Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One Space Down

My desk is clean! My elbows are free and unobstructed by the mess that surrounded it each time I sat at the computer. One down, many more areas to go, but at least it's a start.

I would like to send out a group hug and a big thank you to Sue, Shannon, Connie W, Busym 1, The Artful Hooker, Kaye, Sherri, Annie of Blue Gables, Suze, Kath, Robyn, Sweetiepie, SG, Rumi, Deb, Terry, Lilly, and Carrie P for all your support. A big thank you also goes out to Kristin. For some reason, my computer wouldn't let me enter your site for me to post a link. You all could have called me names(like Miss Piggy), but no, not you nice people. You offered me encouragement instead and I'm very grateful for that. I enjoyed reading your comments about your struggles with your supplies and would love to hear about how you manage to keep it under control. As you can see, I can use any tip that you may have to offer.

Part of the fun of straightening up my room is discovering things that I haven't seen in a while. This is an assortment of novelty buttons that I've collected over the years. Funny thing is, I can't think of a single project to use them in.

Well, today I'll be heading upstairs to try to condense some of the supplies in my closet. This will allow me to return some of the items that are taking up space in my craft room. See you when the dust clears.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What stifles my creativity, you ask?

A very, very, very, messy sewing/craft room!!!!

This is as bad as it has ever been and I'm tired of maneuvering my way through it all. Day after day of seeing this mess is tiring me out and stifling my creative process. I can't go on anymore without cleaning this stuff up.

I don't have the heart to show you the entire room in it's current state but I will show you just a smidgen. I hope to show you shots of other areas as I tackle them (if I get brave enough). This is the floor on the left side as you enter the room. If you've seen this much, I'm sure you can just imagine what the rest of it looks like.

I have an extra closet upstairs in my bedroom which is crammed full of supplies. Whatever is in this closet slowly migrates downstairs to my room and never seems to find it's way back. Can you just imagine that this closet isn't as full as it usually is? Can't be true, right? Oh, but it is!

This is the left side of that closet. Wreath forms, wooden shapes, ribbon, wire, fimo, pompoms, magazines, styrofoam, rattail cord, contact paper, glass pebbles, wood roses, needle punch supplies, and so much more fill the left side of this closet.

This is the right side of the closet. Those cardboard boxes are filled with fabric. The lower 3 shelves are filled with mostly paints and painting supplies. There are patterns, lace and trims, beads, yarn, glues, cording, plastic lacing, paper ribbon, paper mache shapes, clear fishing line, jute, raffia, and a whole bunch of miscellaneous doodads scattered throughout.

Here's a piece of work. My desk, in all it's messy glory. This is where I sit when I'm not working on a project. It is located at the entrance of my craft/sewing room. I have difficulty typing because there are so many things surrounding either side of my arms. This will be the first place that I tackle. It's small and compact and I should be able to manage it within a reasonable amount of time.

If I had just one interest, such as sewing, this mess would probably be easier to control. Because I dabble in almost every craft known to man, I have an overwhelming amount of supplies. Y'know, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, just enough to drive a sane person mad.

I've thought long and hard about whether to show you my mess but you need to know why my creativity has somewhat come to a halt. Everything has gotten so out of control lately. I need to devote the time it takes to organizing it all. I mean, it has gotten so bad that I've even contemplated renting a storage unit. The one thing that has stopped me is that I wouldn't be able to access the things I need when I need it.

I will never have a pretty space to work in. It will always be very utilitarian. I am not complaining. I am very thankful to have the things that I do.

So, wish me luck. This is going to take a long time to get under control. If you hear someone scream, it will most likely be me as I dig myself out from under the mess or just purely out of frustration.

Have a good day!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Quick 'n Easy Fabric Bookmark

**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

Do you need a cute bookmark to jazz up your summer reading? Paper is a wonderful and fun medium to work in, but you all know me, I love fabric. So, I decided to make a quick 'n easy bookmark, held together entirely by Heat 'n Bond iron on adhesive.

