27 April, 2014

Tie Dye Birthday Cakes

The daughter came back from Europe straight into another year older.
I saw this Duff's Tie Dye  cake mix at Target and immediately had to make this cake for her.

The color dyes are fabulous. They bake nearly true to the cake box art.

I made the Camouflage Cake for the other child back in February.
These are simple cake mixes.
You divy up the batter into small bowls, color them, plop them in the cake pans.
A little messy. But easy clean-up messy.

Real simple Buttercream frosting.
Added some bling.

Found a setting on my smarty pants phone -making the cake a cartoon-like image.

Very tasty.
Very tie dye.

Although I can only taste the frosting because of my food sensitivities.

The plate was designed and made by my daughter. It is now the designated  cake plate.

In major marketing genious, Duff's made youtube videos if you think making the cake is difficult!

22 April, 2014

Snap Bag 2

I haven't sewn one of these Snap bags in a while. In fact, this one was mostly sewn already and just needed a pick-me-up hand stitch finish.

Embellished with tiny pom poms.

It "snaps" when you pull the top edges apart and snaps back together to keep your items inside secure. Its a fun "snap" sound too.

I need to make some more for my etsy shop.


21 April, 2014

Drawstring Bags

Inspired by Benta, still sewing, with 20 minutes remaining on her recent trip to Ireland...
She cranked out two more bags in that twenty minutes!!!

My two bags took more time then 20.
Since the bag only measures 8" x 10", you can easily make these with fat quarters. 

 I buy yardage 'cuz I'm in no way a cool quilter person.
Svetlana made the tutorial - go make one.

There's an amazing amount of room - four easter egg yarn balls easily fit inside.

The red grosgrain ribbon holds the bag tight but is easily opened.

I used a basic Kona white cotton for my lining. These are lined drawstring bags folks.
My spotted orange came from a little fabric shop in Turku, Finland - just down the street from Finlayson's Department Store.
I just loved the faint checkerboard design covered in random polka dots.
No selvedge name to it either.

While there was a chance of 20 minutes, I thought to sew two at a time.

I hand-stamped the label with a new rummage sale aquisition.
Two  ***complete***  sets of alphabets!
I tossed the other stamps and the dried up stamp pads.

I used instead my washable Crayola purple ink pad that I have had since the kids were littles.
Which is quite amazing as the littles are now 24 & 26 years old.

I set the ink by giving it a good hot press.
I zigzagged closely the orange piece to the white and then used my pinking shears on the white. I then sewed it down with a straight stitch to my drawstring bag front.

I had this bag pinned to my computer as an idea to corral some swap items for Benta but went with the flat zipped pouch instead. Then Hadley made them, and then Benta made them. I got caught up in the madness.
Really - between the day job, yardwork and assorted other little life problems, I needed something fast to sew.
I love all the inspiration found with bloggers who like to sew.

18 April, 2014

The Best Daughter Ever

photo by way of phone image by way of London.
London Museum of Science

Only fair to throw the daughter into the blog too. She's been traveling through Europe this last month.

She started in New York, crossed the pond to London, then moved to Paris.
 A little pickpocketed phone incident involving those Romanian Girls outside Notre Dame.

Next were Budapest, Prague, Vienna with a  few Philharmonic concerts.
Lots of old friends and new friends made.

She's now back in London. Where she stopped and took this photo for her mommy.
She's such a good daughter and totally gets me.

She's coming home via Dublin next week - just in time for her birthday.
{I do hope she was successful finding a deal on Liberty Tana Lawn Fabric in London}
Cannot wait to see her as she had the very best time with a tiny exception in France.

14 April, 2014

My Second Kid

My kid.

Finishing up his 2nd year of Pharmacy school. Next year, he's headed up to OHSU (Oregon Health Sciences University - Hospital).
He's president of his class and this is his second video. This one is for recruitment.

Incredibly proud mama.

Here's his first video - earlier in the year.

09 April, 2014

Ukrainian Easter Eggs

My local library has been offering free classes funded through Friend's of the Library.

Last month, I took an Origami class - flowers!
And last night - a class on decorating Ukrainian Easter Eggs.

What a fantastic teacher! Originally from the Czeck Republic, she emigrated to the USA back in the 80's. Along with a full-time job, she conducts classes on this subject.
That's 30 years of teaching!

You start by learning how to melt wax in the thingymading - Kistka and draw with the wax.
When your design is done, it is dipped in an ink-dye and then you wax design on top of that.
Then it is dipped in ink-dye again (2 -3 times) and the result is intense color saturation around your design.

