Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Where to start?!

Wow!  Time flies when you're...being productive.  Bet you thought I was going to say having fun didn't you?  Well, I'm doing that too!!

I've spent the last couple of weeks getting settled into my new job.  I really must say, I love it.  I get to work behind the scenes at one of my favorite stores!  Yay.  It's the fun, busy environment of retail mashed up with an office job.  Basically, perfect.  And it's almost like a reunion of sorts, I worked for this company before, years ago.  And now that I'm back, I get to work with some of the nicest people that I encountered the first time around.  It's great!

I am most definitely a note-taker, especially when learning something new.  So I whipped up a little notebook to jot down all the important info I need to keep track of at work.  Given my fashion forward new employer, my Project Runway fabric was the natural choice.  (Yes, I love me some Project Runway...But I assure you, it's the only thing I watch on Lifetime.)
 I used a piece of fabric slightly larger than the book when it was wrapped around it in a closed state. I coated the backside of the fabric with spray adhesive and placed it on the book.  The spray adhesive is nice because then you can just wrap the edges of the fabric around to the inside of the cover.  It sticks!  If you snip a bit in the corner areas it's easier to fold and less bulky.

I traced the shape of the cover onto some colored card stock and glued it on the inside to cover the edges of the fabric.  I also added a bit of ribbon, you know, just for fun.

Before I added the card stock to the back cover, I glued in a bit of elastic between the red piece and the original cover.  It stretches around to keep the front closed or can be flipped onto the back cover when not in use, make sense?  I used a headband that I had lying around.  (I've developed a bad habit of picking out the little contrasting stitches, as evidenced in the above photo.  Hmmm, how long will they last?)

And because I absolutely LOVE Tim Gunn, I had to get this part of the fabric on there somewhere.  Make it work, designers. 
So, are you a note-taker too?

I'll be back later with more stuff to show you.  I'm easily a month behind on sharing projects with you.  Isn't that terrible?!  Oh well, that just means lots of great stuff coming your way.

P.S.  I noticed a few new followers since I last checked in.  Hello!!  Welcome and thanks for reading.  Remember, questions, comments and rude remarks are always welcome :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Find Your Floss Bunnies a Home!

A big thanks to everyone who commented on the last post, I love craft talk.  Yep, I'm a big nerd.  

It seems like some things are universal.  Such as walking around with random bits of floss stuck on you.  Or the compulsion to store pins and needles anywhere but a pincushion, preferably articles of clothing.  And let's not forget the floss bunnies.  Those little bits of floss that seem to sneak off into the corners and under furniture...and seem to multiply on their own.

Becky brought up a very good point, that those little guys are dangerous!  If an animal is to get a hold of one of those little floss bunnies and eat it, they could end up seriously ill.  Embroidery floss is not friendly on an animal's digestive system.  Her poor kitty required surgery to correct the problem.  So in addition to being neat and tidy, it's a good idea to pick up those flossy bits for our furry friends.  Safety first, people!

I know lots of people have thread catchers in their sewing areas or placed over the arm of a couch.  These are great since they also have the pin cushions right on top.  Someday I'll make one for my sewing machine, Ol' Bessie.  However, until then I'm perfectly happy with my current arrangement.  

A glass jar. 
It doesn't take up much space on the desk and I can easily take it from room to room.

Plus, it's nice to look at and changes with each new project.
 It's also good for those times when I just need a little bit of a color.  Or when I'm sewing something that will be turned inside out and you won't even see it.  Since I don't need to worry about keeping track of a floss #, I can just grab a bit from there.  Saves time and resources.

How do you keep your floss bunny population from getting out of control?

p.s.  Sometimes when I'm making tiny stuffies or puffy applique, I use the leftovers from this jar as stuffing.  I just weed out the really longs ones that are still good for stitching and stuff the rest.  It makes me happy to think about colorful guts!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Seemed like a good idea at the time...

I found this embroidery needle stuck in a little planner that I use sometimes.  I tend to find needles and pins in all sorts of my stuff.  I never want to leave them around for animals (or bare feet) to find, so I stick them in my stuff.  Like papers, or my shirt or my pants.  Our couch is leather, so luckily, I've gotten out of the habit of putting them in the couch ;)

This is one reason why I love listening to Stitching 'n' Junk.  I can always relate to the silly stitching stories- like random floss sticking to you in public or stitching yourself to your project.  

What silly stitching habit do you have??

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Bag Bag

Like I mentioned in the last post, I've got a ton of happy mail lately.  Getting the mail really is one of the best parts of the day.

I won a giveaway on Cynthia's blog, The Sewing Dork.  
Check out the cute handmade bag she sent me-
It's a bag of bags!!  And it's huge, great for me since I tend to haul around a lot of stuff.  I can't wait until Spring rolls around again so I can bust this out.  It's so bright and cheery!