I prefer Heat'n Bond Ultrahold for projects that do not require sewing.

This is a fabulous way to use up all those small pieces of scrap fabric that you have laying around.

You will need:
* 2 pieces of fabric in the same print approx. 6-1/2" in length x 2- 1/2" in width

* 1 piece of contrasting fabric approx. 5-1/2" in length x 2" in width

* small piece of fabric for the flower embellishment approx. 2" x 2"

* 3 pieces of Heat 'n Bond that measure approx. 6-1/2" x 2-1/2", 5-1/2" x 2", 2" x 2"

* Draw a flower shape of your liking to the paper side of the 2 x 2" Heat 'n Bond piece.

Iron the 6-1/2" x 2-1/2" Heat 'n Bond strip to the wrong side of the fabric of the same size.
Iron the 5-1/2" x 2" Heat 'n Bond strip to the wrong side of the fabric of the same size.
Iron the 2" x 2" Heat 'n Bond piece to the wrong side of the fabric of the same size.

Remove the paper from the Heat 'n Bond on the 6-1/2" x 2-1/2" piece of fabric. Fuse it to the wrong side of the remaining piece of fabric of the same size.

With rotary cutter, trim the larger piece to 6" x 2" and the smaller piece to 5-1/8" x 1-1/2".
Remove paper backing from the 5-1/8" piece and fuse it to the center of the 6" piece.
Cut out the flower, remove paper backing, and fuse it to the top of the bookmark.
You can embellish the flower center with a button if you wish or embellish it in any way you choose. I prefer to cut random shapes from other fused pieces of coordinating fabric and using it for the flower center to keep the bookmark flat. The choice is yours. Embellish away!

This is the completed bookmark.

A close-up of the flower.

This bookmark is fast and easy to make. I'd love receiving something like this tucked between the pages of a book that I received as a gift.

Just a thought...If you're a frequent visitor to the library, how about using this bookmark as a RAOK. How about attaching a tag to the back of the bookmark with a cute sentiment about kindness and passing it on and then tucking it into a random book on the library shelf. Imagine the delight of the person as they open the book to find a sweet sentiment from a stranger. Make this world a better place, one bookmark, one random act of kindness at a time!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Muddle

It was a busy weekend, with no sewing or crafting involved. On Saturday, we attended my nephew's college graduation. On Sunday, I was supposed to attend a baby shower for my niece, but she decided to make it her baby's birthday instead. Although several weeks premature, the baby weighed 6.04 oz. and is healthy. I was able to hold baby for a few minutes and boy is she cute. Of course, I am a very biased auntie.

I received an email from Emy notifying me that she received the handbag that she won in my giveaway. Emy is from Italy and only speaks a smidge of English. She doesn't have a blog, but has been a visitor of mine for quite some time. She was able to communicate the following:

"Hallo Arlette!!!! I have received todey your wonderful giveaway. I am
really happy, I never received a gift so beautiful!!!! You are very
generous and your jobs are perfect!!! I think that will use your
jewelry tote for sewing. I haven't blog, and I have enclosed the your
gift photo in this mail, if you want post it in your blog. Sorry for my
Grazie Arlette!!!!!"

I am glad that you are enjoying your goodies, Emy. Here is the picture that she sent to me...

My nephew's graduation party is this weekend and I finally finished his card box. Sorry for the poor lighting as there was no natural light available when I took these photos.

This is a front view of the box. I used brown Kraft Paper, which is used for wrapping boxes for shipping. I cut the paper into strips and wove it to create a faux lauhala design.

Top view showing the card slot.

A side view.

Although creating this box takes oodles of patience and time, it was fun to make. For a girl's first birthday party, I can envision this made from a light baby pink pearl wrapping paper and tied with a printed pink bow topped with a rattle or other cute baby item.

