Wednesday, October 31, 2012


My giveaway is now closed!

The winner was comment #44, Renee G.

Renee, I sent and email to the address you listed in your comment.  Please reply by November 7.

(and for everyone else who entered, don't fret I'll be having more giveaways before the year is up, so keep your eyes peeled).

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October Overhauling: More stuff made from the stash

First, don't forget about the giveaway I'm running.  It closes tomorrow so enter today.  HERE.

(the giveaway is a penalty for my having bought some fabric during the October buying ban--shame on me but good for you!)

Anyway, I whipped up a few more things using only my stash.

(yeah, yeah, I did kind of just skip over the whole "organize your mess" part of this challenge--but. . .I still have two days left of October, maybe I'll get to it. . .maybe)

So, here's what I made.

Three fabric bags using some deco weight fabric.  The blue one came from the traveling stash box I had months ago.  The green/brown stripe was a remnant I picked up at Joanne's.  Three different sizes from the same tutorial (at Green Bag Lady).

The smallest one became my new Scrap Bag.  Mostly because I messed it up when I attached the handles (so they ended up pretty short).  Also, it's so small it's not really that useful for grocery shopping and such.  But it's FABULOUS for scraps (and is about 1/4th full already--why?  well keep reading I'm getting to that).

The other two bags?  I'm not sure what I'll do with them.  I was going to just add them to my grocery bag collection but I think the better idea is to donate them.  The next time I go to the food co-op I'll drop them in the donation box.  Share the love, folks!

Ok, so why do I have so many scraps I needed a new bag for them?  Weren't my two quart freezer bags enough?  No, the bags are full and my newest (long term) project has me making bits and pieces like a mad woman.

Wanna see?

This is the start of my Postage Stamp Quilt (or Scrap Quilt or I Spy Quilt--I guess it could be any or all of those names but I'm tagging it as a Postage Stamp Quilt).

I've been cutting 2.5 inch squares from all my fabric scraps and the big ass box of leftovers I won in a recent giveaway.  That picture there represents 200 squares, stitched into 4x4 squares.

I decided that after I have a stack of 100  2.5 inch squares, I'll sew them together in random pairs.  Then when I have two sets (of 50) pairs, I randomly pair them into 4x4 squares.  Then once I have two sets of 4x4's, I'll pair THEM up and so on and so forth until it becomes a quilt top.

This involves a butt load (that's the official term) of cutting.  Which is good since it gives me a lot of practice and has me going through ALL of my fabric hunting for variety.  I've already been through my scraps and smaller remnants then I moved on to the box of leftovers I won.  I just moved on to cutting into some actual fat quarters (the ones I bought during October which caused me to have the penalty giveaway!).  I'm also using the charm pack of solids I have to add some solid colors (since I don't have a lot of fat quarter solids).  And let me just say, I HATE that manufacturer cut charms are cut with pinking shears.  I can only get ONE 2.5 out of a charm when it's pinked.  Cut straight, I'm scoring 4.  I know that's why they cut them like that which makes me scowl (but the charm pack I'm using was free, so I don't mind making scraps--hey, I could use them later).

It's mostly cottons of varying weights (mostly quilting weight but a few are thinner--but nothing TOO thin, I did reject one solid Joanne's remnant because it was just too gauzy).  There are also a few blends (I think linen/cotton) because super cute Japanese prints always seem to come on blends and WHY NOT add them?

Double bonus time!  I'm also amassing quite a collection of 5 inch charms in the process.  I usually square off the end of the fabric (making a little waste as possible) then I cut a five inch strip.  I try to get as many 5 inch charms and 2.5's as possible from that strip.  If the original fabric remnant is already hacked up pretty good (a few in the leftovers box were) then I just fussy cut whatever images I like the best and try to either use up the whole bit of fabric OR use just the hacked up area (in an attempt to square up the piece to keep it neat). 