And inside was a whole bunch of fabric!
She said that she was just including some scraps, but let me tell you, she was very generous.  Some of these "scraps" were bigger than fat quarters!  So many cute prints too.... I'm already brewing up tons of ideas to use them for.

A BIG thanks to Cynthia!!

Be sure to visit her blog, she makes tons of great stuff.  And posts tutorials for them, too.  Right now she has the "Sew What Holiday Challenge" going on.  It's already a week in, but I'm still thinking of playing along.  Anyone else want to join in?

Well, it's time to enjoy a bit of South Park and eat breakfast for dinner (the best!!!!)  Despite the fact that getting appliances as gifts used to irk me, I LOVE the waffle iron the boy bought me.  It creates such yum for my tum.

See you guys tomorrow!!

I love Strumpets Crumpets!!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this or not, but I <3 Strumpet's Crumpets!
I see you!
(Click on the photo for the source, Becky's Flickr!)

Becky has the cutest blog!   It's jam packed with crafty goodness, plus pictures of her sweet little dog, Mickey.  What's not to love?!  Please, go check out her blog!  From embroideries to afghans, paper crafts to aprons, she really does it all.  And fabulously, I must say.

I mean, just look at these invites.  Printing black on black...genius.
2010 Halloween Farley Family Function Invites
(Click on the photo for the source, Becky's Flickr)

Remember a few weeks ago, I mentioned her crafting supplies swap?  Well, so far it's been a raging success for me.  I was able to send some supplies to loving homes where they will come to good use.  I'm sure that I will be able to come up with lots more to giveaway when I deep clean the crafty closet.

And Miss Strumpet's Crumpets herself sent me a whole pile of wonderful!  Thanks, Becky!
Yay!  Business cards!  Exactly the kind I was planning on buying, since I'm making my own.  I love it when things work out that way.  Now for a little stamp carving.

A few days later, I found another little surprise in my mailbox.
What a sweetie!  And with perfect timing, how did she know that I needed all of these bookmarks?

I had just gone on a library binge the day before.
 Again, just funny how things work out.  Don't you think?

Well, off to craft a bit.  And clean a bit- meh.  Having a job again is making me super conscious of time, so I'm cramming in as much as possible.  Yay, for super productive days! 

I'll be back later today though.  I have lots of happy mail to share with you, I've been such a lucky girl lately.  Hope you are having a super productive day too!  See you soon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bluework Quilt Square

Little 5x5 squares stitched up for the "Bluework Quilt Square" Swap. word?  Two?  Please, enlighten me.

I made this little gal.  The pattern is from Sublime Stitching.
I'm not sure if it's really Bluework since I added the crayon tinting, but my partner liked it so that's all that matters.  Right?

My partner, Courtney, made this tea themed square.  (Also with Sublime Stitching patterns.)  Courtney and I also did a private swap on swap-bot, so you'll be seeing more of her work shortly.
Perfect for a little tea wallet, wouldn't you say?  I'll have to whip one up for my bag when I'm at work, I've been on such a Chai kick lately.

Bye for now!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Robot Round-Up!

Everyone knows that I have a special place in my heart for Robots.... I mean, I wouldn't have one tattooed on me if I didn't really, really love 'em right?  Well, I've been lucky enough to receive 2 robot related crafty things in swaps lately.

Thanks to the ladies who asked me about the "Embroidery in Yellow" swap, I totally forgot to share with you... I received this piece from Ozduchess.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but she stitched it onto printed fabric.  I love it when people do that!

Next up, the sweetest little robot sewing accessory from Shainyeo in the "Sublime Stitching Embroidery" Swap.  It's so perfect for me, you have no idea!  Perhaps she was stalking me a bit because she really nailed my style.

She was even kind enough to include a little hoop and some needles.  What a sweetie!

I decided it wouldn't be a "Round-Up" with only two things so I'm throwing in this oldie but goodie.
Atop the fridge is where we keep some of our robot army...and kitty treats.  (Please excuse the water damage.  Thankfully, that has since been fixed!)  Boris likes to try to help himself to treats and catnip.  Notice he's passing up the soft ones and headed straight for the dual-flavored crunchy ones.  Our cats are spoiled and they each know exactly what they want.  

Oh, guess what?!  When I was looking for robot photos I came across some Boris and Natasha baby photos.  It has been exactly 1 year, to the day, since we got them! What a crazy coincidence, no?  I sense a kitty post coming on :)

Hope you are enjoying a craftastic day!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October's Goals

 Well, it's that time again.  When I share with you things that I have planned for the month. 

Before I get to it though, I figured we ought to address last month's goals, right?  Well, everything worked out splendidly except when it came to blogging 5 times a week, stocking up my etsy and having the stitchy group meet-up.  I have no one to blame but myself, however, I'm not going to waste time on negativity.  The way I look at it, if everything is easy then I'm setting my sights too low.  

