Sew Selfless September

I just ran across a great idea from Jess at The Sometimes Sewist.  She decided that it would be a good idea to sew for someone other than herself and without monetary profit (I may be adding that bit in myself, but it makes sense) during the month of September.  She is calling it Sew Selfless September.  I’ve decided to join her in this endeavor so here is my pledge. 

I, Julie, at Crazywonderfullife, pledge this Sew Selfless September to sew one item for each of my family members, that’s a total of 4.

 

If the link doesn’t work on that image, I’m also putting one in the sidebar that should link to her blog. 

It’s really easy to join if you want to.  Here are the “rules” from her post:

1.  Post your pledge in the comments below, using this template:     (Go to her post first.  Don’t post here)

“I, *name*, of *blog name*, pledge this Sew Selfless September to make *your pledge here* for *your intended receipt(s)*.” 

If you want to name specific people to make for or things you’re going to make, cool, if not cool, too.  You can see how vague my pledge is; no problem with leaving some wiggle room!

2. Spread the word! 

Post your Selfless sewing pledge on your own blog, and link it back to this post by using one of the badges below.

3.  Join the Sew Selfless September Flickr group.

4.  Come September, make all the things for not you and post them to the Flickr group!

 

I don’t belong to Flickr, but I will link back to her original post and she can put my pictures on Flickr if she wants.  Now, I just need to decide what to make.  I already have fabric for a quilt for my hubby.  I should at least be able to get the top done, and my daughter wants a camera bag with dividers for her lenses and supplies.  She also needs a new quilt for her bed.  As for the boys, that will take a bit more thought. 

I sure hope some of you decide to join us!

 

Happy Sewing!

Julie

It’s All About the Sewing

Well, I almost have my stuff together.  I think it took me 44 years to figure myself out, and I may not be done yet.  I love to sew and craft, but I’ve been trying to do everything that catches my interest on a large scale instead of picking something to focus on.  I have decided to focus on sewing which is ironic because that is the name of one of my other blogs where I never write.  The projects that catch my eye and my interests in general lean significantly towards kids and babies so I’m going to focus my sewing projects there with a few things for the grown ups too.  I’ve sold a few things on the side and have a few orders from friends and acquaintances, so that is going well.  I have some baby/toddler blankets listed in my Etsy shop and I’ve started a Facebook page, Flamingo and Owl to promote my Etsy shop of the same name.

I was really trying to do too much and found that I didn’t have time for what I really like to do, which is sew.  Now, I’ve made several blankets and some really cute burp cloths and am working on a few other projects that I’ll show you when I’m done.  I forgot to take pictures of the projects that I’ve already finished that are the same as what I’m working on now, but here are some of my blankets and the one burp cloth that I’ve gotten a picture of.

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I have a couple other baby blankets with different patterns and colors now and a lot more burp cloths, mostly Winnie-the-Pooh themed, and they are reserved for someone.  I’m so excited that by limiting myself, I actually freed myself. 

Another thing that I’ve learned about myself is that while I still love creating quilts, it’s actually the tops that I like making and I’m not as enthusiastic about doing the quilting itself.  It’s a good thing that I know a few people locally with long arm machines who are willing to hire out their services.  One lady from my quilt club actually invited me over to her house and taught me the basics of using a long arm machine.  It’s something that I would love to learn as well as practicing free motion on my small machine, but I’m content for now to let someone else do it for me, at least the big projects.

Happily Sewing,

Julie

 

Off To A Crawling Start! :)

Hi there!  It’s been an exciting couple of weeks, at least for me.  I worked hard on the quilt for my mom (in law), but didn’t quite get it finished.  We visited her yesterday for her birthday.  We gave her the quilt and told her she couldn’t keep it.  How bad is that?!  Well, she loved it and didn’t mind that it wasn’t done.  All that’s left is the quilting and binding.  I say that like it’s nothing, but I’m doing all free-motion quilting.  I really need to practice.  If I were better at it, I may have finished.  I had to take out most of what I had done because it looked so awful.  Now, I’m back to about a quarter of the way done.  I’m using a square flower motif that I learned from a tutorial by Lori at The Inbox Jaunt.  She helped me with my first (large) quilt for my cousin David and his wife.  I didn’t even know that I had to quilt it before I added the binding.  She was very nice and gave me good tips.  She does excellent free-motion quilting and has a bunch of tutorials.  I’m also using a lot of outlining.  I hope the quilting turns out as good as the top did.