So far I've only turned down two fabrics.  One was the aforementioned "too thin" one and the other was this great hamburger print which was just TOO big for 2.5 inchers.  I was tempted to hack it up into 5 inchers but it's so cool I want to keep it whole for now and see if a project comes along where it can be better used.  No fabric has been turned away for being too ugly or dumb.  Not even the baby themed fabrics (which I find super boring).

Want to see a few of my favorite 4x4s?

Love the random colors on this one (and that stoned looking dog!).  The pic doesn't do the green justice, it's a bright chartreuse shade which plays nicely with the purples (which are brighter in person).  This quare was completely random.

Stipes and dots DO go together.  There are a lot of animal prints in this round of quares which I like.  The next round should have less novelties like this.

(and LOVE the sushi fabric, that's from Biggie Smalls!)

AHH, that bug is going to eat the chickies!!

I think that's what I like the most about this project.  I can make stories from the patches.  This one was totally random, too.

I LOVE that Red Riding Hood fabric.  It was in the leftovers box and it's awesome.  That one square right there is one of my very favorites.  And it's next to another of my favorites (the noodle bowl!).  It wasn't until I was taking this picture that I noticed Red is hading her wolfy granny a bowl.  Maybe it's filled with smiling noodles?

This block has a bit of interference on my part.  I made sure that frog was next to that musical instrument.  The rest was random.  I love those frogs.

I do interefere here and there with square placement which has lead to a few "rules". 


1.  No two solids touching.  So no pairs of solids or two solids on a 4x4.  There just aren't a lot of solids in the mix so they need to be spread out as best as possible.  This is only for TRUE solids. 

2.  No two "like" fabrics touching.  "Like" applies to images cut from the same fabric (in the cases of novelties where fussy cutting netted different images from the same fabric) AND similar images.  Like no two cats touching or two birds touching.

These rules will probably fall by the way side as the quilt top gets larger, but for now they're helping keep things more random.

I'm not sure how large a finished top I want.  I know I want it "usable" size (so no doll quilts or wall hangings or cup cozies or what have you).  Ultimately I'd like to make it so it can be used on one of my spare beds (I have two).  We'll see.

So far, I'm loving this project.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

"Kitty Up": Progress Report

Still chugging along on my painting.

This is the "before":

And this is the "after":

Most of the changes are very subtle. Well, except for the eye.  I deliberately put the green in just so this version of the painting would look different.  I'm willing to bet I'll paint over it next week but sometimes I just have to add something just to get a sense that some day the whole piece will be done!  Seeing that green line there on the eye makes me believe I will finish this one!  (ok, I know I will, but it's been a long haul with this painting and finally I'm feeling like the end is near).

I worked mostly on the background last night and you can really see the changes in the bottom (the most).  Looking at it again, I think I want to straighten up the dark stripe a bit.  It's too bent for my liking.  See the problem with the background is, I could work on it for the rest of my life and never consider it "done".  Blending is like that for me.  But I'm willing to say (at least as of this progress report) that the bottom part of th background is very close to done.  I was going to say it is done but. . .I can see it morphing a tiny bit more as I work on Timothy.  Nothing dramatic though.

The only area I consider "done" at this point is Mr. Roboto.  Yes, he'll get tweaks here and there but for the most part he's done.

YES, I found it (I knew I had it, I just didn't have the time or patience to find it last time).

This is the photo I'm working from:

I'm not going for 100% photo realistic, but I do want to keep the overall feel of the photo.  The lights/darks adn all that.  And I definitely want to get Timothy's texture.

Overall I'm still pleased with how this painting is turning out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Commission DONE: Meet Biggie Smalls!


I'm not even going to give a big lavish intro.  I'm just going to bomb you with some pics.

Meet Biggie Smalls, the giant squid commission I've been slowly working on for. . .well. . .ever.

It wasn't that he was that hard to make, it was more the buyer was paying in installments (fine with me) so I didn't feel that pressured to whip him out all in one go.  Though I could if need be.  This pattern is really simple, the size being the only real challenge.

