Sunday, December 30, 2012

It never FAILS... I always 
FAIL !!!
 

I have had to face the fact that I cannot challenge myself to a challenge.  I don't think I've ever completed a personal or public challenge to date!
 
My most recent personal challenge that I made public was my pillow a month challenge...to make one pillow for each month of the year.  I really thought that was a simple enough challenge to succeed with.  WRONG!  I managed all of 7 pillows.
 

 
I didn't even like all of them.
And then there was the one I did not like as a pillow...



...but love it flat as a wall hanging.


 
And there are two others started but not finished.  I can at least say I gave it a good go. 

Within a span of 48 hours I decided on a new challenge for myself for 2013 and soon enough, faced the facts that I really won't get through it.  I really want to do these things, but I guess I'm just not cut out to stick with the same old same old day after day or month after month. 

Now finally I have "challenged" myself to figure out why this is.  My conclusion is that I challenge myself to accomplish something over a years time at a time when I have nothing particular in the works.  Then as time is moving along, inspiration begins to strike that leads me off into another direction.  And that keeps happening over and over throughout the year.

Now I'll just face the truth of it and go with the here and now and follow 2013 where it leads me.
 
I'm pretty excited about 2013 for the silly reason that I like the number 13.  This makes me wonder what this coming new year has in store for me and for all of us.  Naturally I hope for good things...like we all hope for.  We could sure use a good break couldn't we.
 
Happy New Year
to all!
Annie
 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sunday Postcard Art - Blue/Silver

View From the Stars
this week the theme for the
Sunday Postcard Art Challenge is
Blue and Silver


Since Christmas wrap is still surrounding me in my studio space, I thought it might be fun to see how some of this silver star wire garland would play out on a postcard.  The card is also top stitched with silver metallic thread.  The rubber stamp is by Hampton Art.

I have two postcards now needing homes.  This one, (which would need to travel inside an envelope for I fear there'd be no stars upon it's naked arrival), and these

Desert Flowers ...
 
...that see all with their googlie eye centers.  (I might suggest an envelope for this one as well.  Googlie eyes are pretty tough, but maybe not as tough as our postal workers).
 
This postcard, # Man
 
arrived at his destination naked with no flower for his new owner and no shoes as well a couple of joints missing.  This was my very first sad experience with mailing a naked postcard.
 
 
Holiday Joy, 
Annie

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's all there's been time for...
because...
____________________
 
It's Christmas Time!
____________________
 
 
So, we'll just skip right over all the woas Me's because it's just plain that time of year.  I find that it all comes together best with the right frame of mind...a festive and patient frame of mind.
 
But I do so miss sewing time.  All I've managed since my last post is two more bottle/can wraps.
 
This special MEGA wrap for my sweet friend,  Carol (mamacjt) .  If you have a peek at her flickr, you'll see that it certainly doesn't look so mega on her MEGA go-cup!  That wrap is made to wrap a 10"! container!

 
I enjoyed the design enough that I wanted to try it with lime fabrics.  I really like the impact the narrow black strips have on the base colors.
 
 
I must get back to my wrapping, packaging, shipping and all other Christmas festivities now.  I love being able to sew leisurely during the last few days before Christmas.  As well as enjoying the lights and decorations and food and family and friends. 
 
a Merry Christmas to all,
Annie
 
 
 


Sunday, December 2, 2012


Bottle/Can Wraps
 
 
I actually made these more as a drink owner's identity wrap.  Being functional is a bonus.

 
 
Is this your water?  Is this my drink?  How many times does that question arise?  Is this yours, is this mine?
 
I made these candy jar wraps a couple of years ago or so based on a mug wrap from the book "I Believe" by Nancy Halverson.
 


I re-sized Nancy's pattern instructions to fit the candy jars and again now to fit the water bottles and a 12oz. drink can.  I considered posting a tutorial for these wraps, but since it's based on Nancy's pattern, I'm thinking I might be illegal if I did that...don't want to be illegal.


These are going to be little Christmas gifts.  I just needed to know the recipients favorite color.  After that I was having the time of my life.  These are really fun to make...and easy peasy too!  Lots of the strips came from my scrap bins.

(work in progress photo)

I found a roll of non-slip shelf liner in the kitchen section of Walmart.  I cut and stitched a strip of that on the backs of these.  They grip the plastic bottle and the aluminum can so the wraps stay put when they are picked up.  It works great!



My recipients are getting "one".  But me.....I need one here by my blog, one in the car, one in the other car, one by my sewing machine.....

Mom and I both need a Christmas one...


