fallen off the face of the earth. But now I'm back and ready to present to you . . .


Henry was born the morning of March 3rd (his Daddy's birthday) by c-section after my trooper of a sister-in-law was in labor for ... wait for it ... 76 hours. The baby very quickly earned the nickname "Hank the tank".
I'm so freakin' smitten with this little boy that I've had a hard time thinking about anything else. But I've just started to channel the hyperness of my affection into crafting. I went out yesterday and bought two books to get me started.

First I grabbed "Angry Chicken" Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules Sewing. I've been meaning to buy this book for while and finally grabbed it for an adorable stuffed turtle pattern that I want to whip up. I never have much success with stuffies that are supposed to stand up so I like that these turtles are meant to be kind of floppy. I'm going to get started as soon as I'm done blogging.

Of course first I need to blog about this little discovery. How had I not heard about this book? "Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts" is adorable. I'm going to recommend it to all my friends who say they don't have the patience or skill to quilt because there's so many beautiful, basic, and simple patterns and ideas. What really clinched it for me though was the inclusion of how to make a puzzle ball.

I was actually a little sad to find this because I've been working on a pattern for one myself. I was the tiniest bit disappointed that now I can't really post my tutorial on-line. But that's the way these things work. I can at least take consolation in the fact that Karol's method is far more refined than mine.

Fingers itching . . . must start sewing . . .

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Quilt Fabrics

I've been meaning to post this for a long while, but I actually had to take pictures first. Today I did that so here's the post.

When I was visiting Prince George in October I picked up some fat quarters from a quilt shop. I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. I had some graphic-ish prints, a big bold floral and some batiks. They are worked together colour wise but they actual project was still a mystery.

Pinwheel Quilt Fabrics

The fabrics sat in a bag until Christmas when I got my gift from my sister. It was a big gift certificate from a quilt shop out in Surrey called Wineberries (no website or I'd totally link!). I knew I wanted to buy fabrics to complete a quilt with the ones from PG but I needed a pattern first.

So I flipped through the few quilt magazines I have and settled on one from Easy Quilts. It's called Washtub Pinwheels and is a pretty basic pinwheel pattern using one main fabric and 16 fat quarters.

SO I got the the shop with my PG fabrics and the magazine. There they suggested that I pick my main pattern and a only a few other fabrics not the whole 16. They thought it would be ideal for me to go home, cut and sew a lot of the pinwheels and then come back and pick more fabrics when they had the spring ones in and I knew more what colours and intensities I needed to make a unified quilt.

So that's what I did and so far this is my palette:
Pinwheel Quilt Fabrics

What you can't see is my main fabric. It's a very light two-tone cream. You can see bits of it in the back of some of the other pictures I took of the fabrics, but it just didn't photograph well on its own.

My next step is to serge the edges of the fabrics and wash them. Then I have a lot of 3 7/8 squares to cut and sew into pinwheels. But first I have to finish the quilt top I already have half done. There's just not enough time for all the projects.