I guess it really comes down to time management- making the time to get things done.  I fall into the trap of "Well, as long as I'm still getting something productive done..."  I counter feeling bad about not reaching last month's goals by pointing out all of the other stuff I did get done.  Yet, it seems that setting goals means nothing if I don't get there.  So, time for accountability.  (Well, that sounded...grown-up.  Ick.)

As for the stitchy group, I'm not giving up on this yet.  I figured it was best to wait and see what my new job schedule was going to be like before I made plans.  I would hate to have to flake out because I had to go to work.  However, I did design fliers and would love you guys to check them out.  I'll post 'em and you tell me what you think, deal?
In October, I will:
* Finish 10 Christmas gifts
*Make kitchen curtains
*Sand our end tables (and collaborate with Dillon on designs)
*Work on business cards
*Make 2 Toy Society drops
* Ready sewing cabinet and transfer design
*Make 5 etsy sales
*Actually hold first stitchy group meet-up

I'll also be working on the things that I failed miserably at last month- stocking etsy and blogging...regularly.  

Ambitious?  Yes.  Realistic?  Yes.  
I can do this!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Welcome to October! (Edited)

 Around my house, this is how we can tell that it's October.
Forget a calendar or temperature changes, when our house is surrounded by GIANT Spiders, that's how we know that Fall has arrived.  

When we moved in, years ago, it was right around Halloween and the whole place looked expertly decorated with cobwebs.  The shrubs outside looked like they belonged to a haunted house.  We quickly found out it was because we were moving into Spider Territory.  I also quickly learned that there was no use in screaming and rushing behind the Guy for protection.  He's not much better with them.  (Sorry, Babycakes.  You know it's the truth.)  EDIT: I want to assure everyone out there, that Dillon is not afraid of spiders.  My mistake.  He just doesn't like them on his head.   (Uh, yeah.  Don't know too many people who are fond of that, but I digress...) Okay, now that we're all clear on that, we can move on. 

This particular Spidey has been living near our front door for a while now, quite close to face level.  He is much too big for me to try to get rid of.... (ughhh, I'm getting chills just thinking about it.)  If it is running towards me on the ground, yes, I will stomp it...furiously.  However, if it is up in a corner or minding it's business in a web, I will leave it alone.  

Perhaps, I read Charlotte's Web too many times as a child.  Or maybe it's that there it's too much of a risk of it landing on me if I try to brush it down.  You decide.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Snapshot Friday

Snapshot Friday has been a bit lacking lately.  What is normally a relaxed day to kick off the weekend has turned out to be my busiest day this month.  Unfortunately, poor ol' Snapshot Friday has suffered for it.

This week's selection comes from an old pal, Awestruck Angie.  Well, she's not old.... I've just known her a long time.  She was kind enough to share some wedding photos with us.

She's not sure who the happy couple is.... but everyone loves a good wedding!  Right?  Especially one with a Volkswagen.  Cute, cute.  Thanks, Ang.

If you are want to share some old photos, drop me a line at Mafiosa{at} or which ever site you know me from flickr, Swap-bot, FB....whatever works best for you!

I hope everyone enjoys a good weekend!  I know mine will be awesome... I'll tell you why soon.

Local Yarnbombing- Part 2!!

 So, a little more about Cast Away.  The cute, local shop behind The Pole Sweater Project I mentioned last time.  I love everything about this place.

From the friendly owner, Justine (check out the cross stitched top she's wearing- lovely)

to the window displays!  Everything, people.

Even their printed promo stuff is wonderful.  Ackkk, my favorite color green!!
Helpful, too!  The back of the business cards have a little needle chart, so you know exactly what you need.  How clever is that?!  Since I'm not a knitter, it's all Greek to me, but I still think it's great.  Us stitchy folks need something similar...hmmmm, we'll have to start brainstorming.

In addition to tons of fabulous yarn, they have lots of books and magazines.  There is also a great button selection.  I could spend hours... and hundreds picking out the perfect ones. 

But you want to know the best part?  There is a huge selection of classes and activities to participate in.  I can't wait until I have time to pick up yet another hobby.  There is even a cozy little place in the store where people can hang out and knit.  So fun.

 Local folks- there are few cool things coming up this month.  On October 28th there will be a Be Sweet Trunk show.  Don't you love to support companies that are doing good?  I know I do.  There will also be a workshop with Sonoma County artist, Rosemary Hill.  Her patterns alone are enough to make me want to learn some new skills, they're just gorgeous.

Hope you've enjoyed hearing a little bit about one of the places that helps to make my community so unique.  I also hope that you are enjoying a creative Friday, thanks for looking.  I'll be back in a while with Snapshot Friday, I need to refuel with some Spinach Lasagna...yum, yum.

p.s.  Remember- shop local!  (Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now.  It's just important, you know?)