Saturday, December 28, 2019

Christmas continues...

I finally got into the studio today. I didn't know what to do, except clean house, but what fun is that? So, as we say in French comme ça va (as it goes), I decided to start a new project. New projects generally create messes, so as we also say comme de fait (as it does) I made the already big mess beaucoup plus much bigger. 

But the mess is worth it! Because look what I pulled off. Today. I know. It is after Christmas. That's okay. I just had an itch. It's been weeks, WEEKS I say, since I went into the studio and turned on a machine. 

Today would have been my dad's birthday, so I figured I needed a little creativity to counteract the tears. It worked. Making a few little happy things and praying a rosary tonight are two great ways to fight the depression of the holidays. 

And look how happy! A couple of little hearts. Some strings of beads. Red flowers. Shimmery satin flowers. 

It took me almost all afternoon. I got stuck on those red flowers. That's what happens when you don't have the correct materials. I really wanted some red flowers. Three attempts in, I decided to use the smaller one. Then finally, I remembered the basket of sheer fabrics. That worked beautifully. 

I have bolts of white satiny fabric, so I used it to make some little hearts, two I embellished with ready-made trims from a drawer. And with some small squares, I made what might be closed tulips. They are cute in person, I'm not sure about in these pictures.

Some gold ribbon serves as string for one of the pieces and strings of small beads work for the other one. 

The tassel on the right is actually a ribbon trim that I just sewed into a circle and added beads to create a head. The strings of beads on that piece are the ones I strung before Christmas. I decided that they weren't showy enough as single strands and planned to made a few more to make into some sort of tassel. Well, here's the tassel I came up with. 

Each piece has six or seven strands of decoration and every strand is different, which is what I like most about them. They look great with the purchased decorations but add some uniqueness to the tree. They may even add a little elegance but, being handmade, they are also simple and homey.

Can you guess where I got my inspiration? 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Pin It Weekly #300

Yay! We made it! 300 PIW posts! And, yes, still pinning. Want to know the stats? Go here. Want to see what's pinning? Stay for a spell.

chillypepperhothothot:  Western Fire by kylewrightHistoric windmill on the shortgrass prairie near Keota in Eastern Colorado

Lafourche Crossing, Thibodaux, LA. Because the wonder does not end at the parish line

Louisiana Bayou.

Fountainbleu State Park, Louisiana


Arepa saludable de zanahoria, hojuelas de avena y cilantro picadito. Al usar zanahoria rallada y hojuelas de avena hace la masa más compacta y usas menos harina (solo 4 cucharadas para 2-3 arepas). Receta fit Christmas Projects, Christmas Items, Christmas Nativity, Christmas Home, Rustic Christmas, Outdoor Christmas, Christmas 2019, Christmas Holidays, Christmas Wreaths

Diy Christmas Decoration #christmas

And for the first time, photos of our family Christmas.
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Flying Monkeys ... a costume tutorial

How to make a Wizard of Oz inspired flying monkey costume ... with pictures and directions. Leave the wings off, add elf stockings and, yes!, you have an elf costume! (Directions in red are suggested changes for an elf costume.)

Supplies: shirt, white and red felt
Cut the bottom four inches off the shirts.

(Use a green shirt or change the colors as you'd like for the elf.
Don't cut the shirt at all and you can make the design longer for more color.)

I have one of those friends who signs me up for stuff. And then she tells me about what I am going to do. Then we walk away. 

Make a pattern
cut out the red fabric
(cut two per shirt)
Cut the white fabric adding
1/4" outside the pattern
(cut two per shirt)

Things can be going smoothly, and I get a phone call that reminds me that I was going to do something but I haven't done it. Yet.

Pin the pieces, red on top of white, and pin well.
Cut the tee-shirt between the pattern pieces and sew.

(Create a smaller design to go around the 
bottom of the shirt and don't cut it.)
You know what happens next? The deadline looms.

After sewing, trim off the neckline
and sleeves to make into a vest.
I have to get busy. But this time I got sick. Really sick. Two days in bed sick. The deadline looms ever closer. Get busy and work fast. At least this was easy. 

Cut pattern on paper (I just winged it.)
Cut out on brown felt. Sew to center back of shirt.
The black lines show where to overlap and sew or safety pin.
(No need to bother with wings for the elf.)
So flying monkeys have wings. I tried but failed. Horribly. I won't even tell you my plan. Here's what ended up happening: Using black felt, we cut wing shapes and safety-pinned them to the backs of the shirts. Later we'll use school glue or Mod Podge to make them stiff so they will stay open. I so wish I had pictures!

The hats, however, I nailed! I used the bottoms of the tee-shirts to cover recycled butter bowls. The decorations on the hats sort of match the vests. I just decided to go with a quirky almost matching design. Oddly, it worked once it was on the hat. My own pattern, I promise.
(Directions are for a pill box hat, in which an elf would be extra cute.)
Make a quirky pattern and cut out the red felt.
Cut the white felt 1/4" larger.
Sew on the knit 
you cut off the bottom of the shirts
the knit using the bowl and cut 
Staple the bottom of the bowl with the knit wrapped around the cut edge.
Gather the top and knot off.

I wrapped the blue knit around each bowl individually to get measurements. To wrap each bowl, I slipped the knit around it and folded the bottom edge to cover the opening and stapled all around. I recommend really cheap, thin bowls as they are easier to staple.

I gathered the top by sewing around the edge in a large running stitch, pulled it tight and made a knot. (See the hat on the top of the stack in this picture.) 
And that was it.