...and I have visions of Halloween...and there are so many color schemes and fabric collections.....


I do know that they'd be really cute with something appliqued on this strip pieced design too.  But I like them just strip pieced...at least for now.


Drink up!

Annie 


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

...Inspiration...
Fabric Book
...Page 4...
 
I'm a morning person.  In my jammies, I get my coffee and settle into a comfy chair for a while catching up with my flickr and blog contacts and friends...before joining the land of the living.
 
 
Little birdies are just a happy creature aren't they?
 
I decided to title this little fabric book "Inspiration" because I'm so inspired by many flickr users and bloggers in a variety of arts.  There's lots of things I want to try to get down on fabric without creating a larger work such as a wall hanging or quilt.  I want just a little bit of something to enjoy looking at.  Thus, whola!... a small book of inspired works.
 
I thank you all in this virtual world wide Internet for sharing your creativity.  Off I go to see what inspires me for another page.
 
Annie


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Round Robin Quilt

The
Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin
quilts have returned to their beginnings.
 
My starter block went out last March like this...
 
 
...and has returned to me like this.
 
 
This is the first time I've ever participated in a round robin.  It was quite fun to get someone's quilt in the mail each month and see how it was progressing and a mystery to what the next person would add to it. 
 
When I had possession of a few of these little quilts for my border addition, I must admit that I wanted to keep them!  It was awesome to see a few inspiring borders up close and personal. 
 
The sheet I sent with my block for participants to sign along the way did not make it back with my quilt, so I've no clue who added which borders (except for the first and last borders).  So, please let me know which border you added if you were in my group.  Thank you!
 
Sadly, the quilt I had last has not yet arrived back to Samm.  It's been traveling now for 3-1/2 weeks!...yet cannot seem to find it's way.  This is very disappointing to me, as it must also be for her.  I've never had mail go lost before and she tells me she's never not had mail arrive.  We don't want to break these perfect records, so we're staying hopeful!
 
Thanks, Michele (at quiltsfrommycrayonbox  ) for all your diligent work and tracking for this round robin.  You've done a fabulous job!
 
Annie
 

 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

*** BIRDS ***
--------------- they're everywhere! ---------------
or at least, they will be
 

My favorite magazine in the world arrived with a cute birdie on the cover...



...but the instructions to make them were way too much trouble for me.  So I re-invented a process that suited my lazy style


Instead of carving a linoleum and printing it on some kind of
 fancy paper I have no clue about, I used printed scrapbook papers (a cardstock weight) and did a little greeting card recycling as well for my papers of choice.   



I don't make for a happy hand stitcher so I used a machine blanket stitch to hold them together.



They of course started out like those in the magazine...


...but soon I decided they needed tail feathers.




They also soon lost their button eyes for sequin and glass bead eyes...ahh...shiny!




...shake your tail feathers!...

 
I'm trying to get their wings to stick out a bit by gently curling them without creasing the paper.

 
These stuffed paper birdies have been awfully fun for me to make.  I'm not sure yet whether you'll find them hanging all over the house or hanging all together on a cord.  Or both! 

 
I started thinking I needed some Christmas birdies for the holidays, but they might not happen.

Take creative flight!
Annie


Saturday, November 3, 2012

--- A Fabric Book ---
of a sort
 
 
 
 
I've wanted, for such a long time, to create a fabric book ... of a sort.  I've been inspired by so many that I've seen.  So I finally set my mind to come up with a style of book that appeals to me.  Most I've seen are a soft, somewhat flimsy style.  While I love them made by others, I am not inspired to make one myself.  I finally looked to my love of scrapbooking for inspiration and, by george, I think I've come up with a style that will keep me inspired to continue adding pages when the inspiration strikes.
 
I went to Hobby Lobby in search of a "book" to start with.  I decided on this one. 
I did not save the paper sleeve it came with, so, sadly I cannot report the make and model of this book.
 
 
 
I "thought" originally I'd be able to stitch the fabric pages right to the paper pages without taking the book apart.  Nope, that didn't work.  So, apart the book had to come.  It has lined craft pages, photo pages and pocket pages.

 
 
I'm working with the lined craft pages and discarding the photo and pocket pages. 
I'm not really discarding them, just not planning on using them.
 
 
 
I haven't decided how I want the cover to look, so I'll wait for inspiration on that.  In the meantime, I've started on the pages.  Page 1 it seemed appropriate to dedicate my first book to the two people in my life who most influenced my love of stitching and crafting.
 
 
 
From there, my fabric pages will just be whatever I'm inspired to create.  Sometimes the page will have a special memory or meaning to me, and other times it will just be something I like to look at.
 