I’m also full to the brim with ideas for market and Etsy crafts.  I’ve been doing a lot of prep work in between working on the quilt and living life.  I even skipped the market last week, although, I did go and visit for a while.  I got chewed out for not being set up.  Not really, but some of them did mess around with me.  It looked a little sad because there were so few vendors last  week.  I think most of them didn’t come because the main road in is under major construction and is detoured.  If you don’t know your way around town it might be confusing and you still have to cross the non-road to get to the park.  Business has been bad because of it, at least that’s what we think, so the vendors might be skipping out.  I have a whole new appreciation for the  people who do these markets and take the time to set up and take down and make sure they are well-stocked for the events.  It’s a lot of work. 

Like I said, I’ve been doing a lot of prep work for new crafts and also trying to implement some marketing strategies.  I had shut down my Facebook page, but I reopened it so that I could start a Gardengirl Creations page.  I want to interconnect this blog and Facebook and Etsy and even Pinterest to try to boost sales of my crafts.  I do have some outside orders from word of mouth business, two pillow beds and a t-shirt quilt.  Those will really help a lot to get the ball rolling I think.  I’ve been putting my disorganized thoughts to paper so I can organize them better and I’m really excited to see where this all goes. 

Well, I’m off to bed.  Tomorrow I’m going to bounce some ideas off my friend and have a little down time shopping with her.  Smile

Have a creative day!

Gardengirl

It’s All Good

Whew!  It has been one crazy week.  I haven’t posted anything because I’ve been too busy doing.  By the time I finished at night, it was already bedtime and when I got up in the mornings I had to start all over….not that I ever missed my morning tea.  Smile  While I sipped my tea I would try to read a few blog posts that were up on my feed, but it’s hard to keep up with all of them.  Then I try to fit everything I want/need to do in around everyone else’s schedules.  I still have one non-driver and she has practices twice a day.  I love summer and having the kids home, but it’s kind of nice when they leave once and come home once and I only have to drive once because practice is right after school.  I really don’t know how parents who work do it. 

I’m going to start with bad news first and work up to the fun stuff.  My onions made me cry.  I harvested them last week….? and put them in the greenhouse to dry their skins or whatever it is that onions do.  The info I looked at said to leave them outside, but cover them up every night.  I knew I wouldn’t remember to do that so I thought the greenhouse would be a good substitute.  It might have been if I had remembered to open the doors.   I went out with my doggie this morning and unloaded all my Market stuff….tables, chairs, bags of crafts and supplies…..out of my car and then decided to look in my greenhouse.  I saw my onions and then I touched my onions and I swear tears came to my eyes.  They are not firm, but rather soft and somewhat shriveled.  I really, really wanted my onions to be good this year and they were…. till now.  Do you think I have time to replant?

Yesterday at the Market was supposed to be a big Christmas in July day with lots of people walking around and then the movie in the park last night was Elf and it usually gets 300+ people coming to watch.  The sponsors had games and free popcorn and sno-cones and Christmas lights.  The Market vendors got to stay late for free as a Christmas gift and some of us brought Christmas lights to decorate our tents with.  Our high hopes for the day were dashed early with very few vendors showing up, not many people walking through and visiting booths, and gusty “breezes” that broke 3 tents so the rest of us just took ours down.  After the tent debacle, a few of the few vendors left for the day.  Once the sun set, it cooled off a lot.  The signs in town said 62o  We sat there in our t-shirts and sunburns and thought how appropriate the weather was for Christmas in July.  I assume it was the weather that kept people away from the movie also.  I’d say the turnout was about half of the usual and no one was buying. 