I'm so excited about the eyes of all things.  Originally I was going to make fabric ones (perhaps with some embroidery) like I had with the other two (smaller) squid I had made.  Then the buyer mentioned wanting button eyes which (true confession) did have me scowling a bit.  "I don't have the right buttons for that," I griped.  BUT. . .hah, I DID have them.  All squirreled away in my stash was a pair of fabric covered shank buttons I scored from a thrift store.

OH freaking yeah!

They definitely give Biggie Smalls a very cute/sweet look versus the more realistic/freaky look of my other squid. 

The fabrics I selected turned out to be good choices.  I was worried about the yellow.  Would it be "too yellow"?  It wasn't.  It's just the right shade and the polka dots are nice and subtle.

And we all know I adore the fabric I used on the undersides of the tentacles (and belly area).

I've already cut up the scrappy scraps (those weird shaped scraps you get after you cut out a pattern piece) into some 2.5 inch squares (for my scrappy quilt) and a few 5 inch charms (not sure what for but it seemed a good way to use up the larger scraps).  It will be so fun to see those little patches in my finished scrappy quilt and remember when I made Biggie Smalls.

Since I had Biggie outside for his photoshoot, I had to bring out the other two squids for size comparison reasons (and to get some nicer pics of Clyde).

Looks like Violetta is smitten!

(she likes big guys!)

Don't worry, Clyde.  Violetta is loyal to you and only you.  (hey, a gal can flirt, can't she?!)

I'm SO happy to have this big project done and to have it come out so well.  Now here's hoping the buyer is as happy.  (and they don't swallow their tongue when I give them the shipping costs--yeah, it's going to be a big box which means expensive!).

Happy little squid family!

Edited to add:

You can get the pattern (it's measurements to make the pattern yourself) and a tutorial HERE

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

GIVEAWAY: October Overhauling Penalty


As the title says, this giveaway is an October Overhauling Penalty.

See, for the month of October I wasn't supposed to buy any new crafty stuff.  NONE.  I was doing really well at this until a fateful trip to Tuesday Morning (that's a closeout store, like a Big Lots). 

I did not go into Tuesday Morning planning to buy anything at all, really.  I was just killing time while my wifey went into the bike shop next door. 

And then it happened.  I wandered down the crafty aisle and spied packs of fat quarters.  Now normally packs at big box stores (like Joanne's) do nothing for me and I can just pass on by.  But this pack was GOOD.  It was Riley Blake Farm Fresh.  Yup.  Super cute farm animals in dusty blue and brown colors.  Seven fat quarters for $9.99.

So I bought it.

And since I did, I decided I need to give away an equal amount of stuff from my stash to make room for the new addition (and as a penalty for breaking the simple "rule" of "no buying").

So. . .here's what's up for grabs.

Six fat quarters and a charm pack.

I wanted to offer seven fat quarters but I needed to weed down my warm colors and I just couldn't find one more that went well with the red/pink theme I kind of stumbled into.

For the record, I like all of these shown.  So I'm not just getting rid of something I dislike and calling it a penalty.

See!  Those are all quilt shop quality fat quarters.  Designer stuff.  Since I buy mystery fat quarter bundles, I can't list designer/collection names but I'm sure you might recognize some of them (I know the red riding hood piece is very popular--it stung to give that one away but I do have a bit of yardage of that pattern in a different color so it was only a small pang).

I tried to set them up in pairs.  So two light pinks (red riding hood and whales).  Two "country" looking ones (which have a pinky hue to them).  Two red (they don't match exactly, one is brighter red).

Since I couldn't find seven fat quarters, I decided I could part with one of my charm packs.

It's "Cotton Couture" from Michael Miller.  All solid colors.  It's a THICK stack (not sure exact count).  It's new and un-opened.  I won two of these in a giveaway so passing one along feels good.  (yeah, I could eventually use them both but it would take forever).

SO. . .

Want a chance to win ALL that?


First. . .the rules.