On the diet front, I have lost 1-1/2 pounds this past week. I really thought that I had gained it all back because we went to Tsukiji's Japanese Buffet and I ate tempura until I about exploded. It was good, but I think that I had my fill of tempura for the time being.

I hope you are having a fabulous day.


Friday, May 15, 2009


I love experimenting and coming up with new ways to use traditional designs. Since I started on this hexagon paper piecing journey, I have been yearning for more design alternatives. Combining 2 fabrics into a single hexagon adds creative flexibility and visual interest to your projects. So my friends, let me introduce you to Halvsies.

I've combined 2 fabrics and placed each hexagon paper shape on the seamline in different locations. I'll refer to the one on the left as horizontal and on the right as vertical.

This is a kaleidoscope effect that you can achieve by playing with tones. Notice how the triangle center jumps out at you, very similar to a kaleidoscope. This is a combination of horizontal and vertical hexagons with a plain center.

The following arrangements aren't sewn together. They've been loosely arranged to give you an idea of the kinds of options you have. I could have gone on and on with this, but I stopped at just 4.

You can achieve a whirlygig that actually looks like it is spinning by using vertical hexagons.

If you placed a printed hexagon into the center, you would have a hexie within a hexie. This design uses vertical hexagons. The consistent placement of the prints and solids make this design work.

This is a combination of horizontal and vertical hexagons arranged in rows. By rearranging the prints and solids, you can achieve a different effect.

These are made up entirely of horizontal hexagons which have been placed in a row. Again, rearranging the prints and solids will give you a different effect.

Another idea is to place the seam at random locations on your hexagon. You can even add more than 2 fabrics. When combined into a quilt, they will become a Crazy Hexagon Quilt.

Halvsies are very versatile. But, don't forget that you can do this with any paper shape. Adding these to your repertoire will allow you so many more design options simply because there are more fabric combinations to play with.

My apology to all you hexie purists out there. This girl just wants to have fun!

Have a good weekend!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Giveaway Alert!

Over the last several months, I have come to know a very sweet blogger from Germany by the name of Janine. She is a very talented artist and painter. Her style is very whimsical and playful in nature and I just adore it. She is currently hosting a giveaway on her blog, Join Janine. Her giveaway is for a painting titled, I Wish You Heaven. I hope you drop by and say hello and enter her giveaway.

It is so warm and muggy here that I'm about ready to crawl out of my skin. Over the past several weeks, we've been having intermittent southerly air flow through the islands. Islanders refer to this as Kona weather. It is a warm sluggish air that pushes up the vog from Hawaii Island (where the city of Kona is located) to the northern islands, cutting the trade winds and making the air feel thick and heavy. Here I go complaining again. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah! I dislike warm weather as it makes me feel like a big sweaty, lethargic, uncreative, blob.

Not much progress going on here with my projects. Handwork just takes so doggone long and the work is very slow to bring to fruition. Even though I've sewn my little fingers off, this is all I have to show. Not much, huh?

I hope you're having a fantastic day!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Chop Suey

This post is chock-full of unrelated bits and bobs. Hence the title, chop suey.

I hope you all had a great weekend and a wonderful Mother's Day.

Here's my Mother's Day bling. Flowers from my wonderful hubby, son & his girlfriend. Notice the sweet little bear. Son's girlfriend hand sewed this little cutie just for me. She knows how much I appreciate handmade items. I have been truly blessed with a wonderful and caring family.

My diet is still going nowhere. I know that it is my fault as I am definately not making good choices. My weight is at a standstill at the moment. The only good thing is that I haven't gained any more weight this week. That's a blessing in itself! LOL

I'm sure that most of you have wondered about the winner's of my last giveaway and whether they have received their items by now. I have heard from 4 of the 5 winners. Emy, who lives in Italy and doesn't have a blog, is the only person that I am waiting to hear from. I have heard that the Italian customs are quite strict so I'm thinking that it will be a while longer until she receives her handbag. So, before way too much time passes, here is a list of the winner's and their blogs. I am certain that you will find each of their blogs very entertaining and full of beautiful eye candy. Don't forget to check their current projects as there are some really spectacular works going on with each of these fine ladies. I know you will not be disappointed!