There must be something wrong with me because I do not make any money at the Market, but I still go every week and I always leave with a smile.  I just like being there and the people are great, vendors and visitors.  Maybe it’s because I get to do what I love.  In that case, probably nothing wrong with me.  Smile

On the brighter side, I started making ornaments for Christmas, some out of old jeans and some from used cds.  I’ll have pictures when they’re all done.  I have a few glitches to work out first.  I am really excited about them though!  I’m also making a flip flop wreath, a fabric wreath, and stockings.  Those are coming with a few roadblocks also, but I just need time and a little brain power to figure it all out.  I think the brain power is good, but it’s the time that falls short sometimes. 

I am making a lot of progress on the quilt that I’m working on and I am promising myself that it will be done by my deadline.  Here’s what I have so far:

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I need to add the borders, which is my project for today, and then make the back, quilt it, and bind it.  The finished size is only about 50×50 so it shouldn’t take too long.  My deadline is one week away.  Not gonna think about that.  Smile

I bought two fabrics for the backing, but I have to figure out how I want it to look.  My brain will be working on that while my hands are sewing.  The main backing fabric is a large print floral with lavender to deeper purple flowers with green foliage and the other is green with a very small and subtle floral print. I know it’s going to be gorgeous….can’t wait!

Ok, that’s a lot and I still feel like I’m forgetting something.  I guess it can wait.

Have a Creative Day!

Gardengirl

P.S.  I know what it was!  I made a couple of recipes from Mom’s Recipe Box.  Will post those soon….uh huh.

 

Daily Post-Object Lesson (Sewing Machine)

This is going to be fun! The Daily Post has asked what object our friends would immediately associate with us if asked.  Their examples were Dorothy’s red shoes, Sherlock Holmes’s pipe, and the Batmobile.  I think my friends would associate me with my sewing machine.   It goes many places with me and has many adventures.  It hems pants and sews curtains.  It fixes rips and creates beautiful quilts and even decorates my home and family for the holidays.  It has its own waterproof rolling bag with “Sew on the Go” embroidered on it.  My sewing machine has seen libraries and community centers and even a local park.  It’s visited many a friend and relative’s house with me.  We do many things together my sewing machine and me.  It even has its own spot at the dining room table that it visits often, sometimes staying for weeks at a time….like now.  We have seen good times and bad together, celebrated accomplishments, fought, and not seen each other for months at a time, but I know that it is always there for me.  My sewing machine is my best friend and the bane of my existence…..or is that my husband?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/object-lesson/

Productive Laziness! OK I Might Be Pushing It A Little

So, the past few days were pretty productive which, naturally, means that today was not….at all.  I woke up with a headache, yuck, but I managed to get rid of it by 10:00.  I did that by drinking pop and playing on my computer.  Well, the pop does help my headaches, probably because I’m addicted to caffeine, but mostly, it was probably the aspirin I took that helped.  I generally don’t recommend playing on a computer to help a headache.  After that, I went to visit my father-in-law.  I gave him a couple of planters for Father’s Day and he hasn’t pulled any weeds because I planted spinach and kale in them along with tomatoes and peppers and he didn’t know what was what.  As it turns out, there weren’t too many weeds.  It was mostly spinach and kale.  Yay.  I stayed and visited for 4 hours…yeah we all got a lot done today.  When I got home I played on my computer some more and picked up Chinese for dinner.  After dinner, yep, you guessed it, I played on my computer even more.

It’s been really fun though because I found a website that is all color palettes.  I spent a couple hours there looking at color palettes and creating a new Pinterest board just for them.  I also found a website where I can make my own color palettes from my favorite pictures!  That is really cool!  It’s called Colourlovers.  I signed up for free and can save all the palettes that I make.  I guess there is a lot of other stuff to do there too, but I haven’t explored all that yet. 

I need to sit down and write a list of all the stuff I need to keep up with between making crafts, and selling them at the market and online, and writing the blog.  I also started a Facebook page called Gardengirl Creations to promote the DeMotte Market and my Etsy page, but I really haven’t done much with it.  I also need to add some more items to my Etsy page and figure out shipping….etc….etc….etc…..  I think I’ll start that list tomorrow.