You can be as elaborate as you what. Random or Patterns.

"I can't do this" was heard many times last night. Especially amongst the older ladies.
There's no wrong way or right way.
As we get older, the urge to stifle creativity becomes worse.

When acquaintances find out that I made something, there is amazement that I know how to make something. And the negativity on my part? That I see the flaws.

Let your creativity free folks.

Don't sweat the small stuff.

The tan lines are the brown egg. This is where the first round of wax went. It was first dipped in purple and then more wax applied and then dipped in green.

First in blue, then more wax, then green. The inside of the birdie is the first color - then covered and surrounded by the new color.

We did one practice egg, then our 'real' egg. Not enough time to do a third. This is my first. Love my rooster.

My second egg.

What would a cool craft be without being pyromaniacs! 

This candle will melt the wax in your Kistka so you can 1,2,draw,1,2,draw, repeat.

Try something new today. Watch the negative attitude.

Timberline Lodge - Mt. Hood
More on Daniela Mahoney:
Her Oregon inspired eggs;

Ukranian Easter Eggs - nice how-to here;
 Photo courtesy of

07 April, 2014

Quilty Thoughts & Blog Photos

Last fall, Pencil girl and I attended the NW Quilt Show at the Expo center, here in Portland.
That's where we took the long-arm quilting class put on by Boersma's (McMinnville).

I was going through  my photos on my smarty pants phone this morning and I realize
I've been gearing up to this blog post for quite a while.
Why do I blog? Why do you blog? What's the purpose of blogging?
This seems to be a yearly ritual with me - to re-examine the reasons.

Check out the photo above?
Is this not a great presentation of these felted purses? As one with the background - the craft extended?

1. I take photos because they interest me.

I know I'm interested, but I can definitely say that most people are not. This photo could be printed onto paper - but why? No one, not even me, will ever view it again. However, in this context of the blog post, it obtains value.

2. By putting these photos into a blog 'story', I will read them again.

3. My memory's going.

Yours is too. These two photos of the modern-style blanket are from a book, not from the NW Quilt Expo. I was drawn to to the design and what fabrics the designer used. (polar fleece).
I don't even recall the book now but I took them about the same time as the NW quilt Expo.

Frankly, my phone camera doesn't like to rotate photos. I am reasonably sure that I took the first photo of this polar fleece blanket the same way as the second - yet technology trumped me again.

4. Keep up with technology.

Simple, but striking striped pillow case.

5. To recall design decisions.

I am enjoying Pinterest as a way to organize my thoughts on sewing design.

Many bloggers are making the switch to Instagram as a blogging platform. 
One photo, one thought.

My perception of Instagram.    I haven't used it as of yet.

My mind is full of random thoughts.
Blogging helps organize them, edit them & more importantly, get them out of my head to a place where they can be useful.

6. This is not a quilting blog.
I have zero interest in piecing this quilt but I can enjoy the result without having to make it myself.
My blog is not about any one sewing method. --Just random ramblings of things that interest me.

I have been able to distinguish that hand made items are valuable - by writing this journal. By writing things down, we start to understand patterns & repetitions in our thoughts.

A very useful add-on table. If you were going to make a thousand HST (half-square triangles) that all needed to be pressed.

This art quilt won First place. What makes it 'special'? What were the judges looking for?

7. My blog is a place to put photos of things I've experienced. Wait... wasn't that the number one reason?

The art quilt above is called "Flight Path". Those who read my blog know that I have a rabid interest in flying. Taking photos is a way to recall events that are brought to mind by the photo.

Seeing this photo again recalls a sunny spring day with airplanes taking off to fly out for breakfast and (random segue here) the need for less chemicals in my yard in order to attract fluttering  butterflies and hummingbirds (and segueing back) recognizing a particular round engine noise.

8. Writing to express to the world, "Who am I"?

Photos definitely say more about me than I do. Chatty Cathy was a doll who talked as much as I do. Yet, I do not share my most private thoughts with  most people. I can talk a lot about nothing at all. I work in retail where I can BS with the best of them. But I am innately careful not to share too much.

My blog allows me to do so to a select few.

3. Memory.

What a fickle creature. I've seen this purse pattern around the blogasphere in various formats and I am drawn to making this purse. Just a reminder.

Traditional quilting but monochromatic.

I was drawn to something in this photo - enough to take a photo. Was it the materials used to create texture? The actual material? The pattern?

9. Mostly, I just like a place that encourages me to write more and a place to dump my photos.

Oregon Coast Art quilt. Love those random squares and rectangles on the side sashing.

***bye bye photos taking up space on my smarty pants phone.