Connie W. of Cootie Bug 2.

Jackie of Canton Village Quilt Works.

Tudy of Tudy's Craft Cupboard.

SG of Flores 'as cores.

I will post Emy's reaction as soon as I hear from her.

I have been busy, hopping from one project to another. I'm currently working on a new bunch of 7/8" hexagons. Although they are very small, they are still quite easy to work with.

They make the cutest 2-5/8" flowers. I do have a project in mind for these, but like everything else that I am currently working on, it will take a bit of time to produce.

My nephew is graduating with his Masters Degree in Education and for his party he asked me to make his card box. He teaches Hawaiian language and his party will have a Hawaiian theme. I am creating faux lauhala by using brown wrapping paper. Here is an example of some wonderful lauhala products. I have no affiliation with this company but thought that this would give you a really good idea of how lovely real woven lauhala is.

I love cutting paper with my rotary cutter. When old blades aren't good for cutting fabric any longer, I use them for cutting paper. They are still sharp enough to slice through paper and makes the job so much faster and easier.

Here they are after being cut into 2" strips.

Each strip is folded twice until no raw edges are visible and they measure 5/8" in width. I then iron each strip to flatten and make weaving easier.

This is the weaving process. Lot's of work but very rewarding. I will show you the completed project by next week.

This is my first attempt at fabric applique. I tried my hand at attaching a flower onto another piece of fabric to see what it would look like. I have never done applique before so my stitches are a bit uneven. I really don't know the proper way to do this but for my first try, it think it turned out okay.

On a totally different subject...Have an extra fifty bucks to spend? How about these rubber slippers? My son recently returned from a trip to Maui and this is the souvenier that he brought back with him. An expensive one at that. But, they have something quite unique about them.

After spending a long hot day at the beach and developing a craving for an iced cold bottle of beer and then discovering that you don't have a way to open the bottle... well, you're in luck! How about using the bottle opener's built into the bottom of each of your slippers. Yup, that's right. These slippers are a beer drinking young man's dream. Of course, this left me shaking my head in amazement and at the same time, wondering what will they think of next?!?!

Sorry for being so long winded today. This is what happens when you don't post for a while.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Hexie Fun

I know that I need another pincushion like I need a hole in my head but I can't help myself. I can just see it now. I'll be forever known as the crazy old lady and her collection of pincushions. Yep, I'll be having them scratching their heads in amusement when I leave this world!

This is a hand-pieced pincushion made from 20 hexagons and 6 squares.

And it's reversible too!

My collection of hexagons continues to grow. I am beginning to wonder why I am so fascinated with these and why they're growing into such a huge obsession. Hopefully they'll be turned into something pretty real soon. In any case, they're lovely to look at just the way they are.

Have a good day!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Blather

I've been jumping from one project to another. I simply have no direction at this point. Here are the beginnings of yet another another idea. I'm unsure where this one will take me but uncertainty seems to be a theme around here lately. It's nothing new for me to be surrounded by so many WIP's at a given moment but I will admit that it does get a bit overwhelming at times.

My diet is going nowhere but that's okay for right now. The main thing is that I'm not gaining any more weight. I seem to be in this really hungry mode and I'm craving sweets like nothing else. All I can say is thank goodness hexagons aren't edible or I'd be a whole lot heavier right now! I am trying to keep my hands occupied with sewing so that they aren't being used to direct food into my mouth. It isn't 100% effective but it's kind of working.

I have been overwhelmed with email pertaining to the pink afghan that I am making. I have no idea what the name of the pattern is because there aren't any written instructions. This is a stitch that a co-worker taught me over 30 years ago. I searched the internet and discovered that it is either called a daisy or star stitch. I found a link on YouTube with fabulous instructions. Hope this helps.

Have a wonderful day!