1.  One entry per person. 
2.  Giveaway runs until October 31.  Winner will be contacted via email and winner announced in separate post at this blog.
3.  U.S. entries only.  (sorry, international folks--I'll be having other giveaways, but this one is too heavy/fat)

How to enter:


1.  Leave a comment saying something POSITIVE or KIND ABOUT YOURSELF.  This is required.  It doesn't have to be anyting dramatic, but you must do it for your entry to count.

(and if you're a no-reply person or anonymous, make sure you leave an email address)

Simple, huh.  Just say something nice about yourself and you might win a great prize.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Kitty Up" : Progress report

It's Thursday so that means it's time for an progress report on my current painting, "Kitty Up".

Here is what it looked like when I started class last night:

And what it looks like NOW:

Timothy's eyes are slowly emerging!

I think I'm about ready to consider Mr. Roboto finished for now.  I'll keep working on Timothy's facial features every class (it's such a small area once it's wet I have to leave it) but now my real focus is on the background. 

It's taking a LOT of blending to get the coloring right.  But it's totally worth the effort.  The more I work the background the more the figures start to come out.  So I need to spend some quality time with the background and see how it affects the figures.  As I layer and blend the background, flat spots on the figures crop up.

Once I get Timothy's eyes and the background to a good place I can work on Timothy's body.  The last thing I'll add is Mr. Roboto's antenna and the whaling on Timothy's body (he's corduroy).

For the record, here's the photo I'm working from.

(crap, I can't find it now and I don't have time to find it--I'll dig it up for the next progress report).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

FINISHED: Sock monkey commision DONE!

Once again I underestimated how long something would take to do.

BUT. . .

I stuck with it and got it done (even though I was sewing until 11 p.m.--way later than I normally sew).

Jeepers creepers, where'd you get those peepers!

The eyes on this set of monkeys are so much better than the last.  I love them.

The bibs are some of my favorites, too.  This alligator one is super fabulous.  I think the buyer (who bought two of these for his yet to be born twins and the third as a gift) is from Louisana originally so I think he'll get a kick out of the alligators.

The bee and alligator fabrics are from the great haul of leftovers I won in a giveaway (and arrived only hours before I used them!).  The whale fabric is from my stash as was the felt for the eyes (the colored parts were from my scrap bag!).  The socks were bought new for this project but BEFORE my buying ban, so I'm going to consider this whole commission to be items made from my stash (for October Overhauling score keeping).

I'm so glad to have these DONE.  I think I'll reward myself by fussing with my USA scrap map a bit and cutting out some 2.5 inch charms from my scrap bin (in hopes of someday having 100 different charms so I can swap them).

For my own records:

Time start to finish:  12 hours
Total $:  $105 ($35 each)

(for future commissions I think I'm going to charge $40 each for x-large and $35 for large--these take more time than I like to admit.  I can price x-large at $35 only if buying two or more at a time)

Shared at (along with others):

Echinops and Aster

Awesome Score!

Since I'm still in the middle of October Overhauling, I'm still on a buying ban.  Which means every online quilting store I've ever bought from is now bombarding me with discount coupons and deals and just working my last nerve making me want to buy.

(ok, so I'm being a tiny bit dramatic there. . .I haven't seen anything that I couldn't tell myself "you can wait", but still, some of the sales have been very good and I can't help but feel like I'm "missing out".  Don't you hate how sales give you that feeling, that if you're NOT spending money your losing out?  That's some messed up thinking right there.  But I digress.)

Thankfully the ban is just on buying new stuff.  Swaps and giveaways are still ok.  So I still have chances to get new stuff because I just love getting packages in the mail (true fact).

Lately I've (finally!) won a few giveaways.  The timing is perfect.  I get some treats in the mail to help tide me over until I can start buying again (though I plan to be very frugal with buying from now on--I see don't need to buy stuff constantly).

I entered a cool giveaway on the 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks blog.  It was for the leftovers from an I Spy quilt Marti finished (check it out, it's fabulous).  When she said "leftover" I heard "scraps".  So I was expecting what I normally get when I buy a scrap pack.  Usable fabric in strips or squares.  Or (since she was making an I Spy quilt) small pieces left over after an image was fussy cut.  Great usable stuff but SCRAPS.