While I was at the market yesterday I pinned the next step of my quilt together.  I should sew those together tomorrow also.  Just today, about an hour ago to be exact, I got a request to make a t-shirt quilt.  I really hope she doesn’t want it done before her daughter leaves for school.  I’ll just have to tell her that it’s just not possible.  It’s weird how I feel so busy, but sales at the market are really slow, yet way better than last year.  I’m excited about how everything is going, but to most people it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere.  I think the issue is that I have started a lot of projects and now I have to do things a little differently to keep them going and see them through.  The market has not been profitable and someone, who shall remain nameless, doesn’t see why I want to keep doing it.  I don’t think he’ll pay for it next year which means that I have to make (and save) enough money to do a couple of indoor craft fairs and really promote my Etsy shop so that I can make enough money to do it again next year.  I look at it as a small business where you always start out in the red and it may take a couple of years to show any profit.  I really want it to be successful so I’ll keep plugging along until it is.

So, while today was an incredibly lazy day, I did learn something new that will benefit my quilt making and possibly some other crafts.  I got a lot of thoughts and ideas on what I need to do to promote my crafts which I will put into a list tomorrow. I had a good visit with the in-laws.  I relaxed and picked a couple of cucumbers, and I got an order for a t-shirt quilt.  I guess it’s ok to be lazy sometimes.  Sheesh!  Who ever heard of productive laziness, but I think that’s how I spent my day.  Haha!  No one can tell me I don’t have a positive outlook!

Have a Creative Day!

Gardengirl

 

Productive Procrastination

Today was a very productive day.  Even my procrastination  was productive!  I started on the quilt at about 8:30 this morning.  I pieced a few strips together and then a few more.  Then I got up and made another cup of tea.  Then I pieced a few more and got up and looked in the refrigerator….then the cabinets.  I don’t know what I was looking for and I certainly never found it.  After sewing together 32 strips (my halfway mark) I went outside and wandered around the garden.  I started pulling the onions since I was supposed to do it last weekend, but didn’t get around to it.  Matching all the little corners was too tedious for me to do straight through I guess.  Here’s what I was doing:

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I took these pieces ^ and those pieces  ^ and sewed them together to make them pieces ^.  Lots of points.

When it all got to be too much I got up and procrastinated.  Working in the garden was my chosen method of procrastination today (after searching blindly through fridge and cabinets).  My daughter even came out to help me.  Smile  We got all of the onions harvested and put in the greenhouse to dry out and I got most of the garden weeded…..again.  I promised a picture of what the cucumber vines look like now so here it is.

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I’ve gotten several pickling cucumbers off of the vine already and today I picked one regular cucumber.  It turned out to be kinda small, but it’s all good. 

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The three on the left are from the pickling vines and the one on the right is a Marketer cucumber (slicer).  I didn’t even see the giant one growing until today, obviously, or I would have picked it sooner.  I dug out Mom’s dill pickle recipe today and it says that I need about 24 cucumbers.  I have about 10 right now so soon I can make a batch. 

Here’s my onion harvest.

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They’re kind of on the small side, but better than last year.  It’s a learning process. 

Back to the quilt.  Do you see how easy it is for me to have squirrel moments?  I’m easily distracted.  I now have 32 short rows and 32 long rows that need to be sewn to the nine patch squares.  Oops, didn’t take a picture of the nine patches.

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What I’ll end up with is 16 flowers.  The colors of the flowers are all different.  I used batiks for them and for the dark green leaves.  You can see small parts of the flowers and the dark green leaves in the picture above.  They’re all on a light blue background.  I’m finally starting to get excited about this quilt even though matching all the corners and seems is tedious.  That seems to be the best word I can find for it even though it’s a bit more negative than I would like.  Anyway, I feel like I’m finally getting close to having a complete top.  I’ll worry about the quilting later. 

All in all, it was a good and productive day.  I finished another step on the quilt, harvested the onions, weeded the garden and was still happily Mom and wife also.  I’ll be at the Market tomorrow so no working on the quilt.

Have a Creative Day!

Gardengirl