 
The child image is from Lisa's Altered Art but this little darlin'  triggers memories for me.  I have continually attempted to add her to a postcard, but then I want to keep the postcard...and I already have too many postcards.  Now that she's in my fabric book I'm completely satisfied.
 
 
 
This is a card I found that I very much enjoy looking at.  I printed it to fabric, added the words at the top and quilted it. 


 
 
And so, this is how my fabric book will progress.  At least I hope it will continue to progress.  It kind of feels like scrapbooking without the  pressure of keeping up with the time frame of life.  Now THAT, I like!

And... now that "Little Darlin" is in my fabric book, I was, without hesitation, finally able to add her to a postcard.  She's tired of me and yearns to go on a  postal journey.  Does her sweetness and innocence appeal to you?

 
 
Page 4 is calling to me....off I go.
Annie

Friday, October 26, 2012

Spam Bloggers
-----  what a sad, sad life  -----
 
When I first began blogging a bit over a year ago, the spammers didn't know I existed.  What a wonderful time of blogging life, eh?  Well, "anonymous" has found me and apparently we are new best friends.  Anonymous leaves comments on my blog several times a day now.
 
 
 
That's ok, I don't mind.  I know right where the delete button is.  And I commend Blogger on a job well done.  Those spam comments never actually post to my blog comments. 
 
I'm not going to turn on word verification to deter them either.  That would be annoying to you.  And it's so, so simple to just go into my comments and clean out the spam and even easier in my email to just click delete on messages from my new best friend "anonymous".  This does not make my life miserable.  I see no good reason to make your life miserable with word verification. 
 
Blogger, keep up the good work against spam bloggers!
 
Some very lovely blogging friends have expressed concern in my less frequent posts.  Well, I've been busy with other than the pleasantries of stitching.  Please make note that this is not by choice. 
 
 
Sewing time is drastically limited these days and when I do get time, it's been consisting of small postcard projects...that will have been noticed I'm sure.  Good thing for me I LOVE making those dang things!  Thank you for missing me.  More sewing time will come and I will be ready for it!
 
I have been working at a snail's pace on something a little different.  Actually a lot different for me.  I'll be back soon...
 
Annie

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Postcard Art

Ravens
this week's design challenge at
A blog of weekly postcard theme challenges
 
The Raven
The background is printed fabric from a digital collage sheet by Digital Collage Sheets.com, the leaf is from a silk fall arrangement and is floating.  Held in place by the stitching on the branch and the raven.
 
Ravens and crows and blackbirds all fall into the same bird box to me.  I love them for Halloween and Fall decorating, but the real things can be pretty annoying at times. 
 
The artists participating in these challenges are mostly paper crafters and digital design crafters.  But all mediums are welcome, so I couldn't resists participating this week since I've been playing around with Halloween/Fall birds lately. 
 
Autumn Day was traded to Sandra.  She is known as ladyinblack1964 on Flickr.
 
Blackbird In Fall is still traveling through our postal system to a surprise recipient.
 
Happy Fall
Annie


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Postal
Delivery Confirmation
and
Tracking
 
 
This service can only track your package to a specific city and zip code.  It does not track to a specific delivery address.  
 
 
 I've gotten this same information from a post office in Wisconsin and just this week checked here in California to be sure the info hasn't changed.
 
But I kind of had to drag this specific info out of the clerk.  I'm sure she wanted to collect the money for the service if she could.  But that kind of service is a waste of money for two reasons:
 
1)  For delivery confirmation, I can contact the person I'm mailing the package to and ask them if it was received...for free.
 
2)  If this service cannot track to the address delivered to, there's no hope of getting a mis-delivered package back or delivered correctly...unless the recipient is honest and caring and returns it to the post office out of the goodness of their heart.
 
 
I know lots of folks are not going to believe me on this, so all you need do is ask a postal worker when you mail your package.  But be sure to ask very specifically if the package can be tracked to the specific physical address it was delivered to. 
 
 
You'll get information that your package was delivered within the city it was addressed and within the zip code it was addressed and on what date and at what time, but you will not be able to find out exactly what address it was delivered to. 
 
With the many varied swaps going on all over the world, the post office makes pretty big money on this service that does you no good.  I cannot count the number of times I've read that someone mailed their work with delivery confirmation and tracking.  I just shake my head and hope for them that it doesn't get mis-delivered, because this service will not help find where that package went.

May all our mail be delivered properly!
Annie

Fat Orange Cat is going to live with Ellen
 Little Red Birdie is going to live with Lesley