I got way more than mere "scraps".

First off, it arrived in an amazon box.  One of the 4ish inch deep ones.  (I was expecting an envelope).

Yeah, bursting with fabricy goodness!

Those pics don't even show it all.  (I really focused on showcasing a few of my very favorites).

I spent about 45 minutes just unpacking the box and organizing the fabrics.  I like to categorize them (animals, people, transportation, etc).

There were only about 3 little bits that I would consider "scraps".  But they were still neat little squares (few inches big).  The rest were all what I would classify "remnants".  Generous remnants.  Remnants big enough to actually make an item from, not merely snip out a square for a quilt.

AND, at the bottom of the fabric heap was. . .

This great book.  It's so perfect for me, the beginners beginner when it comes to quilting.  It even has little templates in the back that you can hold over fabrics to see if the images will be right for the square you want to cut.  Yeah, you know I was running it over all my new fabrics and getting super giddy.

This, by far, is the BEST giveaway I've won to date.  Super generous and fun and so useful.  In fact, I used two fabrics from the box to finish off my sock monkey commission (I'll post that next).

So big THANKS to Marti for having a great giveaway.  Your leftovers are a real treasure.

(and I'm thinking I may just need to have a giveaway of my own at the end of this month)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Work in Progress: Sock Monkey Commission (round 2)

Yesterday I sewed ALL DAY.

No exaggeration.  I started at around 8:15 a.m. and stopped at 5 p.m.  I took a few small breaks along the way (to change over my laundry and at one point to eat and pee breaks) but mostly all I did was sew (and stuff--oh the stuffing!).

What did I get accomplished?

Great progress, yes, but nothing FINISHED.

So frustrating.  Mostly because I suck at estimating how long it takes to do things.  I stupidly thought "oh, I'll get all three completely done today".  Oh, how wrong I was.  They still need faces (ears, eyes, nostrils) and bibs.  I did get the bib fabric picked out (ooh, such a hard step!)  and I do have an ear template (which makes my life so much simpler) so hopefully tonight I can at least get all the faces done.  I'm going to really work to get them all completely done so I can hopefully get them out of my life by the end of the week.

That sounded harsh.  I don't hate these monkeys or anything but they are just reinforcing what I already know.

I could never make a living selling my crafty stuff.


I sewed steadily (as if it were my job) all day and didn't actually finish anything.  So for 8-ish hours of work I earned zero dollars.  Yes, I could have done each monkey start to finish (and not assembly line style) but even then I may have gotten only 1 completely done in 8-ish hours time.  I'm charging $35 each for these monkeys.  So for 8 hours of my time I would have made $35.  That's not even minimum wage!

I guess if I really did want to make something close to a "living" from these I'd be forced to up the price.  These extra-large sized (with one accessory--I'm giving them bibs since they are gifts for babies) I'd have to charge at least $50.  Fifty dollars for a sock monkey!  That's so laughable I might just pee myself.

No one in their right mind would ever pay that for a sock monkey.  Hell, I don't think they SHOULD pay that for a sock monkey.  Sock monkeys are simple dolls that folks should learn to make themselves, not pay for.

I priced these ones so low because I just felt like making them.  That's pretty much how I do all my commissioned stuff.  If it interests me I'll do it.  Then I charge based on my relationship to the buyer (in this case it's a co-worker who's really nice and doesn't try to take advantage after the fact, asking for extras and such--and he's a good customer--commissioned SIX monkeys total).  So $35 each sounded very fair to me.  A little more than a cheapo chinese made sock monkey from Wal-Mart but not laughably priced (considering how simple a craft they are).

To all my other co-workers who see stuff I make and say I should quit my job and make stuff for a living I say:


So don't expect to see an etsy store from me any time soon.  I don't have the ambition to hustle all the time (which is what you need to do to make an etsy store profitable) and I don't have the heart to charge a fair price for my skills.  That's sad to say but it's true.