Flying Monkey suits. 
Three in an afternoon. Check!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Pin It Weekly #299

Wow! Did you see that number up there? 299! That means 300 by the end of the year. Are you impressed? 
Baby llama! wat zou ik het graag even willen knuffelen.
animal kitten calf kid foal
This game started way back in 2012. It was pretty sporadic at first. The idea was fun, though and eventually it worked itself into Pin It Weekly. I'm do a much better job of that "weekly" thinking, but admittedly I miss the occasional week. Sorry about those missed opportunities. But let's not dwell on them, okay? Instead let's dwell on the seven years. Seven years!

LOVE this book! Read it twice. Amazing storytelling, attention to detail and you learn some interesting things. I have read many of Ken Follett's books and enjoyed all of them.
book novel text read paperback tome codex folio 

Today on my Pinterest there are 180 boards. 
12 Vintage Art Deco Black & Ivory Coloured Celluloid Buttons

35,870 pins.
Colourful VIctorian Glass Buttons

2.2 thousand followers.
Butron Castle, Basque Country, Spain. This castle is the world's largest existing medieval castle in the world. It fell into disuse and was later renovated and opened to the public. This proved to be unsuccessful and the building was closed to visitors although the grounds remained open. In November 2005 the building was purchased by INBISA (Grupo Empresarial) for 1,629,743 euros but it remains under the general protection of Spanish law 16/1985 in respect of historic buildings in Spain.
and moat dungeon
It was partially destroyed by a great fire March 13, 1932, just after the baron Robert Lejeune, then owner of the castle, had been installing new central heating. The castle now remains in ruins. Only the chapel behind the castle was spared and still in reasonable condition.
castle fortress
1.7 monthly viewers.
Celtic patterns OR M, for Mary 

And that includes you!
I hope you've enjoyed the years of pinning much as I have.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

So let's chat

about the Sherry Lynn Wood workshop that I attended over the weekend. I had great fun seeing so many of my quilty friends. Marty of Marty's Fiber Musings was there. As were Lori, Marquita, Glen (of Quilts and Dogs blog), Joyce, Stephanie, and Yvonne from BRMQG. They were there for the long haul--Friday through Sunday and staying overnight, which means they had dinner together at local restaurants.

Of course, I had the pleasure of meeting other quilters, mostly from Quilters Guild Acadienne, which is a guild in Lafayette. QGA and BRMQG have fearless leaders willing to combine efforts and resources so that Louisiana quilters can learn from national teachers.

On Sunday we had a slightly larger crowd as more friends joined us. Unable to come on Saturday, Kelly and Sharon quickly caught up with us on Sunday. And look at what Kelly managed! She's a natural quilter able to blend color and design beautifully.

Saturday's Ruler Free Mashup took care of straight line piecing. Sunday was a day of curves. All curves. All the time.  So after this weekend we can, essentially, make an entire quilt without touching a ruler.

But, oh, how I missed my ruler! I just wanted to straighten the edges a little. Only when I had a big block that needed to match another big block. If you know me, though, you know I follow the rules. So there was no ruler in my bag of tricks. And it was a good thing, because I absolutely, positively, would have cheated. In this picture I am pondering how to put four pieces of different sizes together to create one piece. In the end, the four separate pieces were packed up and carried home to be dealt with. Ruler or ruler-free, I need a design wall. 

Sherri would asked "what did you learn, what surprised you, what would you do differently" anytime we showed our work. I could fill a book answering those questions.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Brunch in Arnaudville -- and pictures from the passenger side

Somehow I managed to turn this post into a draft or I never published it. Either is a possibility. So I'm publishing it (again?) just so it's recorded. Wish I knew what I did....
Last Sunday we drove down to Arnaudville, Louisiana, to meet Rory and Meggan for brunch at a cafe called "Little Big Cup." The food is amazing! If you're ever in the Lafayette area along I10, it is THE place to eat. It's my second time eating here, and I've been impressed both times. 

Really, make reservations and go! In addition to the food, the atmosphere is fantastic and the restaurant is right on Bayou Teche. There's an outdoor eating area where diners can clamor down the patio steps and eat right on the water's edge. I recommend spring or late fall for alfresco dining. Ask for the etoufee: it is the official festival of Arnaudville.

The rest of this post is about the town. It's relatively typical of South Louisiana towns, but pretty in it's own way. I put my window down and grabbed a few pictures from the air conditioned passenger side. It's too hot to go out-of-doors. It's almost too hot to put the window down! 

Bayou Teche and Bayou Fusilier intersect giving one many places for photo opportunities. And, speaking of opportunities, this is a great place for a swamp or bayou tour. Eavesdrop on the locals and you'll likely hear some Cajun French. It's also a great place to hear zydeco music.

Enjoy Arnaudville, Louisiana.    

The front (top) and back (bottom)
of the old gin still in use.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: Sherri Lynn Wood workshop

I attended a two-day workshop with author Sherri Lynn Wood thanks to the Baton Rouge Modern Quilt Guild and Quilt Guild Acadienne. Held at A&A Sewing Center, this workshop could not have been more. Class fees paid for everything, and I mean everything. That included more delicious food than we could eat. (South Louisiana, y'all. We know how to eat!)

Sherri Lynn Wood (center) with our fearless
leaders, Torch (left) and Lori (right)
Thanks, ladies, for a wonderful weekend!
And now to inspire you, just a few pictures of some of the pieces we worked on. No one felt compelled to complete any one work. There simply isn't enough time. 
Day 1: Ruler Free Mashup--sewing without rulers.

Follow Sherri Lynn Wood on Instagram
Day 2: Template-free curves--cutting and sewing curves freehand.