Friday, October 12, 2012

October Overhauling: The Organizing (Round 1)

I finally got to the icky part of the October Overhauling.  Sorting and organizing and actually cleaning up my mess.

So, this is what I accomplished yesterday.

(once again, I had to brighten up these photos. . .you've been warned!)

This is the part of the mess I didn't show off previously (the pile that had overflown my dining table).

It consists of assorted crafting stuffs and all my cheaper fabrics (remnants from Joannes, stuff I found at thrift stores, repurposed sheets, etc).

First up was just to divide and classify.

A bag of yarn.  A bag of wool/wool felting items.  A bag for embroidery stuffs.

A bag of socks and stretch gloves (for making monkeys and such).  A bag of true miscellaneous items (crayons, flower stem wire, fabric markers--mostly leftovers from previous projects).

And all the fabric.  (note, it's sitting on my couch on a blanket, so that drapey bluish mess is not part of the stash).  I broke the fabric down by type.  (clockwise from top left)  Coduroy (the blue square), felted wool sweaters, batting (that white blob), cottons/cotton mixes, fake furs, flannel (the octopus print), No Clue What it Is (that green roll--no clue on what it is), fleece, and felt (the black square).

I had a lot more fabric in that pile of stuff than I thought.  This isn't even all of my "generic" fabric collection, either.  I have a tote upstairs in my computer (hopefully soon to be crafting) room packed with a bunch more.  Since all this fabric is "generic" I don't fret over it as much as I do my really nice quilting cottons (that are piled up on my dining room table).  Since most came from remnant bins and the thrift store, there's not a ton of money invested here and I have a very easy come, easy go attitude toward them.  So I wasn't overly worried about how I was going to store them right now.

SO. . .back into the big black bag with you, Generic Fabric.

It all fit in the large black bag, too.  (I love that bag, it's so perfect for this purpose--I scored it for free when my office ordered catering from Jimmy Johns, a local sandwich chain).  The other two bags (which I won in a giveaway and arrived earlier in the day which is what really motivated me to organize a bit) contain all the non-fabric items.  One bag is all for socks and stretch gloves and the other holds all the other miscellaneous bags.

With that one pile nice and neat, I was motivated to move on to the pile on my dining room table.  Most of it is my "good" quilting cottons which are already organized and stored in plastic bags (the big zipper style ones).  But there was a lot of crafting detritus around it.  Spools of ribbon and random notions and what not.  I gathered up those little things and put them away. 

See, that's part of my problem.  Instead of just properly putting something away when I get it I sit in near where it needs to be and say "I'll do it later".  Then after a few months I have a heap of "I'll do it later" I still haven't taken care of.

I found a small cardboard box (amid the clutter!) and used it for all my spools of ribbon/ric rac and my button containers.  The loose ric rac (or stuff wound on cards) went into the crafty organizer container that is the base of Fabric Mountain (on the dining room table).

I didn't get a snap of the slightly organized dining room table because you can't really SEE what I did.  It still looks a mess due to all my finished projects piled up and my "cheap felt" pile which I need to get into order.

Then I moved on to my kitchen table.  I decided only current works in progress should be living there I made a push to pick up and put away some random items that were hainging out there (craft books, socks for sock monkeys, some ribbon).

Yeah, it still looks like a mess to the untrained eye but to me (who lives with it) there is definite improvement (especially on the right side of the table).

I cleaned up my scraps, throwing out the stuff that needed thrown out.  The box on the right side is what I  used to organize my ribbons/ric rac.  The mini pile along the right side still needs more work.  There are a lot of random spools of thread and such there that could be put away or at least gathered into a small container if they are necessary.

Projects currently on the table are:  Halloween Swap (in box on left corner).  Cake slice post card (right beside the box).  Fabric bags (decor weight fabric in the front left).  Sock monkeys (shiney packs in the middle of table).  Scrap map of US (back right corner).

I do need to put away my halloween fabrics (for now) since I'm not actively working on any halloween projects right now.

After finishing Organizing Round One, I had a revelation.  There is an unused dresser on my third floor.  I could use that to help me organize!  I mentioned it to the wife and he countered with, "What about the closet in the computer room?"

HOLY CRAP, that's RIGHT!  I have a closet/bureau hybrid thing up in the computer/craft room.  But. . .I need to clean it out and organize it so I can really use it.

So that's is this weekend's project.  Migrating the downstairs piles to the second floor.

It's a slow process but it's really relaxing to go through all the stuff and organize it.  And even get rid of some.  I found a few things I just didn't want anymore so I'm keeping a bag of all those items and maybe I'll have a giveaway at the end of the month.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Kitty Up" : Progress report

It's Thursday so that means it's time for a painting progress report.

This is where I was when I started class:

And this is where it is now:

It doesn't read on the photo so much, but I did get the pink on the nose and the eyes are finally roughed in.  Lot of work put in on Mr. Roboto's face, putting another layer of color on his mouth and working on the eye (lot of little detail there that doesn't show in this pic.  I even roughed in his antennae (though I bet it will get painted over as I continue to work out the background).  The orange rectangle on Mr. Roboto's chest is also just about ready to be finished with the blue dots.  The shading is looking very good.  The dark gray on the chest is looking a lot better now, too.  It was so flat and driving me crazy then the instructor says, "add some purple" and boom, problem solved.

I also worked the bottom of the background to smooth out that rough shadow under Timothy's hind leg and just work the background in general.  It's going to need a ton more work but it's really heading in the right direction.

Right now Timothy is (overall) looking very flat.  But a lot of his detail will come when I put in the corduroy striping which will be one of the last things I add.  In person you can see his legs are darker than his head, which is how he appears on the photo.

Speaking of, I haven't shown it for a while so. . .

That's the photo I'm working from.  You can really see the whaling on the corduroy which I'm eager to translate onto the painting.  What you can't really see in this version of the photo is all the color in the background.  It's just cardboard but there is so much blue, green, and red in it that it's really starting to become a scene stealer.  This painting is going to be all about the background.

So, as of this progress report I'm very pleased with where this painting is heading.

(but I'm also looking forward to moving on to something new, too).

Monday, October 8, 2012

October Overhauling: Projects Made!

First up.  WOOT!  This is my 100th post!

To celebrate, let's double dip like crazy folks.

This is a double dip for the Green Bag Flash Mob and Pikapotamus October Overhaul. 

Now technically this second week of the October Overhaul is supposed to be organizing.  I haven't gotten to that stage yet (there's still plenty of October left) but I have gotten to the next step which is making things from your current stash.

(OH, and I'm happy to report I've stuck with the "no buying" rule so far, even though I do have one exception to the rule, I haven't bought it yet.  I'm making myself wait until mid month just because that seems more fair).

OK, so what have I made from my stash stuff?

Yeah, that's a lot of stuff.

I think we need to get some closer looks.

This goody bag was for a co-worker.  Someone started an anonymous gifty thing (it's called Boo Boo Sinclair).  I got Boo Boo'd on Friday so over the weekend I had to whip up a gift for someone else and then leave it at their desk all sneaky like.  (mind you, I didn't need to MAKE a gift but I like making stuff so this was right up my alley)

I've had the bag pattern for a while (it's a freebie over at Happy Zombie get it HERE).  It's fat quarter friendly but not so much if you're dumb with measuring (which I am) or if your fat quarters are cut all wonky (which these ones were).  I used three fat quarters from the Guising collection (and didn't use it all, I have some decent scraps left).

The bag was really easy to make but I'll confess I didn't think about the lay of the print when I was making this bag.  If I had, I probably would have made the pumpkin fabric go up and down not side to side.  But I think it still looks cute.  If I can be so bold I'd also like to brag that my first go with this pattern was a great exprience and the finished product was damn good looking (and coming from my hyper critical self, that's huge).

The "Night of the Zombies" item is a simple cat toy.  I just cut the image out of the fabric then cut a matching square of purple corduroy for the back.  Sew and stuff with catnip laced stuffing.  I put a pinch of catnip into the center of each stuffing ball before cramming it in.  It reeked of catnip when I was done so I had to bag it in a ziploc so it wouldn't stink up the whole gift.  I don't know about my giftee's cat but my cats would tear up anything that even remotely smelled of Nip (and I even wrote a warning on the plastic bag).

The kitty coin purse if from a craft book I have (don't now remember the name--I think it's picutred in my clutter photos).  It was my first time sewing a zipper and it went well EXCEPT I trimmed the zipper at the wrong end.  DUH!  Live and learn.  Oh and the pattern I used wasn't for a kitty coin purse.  It was for other animals (bear, frog, etc) so I had to free hand the ears.  Ok, not that impressive but I felt like I should mention it (I'm braggy today).

When I dropped the bag off this morning, it was stuffed with candy (pop rocks, snickers pumpkins, mini m&ms, skittles, koala cookies, gummy boogers), stickers, pencils and erasers, and a grow-a-brain (along with the cat toy and coin purse).  I totally rocked this Boo Boo Sinclair thing!

This bag and cat toys are for a Halloween swap I'm in.  I've had the cat toys made for over a week now.  They're made the same way.  I clipped images from the fabric then used a different fabric on the back.  The Giant Insect one has purple corduroy (which was a remnant I picked up at Joanne's).  The Dracula is much more exciting on the back.

Hee hee!  It's a hearse with a coffin flying out the back.  I love that fabric so much.

All the cute Halloween fabrics used to this point were from my stash.  I got them months and months ago.  I had planned to make a Halloween wall hanging with some of it but I don't think that will happen now.  I have a lot of more important things to stitch up first.  The felt for the kitty coin purse was from my stash, too.  The bit I had left was just enough to make this one purse.  (I had to dip into my newer bit of felt to make the second coin purse not pictured--I managed to buy a few needed supplies right before October started).

I didn't put pockets on the witchy bag (this is the other side).  The print was just too freaking cute to cover it up with pockets.  The print also had me cutting fabric twice and searching out my seam ripper.  My first go at this bag, I cut the fabric wrong for the pattern.  Ok, no biggie.  It left me with some big scraps which (now that I think about it) could probably still make a nice (if not smallish) bag.  I re-cut the fabric (keeping in mind the pattern) then stitched up the bag body only to realize I hadn't considered the pattern when stitching.  Tear out the stitching and reposition the fabric so it will face the proper direction on the finished product.


The finished product looks super cute and I'm glad I didn't put pockets on.  I'm also glad I chose a different lining and strap fabric for the second cut.  For the first cutting (which was wrong) I had the witchy fabic on the outside and the ghosts (from the Guising set) for the inside and the tiny skulls for the straps.  I think that may have been too busy.

All this fabric was from my stash, too.  The tiny skulls I've had for a long time and really wondered why on earth I bought it in the first place.  (sometimes I get nutty when I see remnants)  But it worked perfect for this and now I just have a few scraps left which is perfect.  Maybe some of it will make it onto my USA Scrap Map.

True confession, I bought the witchy fabric right before October so I would have it just for this project.  I wanted to make a cloth bag for my swap I just hadn't decided what style.  I was going to make a bigger bag (the messenger style one I made for myself a month or so ago) but I like this one much better now that it's done.  And if I hadn't cut the first one wrong, it would have taken half the amount of fabric as the bigger bag.

Not pictured is the other kitty coin purse I made last night right before bed.  It turned out really well.  I remember to trim the zipper on the correct end.  But I made the ears a little smaller so it looks a little silly.  But that works for the swap it's part of (it's a swap through Regretsy, so "goofy" is encouraged with those folks).

Now I just need to get to the organizing and cleaning up part of the October Overhauling and I'll be good to go.

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